I've had hypomanic episodes for over 30 years- since age 17. I’m now 47.
I didn't know what they were until I was finally diagnosed with bipolar II in 1995. I always thought they were the real me and the depression was the problem.
There are two kinds of bipolar mania:
1. The full blown mania seen in bipolar I
2. The hypomania seen in bipolar II
Mania can be:
a. euphoric- this is the happy, lovely wonderful, creative, awesome mania I often experience.
b. dysphoric (also known as agitated mania)- this is the nervous, depressed, shaky, miserable, uncomfortable, buzzing, aggressive and anxious mania. I have had this kind of mania and it's awful.
I will describe my euphoric hypomania. If you send in another question- I can describe the dysphoric side.
I love, love, love euphoric hypomania. I call it cellular joy juice. It vibes through the body like a wonderful buzzing summer day. Everything is enhanced- colors, feelings- possibilities- beauty-, sexuality, belief in yourself, shopping, music- creativity. I’ve outlined business plans, books, new systems for dealing with old problems and much more! i feel completely beautiful- (just as I feel ugly and fat while depressed). My mind clicks like a big computer and can solve problems at triple my normal speed. And I don’t want to sleep. It's such a waste of time to a manic mind!
Ex: I learned to speak pretty darn good Chinese in four weeks while in a hypomanic episode in China.
Unfortunately, euphoric hypomania easily gets out of control and can ruin your life- big time. All of your inhibitions are gone- the voice that says, “Hey, that might not be a good idea!” simply doesn’t exist. It’s not that you don’t listen- quite often the voice doesn’t show up. For example, this can lead to excessive sexual behavior that can lead to affairs, STD’s, ruined relationships, and very dangerous situations. Mania also increases a desire to drink and a person can drink a LOT more when manic and not get as drunk. I have been there and done that and wow, mistakes have been made!
I still get hypomanic- and I have learned to control most of it. I still LOVE it, but know its destructive power. So I use my treatment plan and keep it under control
PS: The movie Limitless is an amazingly good depiction of mania. The beginning of his transformation is hypomania and then when things go a bit wrong, it’s the full blown mania!
More Answers from Julie A. Fast