The Positive and Negative Sides to Hypomania

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Many people who suffer from Bipolar II state that there are few things in the world that can match the magic of hypomania. Your mind takes you places you never thought possible, and you can produce an enormous amount of exceptional work in no time. Bipolar II individuals are extremely creative, energetic, and imaginative during hypomania.

The Positive Sides of Hypomania

A hypomanic state is not easy to describe to someone who has never experienced one. Your mind takes you to a whole new level of sensing, feeling, and creating. You are able to imagine and develop incredible ideas and output you would not otherwise be able to do.

Most hypomanic states last four to seven days, depending on the individual. But, during that period of time, you are full of energy, need very little sleep, and your mind is in pure overdrive. The output of anything you engage in, whether work-related, art-related, or otherwise is nothing less than superb. During hypomania, the rest of the world goes away. All of your talents and thoughts center on the task at hand, and you can get by on three to four hours of sleep per night, multiple nights in a row, and yet feel like you had a good eight hours of sleep the next day.

When I would experience hypomania, sometimes I would just lie awake and just let all the ideas swim and self-organize in my head, and then get it on paper the next day. Other times, I would get up and start producing a research project right away, begin redesigning an entire curriculum, or work on some other project. Nothing about it was tiresome, boring, or even energy-consuming. As fast as I can read and type, my eyes and fingers could never keep up with the ideas running through my head. And all the while I was focused on the project at hand, a separate part of my brain was organizing my schedule for the next day.

The way I describe it for myself is, “My intellectual capacity and desire to learn allows me to deliberately maximize my efforts, so that I can strategically find ways of doing things that no one else can do better than me.” That is the way I truly felt when I experienced hypomania before treatment. That is the positive side of hypomania, and also why so many Bipolar II patients want to stop taking their medications to experience that state of mind. However, there are negative sides to hypomania as well.

The Negative Sides of Hypomania

As mentioned, during hypomania the rest of the world goes away. This can be detrimental to your life when it comes to relationships, finances, and other responsibilities in your daily life. When you are only focused on a certain tasks, other important things are ignored and can be completely forgotten.

Disorder means chaos, confusion, turmoil, and mayhem. All of those words have bad connotations. Ask most people, and they do not want to live in such a state. And hypomania is s very chaotic state that can cause mayhem in other aspects of your life.

One thing to also keep in mind is that Bipolar Disorder is a spectrum disorder that can become progressive. So, if a Bipolar II individual falls fairly high on the Bipolar spectrum, he or she may be at great risk of progressing to Bipolar I and experiencing a full state of mania.

Bipolar Disorder is physiological brain disease. With too much disorder, there is no judgment and too many things can be done or said out of pure impulse that can be very destructive, not only to you, but others around you. This is true for both Bipolar I and II individuals.

Even if you never experience full-blown mania, there are downsides to hypomania. Those include the racing thoughts that do not allow you to settle down enough to sleep or complete simple tasks or errands, becoming irritable, being easily agitated, and becoming so focused on a certain task that you are unable to have a simple conversation with your significant other or maybe your boss. With that in mind, it is easy to see that hypomania can lead to other problems in your life.

Summary

So, while hypomania can lead you to a state of mind that can be difficult to see as entirely bad due to the work you produce of how it makes you feel at the time, it does come with its downsides. Likewise, Bipolar Disorder is a spectrum or progressive disorder. Treating it off and on with medication is a real danger, and it can also get worse with age and time if it not properly treated.

Hypomania is a truly magical experience, one that anyone would want to experience. However, I have not experienced one in several months due to proper medications and treatment. While I long to experience it again, and it feels like a large part of me has died, I keep in mind the downsides of hypomania and the fact that this disorder can progress. This is how everyone with Bipolar II should view their disease and continue taking their medications and following psychiatric treatment.

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Source by E Fiske-Jorgensen

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