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The long and winding road of bipolar disorder

Updated on October 17, 2016

Hypomania versus Mania

Hypomania is a person with bipolar disorder is when the person becomes in a state of mind and may have excessive energy, irritability, excitement, or aggression. Triggers can include a change in sleeping patterns, any type of relationship conflict, and abusing drugs and alcohol to name a few.

Mania symptoms are similar and include excessive happiness, excitement, irritability, restlessness, increased energy, less need for sleep, racing thoughts, high sex drive, and tendency to make grand and unattainable plans.

The upward climb towards my hypomania

I was diagnosed with bipolar disorder 1 about five years ago and have since tried almost every medication to control it out on the market. So, I'm going along just find and out of the blue I wake up at 2:30 a.m. with lots of energy and just want to write. Throughout the day my mind has grown weary but I still feel physically restless and a bit energized.

In an effort to try to calm the hypomania, one can do several things that include:

  1. Meditation
  2. Exercise
  3. Remove distractions
  4. Practice deep breathing
  5. Sleep, if possible

To prevent a manic episode, one with bipolar should try the following:

  1. Get at least 10 hours of sleep a night.
  2. Limit activities/tasks.
  3. Don't spend more than six hours being active each day.
  4. Avoid stimulating surroundings.
  5. Avoid stimulating foods/beverages.
  6. Avoid drugs/alcohol
  7. Create a list of go-to activities to slow you down; like calling a friend to calm you down.

Test your Bipolar IQ

There are a combination of things that will aid in stability if done together. Which one of these is NOT?

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The Bipolar Mind

  • Anxious Bipolar Thoughts - can feel compulsive and paralyzing sometimes.
  • Distracted Bipolar Thoughts - those with bipolar disorder have higher rates of ADHD, making it difficult to concentrate on one thing at a time.
  • Overreaction - With all the obsessive, anxious and distracted thoughts its no wonder the bipolar brain automatically goes to catastrophic scenarios. For instance, if my husband doesn't text me about an hour after leaving home to go to to work, I automatically thing he's been in a deadly accident.

Managing Bipolar Disorder

The most effective treatment for bipolar disorder is a combination of medication and psycotherapy. Most people take more than one drug, like a mood-stabilizing drug and an antipsychotic, benzodiazepine, or antidepressant, according to WebMD.

Wrapping Up

According to WebMD, "Anyone who has experienced two or more manic or hypomanic episodes generally is considered to have lifetime bipolar disorder. That person should have maintenance therapy to minimize the risk for future episodes. Once your doctor has helped stabilize the moods of the acute phase of the disorder (either a manic or depressive episode), drug therapy is usually continued indefinitely -- sometimes at lower doses.

Remember this: Even if you have been without bipolar symptoms for several months, do not stop taking your medications. Your doctor may lower your doses, but discontinuation of medications will put you at risk for recurrence of bipolar symptoms."


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    • denise.w.anderson profile image

      Denise W Anderson 19 months ago from Bismarck, North Dakota

      Bipolar is a tough illness. I have two children with the disorder and used to work for a boss with it. The mood swings are unpredictable at best. The person is friendly and personable one minute, and the next your worst enemy. I like what your list of things to do to keep it at bay. These seem to work for our family.