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Hypomania = Irritability?


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So I've read that the latest opinion is that there are two forms of hypomania - the "euphoric" kind and the more "irritable" kind. Is this true?

I've always been hesitant to label myself as hypomanic, because even though I have most of the other symptoms, I wouldn't say I'm euphoric or grandiose. But if I include irritability and agitation - then it's a heck yes! Right now I'm practically flying out of my seat, my writing has been a constant flow all day, I can't stop running everywhere because walking takes FOREVER...and I kind of screamed out the window at a little old lady who was driving too slowly for my tastes. (I wonder how she would have felt about being called a "c***sucker"?)

I can feel my whole body humming like a taunt wire. It's better than guilt-ridden depression, but it's definately not "euphoric".

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Yes, hypomania can be irritable.

Jot down what you are feeling/doing, what was going on before it started, how long it lasts, etc and take it to your next pdoc appt. There are challenges to making a dx from irritability, though. Anxiety and other factors can be similar. Sucks no matter, doesn't it. Anyway, most likely, a mood log with the above info will help you and your doc sort it out.

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I know that feeling. Ugh.

I hate when I get that way if I was doing "well". It's such a bummer when you've been calm / okay and then that agitation / irritation shit starts. Because, you don't really have any substantial benefits from hypomania (e.g. feeling extra happy, extra confident) but you've got all the down sides like feeling scattered and not right, not calm...

I started getting that way last night. It's like, something snaps, and it starts. I'll feel a sense of (false) clarity, a sense of energy, a sense of expansiveness and then comes the irritation... and it is still with me. I only slept 4 hrs and now I'm all agitated and shit, and it will stay until it goes away. It starts a cycle of not being able to sleep and feeling agitated and not being able to sleep and feeling agitated. "A taut wire humming", it's very uncomfortable. Your mind is all frazzled and it's just a feeling of shit, really.

(Ive noted taurine can help treat and prevent this, but I don't have any available to me, it's a frigging blizzard outside and so I'm stuck until the blizzard stops feeling like shit for no reason when I've learned that this stupid OTC supplement seems to help).

However, if I was depressed, feeling this way is almost an improvement.

That's strange, isn't it. Well, no, not really. Depression is probably the worst way to feel, second only to agitated depression (which is truly the worst way of feeling, because it combines the worst parts of every abnormal way of feeling... depressed, guilty, paranoid, agitated, uncomfortable, humans who invented the concept of hell must have felt this way).

I find that when I feel this way, *usually* there are moments of euphoria too, it's rarely *all* irritable or *all* euphoria. Are you sure there isn't any sense of euphoria or confidence at all? Unusually jokey or humorous? I think even an irritable hypomanic spell ought to have at least some signs of inappropriate elevation, mind expansiveness (sense of inappropriate clarity or finding things unusually interesting, thinking in new ways and feeling creative), etc. Even when I feel irritable as hell there is a part of me that feels "better" than normal (although it's hard to focus on that if you feel so agitated you want to rip off your skin because the discomfort will predominate over any sense of ease/confidence/motivation). The only time I'm irritable without any signs of feeling better at all is when I'm preoccupied with paranoid thoughts. Which surely sucks. Agitated and paranoid.

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For me hypomania shows up as seriously just-shy-of-superhero state of mind. I can have mixed states where I'm agitated, which I guess qualifies as at least partially hypomanic...

For me, when I feel either the superhero urges or the agitation, I try to look at what's triggering my jump-the-crevasse response (and whether I took my meds that day-I'm generally good about taking them though). If I can find the trigger I can work through mitigating things or at least riding them out until they're done (I'm down more than up so I know any "lift" is short-lived generally).

added 2/13/10:

HAHA! look downthread at how I totally fucked myself over NOT riding it out and thinking I was all that. Dammit.

Edited by JackBQuick
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Going off of my best friend Jenn's BP. She never really does reach a true euphoric stage. It's always mainly irritably, rage, inability to sleep, with a small -throw logic out the window- spend money to make herself feel better. But she never does get to the point where she feels powerful and confident that she can do can do almost anything.

Yummysecrets - your symptoms definitely match hers and she has a confirmed case of BP & Hypomania. So, no, I don't think it would be much of a reach to say that you do probably have something along those lines.

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Yes, I know exactly how you feel, it can feel like anxiety, but it's anxiety with energy and anger and force and impatience behind it, while at the same time, with all that pent up ready to go somewhere feelings, there's a scatteredness in your mind, you are not centerered, and that is where the anxiety comes in, because the energy wants to shoot off somewhere, but it doesn't know where to go, so you are stuck just feeling all those feelings shooting off inside you......

That's how it feels for me anyway, but I recognize what you're saying......

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Yes, I know exactly how you feel, it can feel like anxiety, but it's anxiety with energy and anger and force and impatience behind it, while at the same time, with all that pent up ready to go somewhere feelings, there's a scatteredness in your mind, you are not centerered, and that is where the anxiety comes in, because the energy wants to shoot off somewhere, but it doesn't know where to go, so you are stuck just feeling all those feelings shooting off inside you......

That's how it feels for me anyway, but I recognize what you're saying......

yes.......and another description that fits for me:

Dysphoric Hypomania

For some Bipolar sufferers, a euphoric state is never reached and what they experience may be agitation, irritability, intense anxiety, rapid thoughts which cause confusion, and quick angry outbursts. This dysphoric hypomanic state can cause problems in relationships, not only personal, but social and work related relationships as well.

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yes.......and another description that fits for me:

Dysphoric Hypomania

It was during a dysphoric mania that I had my accidental OD on xanax. I was so agitated and anxious that I was taking a xanax, and it didn't work. So I took another. No go. So I took three. No go. So then I started freaking out on top of my anxiety, irritability and 1000 mile and hour thoughts. So then I started taking 5 at a time. By the time I was done I took 20 mg of xanax. Then I cooked dinner (lucky I didn't burn down the house) got the kids to bed, semi realized that what I had done probably wasn't safe, and told hubby I needed to go to the ER. This happened 5 hours after I took the meds.

I had a dysphoric mania episode once before, took a bunch of pills and crashed my car with my kids in it. Minor accident, but how I walked away without a DWI is beyond me.

I changed doctors, changed meds and haven't had an episode since. Coincidentally, my meds are still on lockdown, so in case I have another episode, I can't do much!

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Can I ask, is dysphoric mania one of the diagnoses about which they are arguing about the boundaries: Like was it hypomania, but with agitation? Or was it depression with agitation? Or is that the whole point, is that why I keep seeing people with different diagnoses describing the same symptoms I am?

My doctor calls my both my agitated depressions and irritable hypomanias the same thing, mixed episodes. My guess is he is doing so because I get extremely anxious in both instances. They suck the worst of anything I have ever experienced.

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So I've read that the latest opinion is that there are two forms of hypomania - the "euphoric" kind and the more "irritable" kind. Is this true?

I've always been hesitant to label myself as hypomanic, because even though I have most of the other symptoms, I wouldn't say I'm euphoric or grandiose. But if I include irritability and agitation - then it's a heck yes! Right now I'm practically flying out of my seat, my writing has been a constant flow all day, I can't stop running everywhere because walking takes FOREVER...and I kind of screamed out the window at a little old lady who was driving too slowly for my tastes. (I wonder how she would have felt about being called a "c***sucker"?)

I can feel my whole body humming like a taunt wire. It's better than guilt-ridden depression, but it's definately not "euphoric".

Hey there,yes hypo mania can include extreme agitation it has in me anyway not quite so bad sense my lithium increase.I can really relate to your traffic story.As I got older I noticed that the euphoria in my manias has decreased significantly.My pdoc suggested this was due to more responsibility in my life putting more stress on me.This mixed state affects me much more in the winter,and the start of spring.Take it easy.

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For me, the run up to hypomania is a thorny path of irritable agitation, and then when I reach my destination, I jump off the bus and it's all... sigh... swoon... "oh isn't the universe so FUCKING beautiful!!!"

That can happen within a pretty short space of time, and confuses the hell out of people

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For me, the run up to hypomania is a thorny path of irritable agitation, and then when I reach my destination, I jump off the bus and it's all... sigh... swoon... "oh isn't the universe so FUCKING beautiful!!!"

That can happen within a pretty short space of time, and confuses the hell out of people

completely OT: (I started a thread on it, but then I read this and realized, Aw fucking hell). I bet this is what happened to me yesterday with the actress in the agent-that-wasn't-to-be's offices. god. fucking. dammit. God damn. I'm so stupid. No wonder I got 30 shorts finished and submitted on top of 15K words on the rewrite of another novel in the past two days... I had a feeling I was getting a little super-heroey... especially when I got the call from the agent-that-wasn't-to-be's office and made the appoint for yesterday then actually went down there amongst the Biz people I tend to avoid unless I really really can't avoid them... I'd thought, well, maybe it's not super-hero me, maybe I 'm just overcoming my insecurity and it's paying off... well, fuck. ;)

Ugh, never mind. back to the conversation at hand, ITA that this is the runup and the gush over point, aptly described.... I get mixed-ish on the way down a lot of times too. Not always but often enough.

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Jeez. I was only recently finally diagnosed as bipolar after flying under the wire for years. I knew the hypomania was there (truth be told I would grit my teeth thru a depression knowing eventually i would be cruizing down my hypo highway). Great creativity, clarity of thought, speed of thinking like a pinball machine that works so smooth, feeling high and giddy but also mellow, quite impulsive and occasionally aware that decisions are being funneled thru the 'let's do it as it sounds fun fun fun kalidescope) Often this lasts for several weeks at a time.

And, yeah, got the other direction too, which is what really finally drove me to 'fess up to the hypomania. Intensely wired (like someone else said: I am literally vibrating), almost disoriented anxious state (preoccupied racing thoughts, spacy) over-sensitive to everything around me (sounds, lights, startle reflex gone wild) -- i think the intense sensitivity leads to irritation (it's a sensory over-load and then the slightest thing can send you into tears, rage, etc.). Easily angered, earily tearful. This also lasts weeks.

Right now i am coming off a literally horrific month and a half of constant irritated mixed state. I am still titrating up on the lamictal so i am still cycling between being in the groove and waking up in doomland.

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