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.
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