I've been flitting in and out of a bipolar mixed mood for a while now, which leaves me trying to find the cause of my bipolar mixed mood. This is no mean feat. So many things can impact a bipolar mood state that narrowing it down to a single mixed mood cause is pretty tricky.
One of the main differences between bipolar I and bipolar II is that bipolar II experiences hypomania and not mania. Last week I wrote from the perspective of a hypomanic mind, but what is hypomania really? Is hypomania fun or is it just plain crazy?
Living with bipolar disorder is chock full of uncertainty. You never know when you might be well. You never know when you might be acutely depressed. You never know when mania might make you psychotic. And you never know when it might be the day when you need the hospital. If that isn’t uncertainty, I don’t know what it. And while everyone lives with uncertainty, the uncertainties that come with bipolar disorder are so very hard to live with.
I don’t think euphoria in bipolar hypomania feels like extreme happiness. I use the word “euphoria,” which does mean “extreme happiness” but the word only partially fits my experience (Bipolar Mania and the Impact of Manic Symptoms). “Euphoria” is what doctors call one of the “gateway criteria” for bipolar hypomania or mania (one of the main characteristics) so many people with bipolar disorder experience. And sometimes I do experience something like euphoria in bipolar hypomania but bipolar hypomania euphoria just doesn’t feel like its real definition to me.
Many people can find enjoying the holidays challenging, but for those with bipolar disorder, the holidays can also cause bipolar mood instability. This is a special challenge over and above what the average person faces. While average people may worry about seeing a brother who hates them or an alcoholic aunt who is a mess, people with bipolar disorder risk a bipolar relapse. Here are some of the reasons why the holidays cause bipolar mood instability for those with bipolar disorder.
It’s critical to know how not to take your bipolar hypomania irritability out on others, if that is one of your symptoms of hypomania (What's The Difference Between Bipolar Mania and Hypomania?). I wish I was one of those people for whom hypomania is a party, but I’m not. For me, I’m highly irritable, annoyed, anxious and agitated. But I know that this is part of my bipolar disorder so I try not to take my bipolar hypomania irritability out on others.
I realized the other night that I am scared of hypomania. Some of you may remember that a little while ago I suffered a particularly notable hypomania and it was then followed up by a huge, debilitating depression. And last night I realized that while hypomania for me, is not necessarily, always unpleasant, I’m actually scared of hypomania.
People want to know what to do when they’re hypomanic from bipolar. Should you stay in hypomania as long as possible if you enjoy it? Should you try to moderate it in some way? Should you try to end the bipolar hypomania as quickly as possible? People will have different thoughts on this one but here are my thoughts on what to do when you’re hypomanic because of bipolar.
Maybe it’s just me, but I find the bipolar depression after a hypomania to be much worse than your average, daily depression. Post-hypomania depression is the way you pay for a hypomania (at least for me) and hypomania is very, very expensive.