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I think that a mixed episode is mania gone bad


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In my experience I have always gotten a mixed episode, when I am having a lot of major life stressors. I may become manic or already be manic, but it does not force the negative emotions of life away. It seems like natural depression invading the mania. The paranoia, voices, sleeplessness and racing thoughts remain in conjunction with the depression. My normal bipolar depression is over sleeping, hopelessness, guilt, and shame. I completely lack energy. I think that the environment often plays a role in bipolar depression. This is from my personal exsperience with mixed episodes. Please add your thought, experiences and opinions; they are all greatly appreciated.

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I'm not sure what the question is.

A mixed episode is one that meets the criteria of both mania and depression. It may evolve from mania/depression, or develop directly.

Im trying to figure out what the root cause of it is. I know what the definition is but I want to know if they occur more frequently when people have difficult life circumstances. I guess I am having a difficult time articulating this. What is going on in your life when you have mixed episode? Are you doing well before hand, or does something precipitate it?

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I'm not sure what the question is.

A mixed episode is one that meets the criteria of both mania and depression. It may evolve from mania/depression, or develop directly.

Sorry I missed the end of your statement; do you think it develops from mania depression or happens on its own more frequently. I am always having life issues when I have a mixed episode.

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Mood episodes of any type can occur for any reason. Stress is a major factor in some episodes, but they can happen out of the blue for no reason at all. That's why it's an illness and not just stress. Craziness has no rhyme or reason.

So there is no answer to your question. Bipolar moods just happen. Some for known reasons, and some just because your neurotransmitters went wonky with your brain chemicals.

However, if you notice that you always have a depression, say, around the holidays, it's important to discuss that with your pdoc so you can take treatment options to correct or mitigate those episodes.

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I've had them both ways. It seems like the provoked states are just as elusive in origin as the spontaneous ones. My episodes can build over a period of hours or ambush me suddenly. Sometimes I can see a trigger and sometimes s#$% just happens. There's no reasoning with the buggers.

I have secret hopes that this ECT will impact both the rapid cycling and the mixed states. We'll see.

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My worst episode every year happens in the late summer, so light change must be a factor in that one. I have other episodes throughout the year, but there is no pattern, and they don't tend to be as severe as the one in the summer.

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Stress can trigger depression as easily as hypomania for me.

And my hypos are nearly always irritable/angry.

Sometimes I'll pop into it from depression, but not always. And I've then gone back into depression.

I've had at least a couple irritable hypos come seemingly out of the blue.

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These states can definitely be provoked by your environment and stressors. I've found this to be the case. However, they can also come out of nowhere. I don't have a degree in neuroscience and can only speak from personal experience but for me, a mixed episode is like by brain is on fire and firing in all the wrong ways.

It's as if all the different neurotransmitter systems are collectively acting out of role. I think about this a lot, what is happening with serotonin, dopamine, glutamate, and so on to make for an experience that is such an intense high and low all at once? It doesn't make sense. Mixed episodes really go to show what a funky brain setup we have as bipolar individuals.

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I've only ever had one Manic episode and then a handful of hypomanic episodes. All others (and they happen about once a month these days) are mixed episodes. I hate hate hate them...not that anyone likes them (!) but it's just THE worst feeling. Up and down up and down, sometimes the moods varying in as quick as minutes, or seconds... I've never been able to say "I have mixed episodes when..." as they have occured when I'm in varying states- happy, sad, depressed, "normal", etc. *shrug*

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