What’s the difference between hypomana and full blown mania for me. 

 A blogger friend asked what was the difference between hypomania and mania to bipolar sufferers. This was my answer.

When I’m hypomanic, I am IN touch with reality. But I have tons of energy. I can get lots done. But I am also very anxious. And I cycle through hypomania, normal and depressed. I guess this is called a mixed phase. When I tumble into full blown mania, I am out of touch with reality a lot of the times. Still cycling through manic, normal and depressed, but out of touch with reality as in “knowing” that a witch in Eastern Europe is using black magic to damage my heart, and actually feeling chest pain! So again I have three parts to full blown mania: the depressed, the normal, and the manic. In my normal period of full blown mania, I fully realize what’s going on and call my doctor and tell him, it’s happening again, I am out of touch with reality! That’s the way it’s been with me since the beginning. Perhaps because I was given antidepressants the very first time I ever had any mood symptoms, a severe depression. Antidepressants cause mixed phases.

This is not amazing, it is not extraordinary, I am not special because this happens to me. I am simply ill. Well not simply ill, there’s nothing simple about having bipolar d/o, except maybe the need to take mood stabilizing medications such as Lithium, Seroquel, etc.

So the main difference is whether I’m in touch with reality or not. And how disorganized and “magical” my thinking is. Also I didn’t mention sleep, but when you are manic you cannot go to sleep. No sleep or very little sleep is also a characteristic of mania.

Since I manifested bipolar d/o in 1985, I have had two full blown manic phases and two subsequent hospitalizations. Pretty good batting average against this hellish disease. Hope to keep the stats on my side.

Sent from my iPhone

5 thoughts on “What’s the difference between hypomana and full blown mania for me. 

  1. You describe it very well, similar to my experiences, but of course not identical. A good hypomania like I’m coming off of now doesn’t cause me anxiety (a dysphoric mania sure does!). I too had my first full mania when I was given an antidepressant. Complete with psychosis, seeing things, hearing things, delusions, and paranoia. Fun times. My first hypomania was many years before that.

    Liked by 1 person

      • I love the highs, but I know that they can lead to bad situations, so sadly I try to damp them out when possible.I’ve been taking the increased dose of Geodon regularly. I’ve been trying to get more sleep, but that varies day to day. At least I *can* sleep. I still feel good, but people say that I’m talking slow enough that they can understand me now. 🙂


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