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Difference between hypomania and happiness


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I was wondering what the difference is between being happy and being hypomanic. I mean I know the textbook difference, but in reality, how do you feel the difference?

I had a period of being very happy and I'm trying to work out if it was hypomania or not. In a way I think it was because I had no reason to be that happy - I was doing a degree I hated, living situation was stressful, parents were talking about divorce. But equally I didn't sleep less, I wasn't overly productive, I didn't take up a million new things, I was just really happy, and would sometimes flip into irritability.

I had short bursts of hyperactiveness during that time - and these periods had symptoms such as pressured speech, increased confidence, distractibility, no need for sleep, impulsivity - but they never lasted long.

I know no one can diagnose me, and I will bring this up with my Pdoc on Monday, but I was hoping someone might share how it feels to be hypomanic with me so I can understand it a bit better.

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When I'm hypo I feel like I'm high on drugs. Everything is SO much brighter. I can't sit still, I get very restless, pressured speech, racing thoughts. I sometimes worry at work that people might think that I actually am high.

I start a lot of new hobbies. A lot of times I'll pick a hobby, buy all of the stuff I 'need' for it online and then by the time I get it in the mail I'm over it and moved onto the next thing. One time I decided that I was going to be a world famous painter, lol. I suck at painting.

I also get EXTREMELY over confident with how I look. When I'm not manic it's the opposite, I can't even look myself in the mirror.

For the most part, I'm just random when I'm hypo.

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I don't sleep, and am full of energy. I can't stop talking. My pdoc asked: "Do you feel like you wish the other person would shut up, so you can start talking again?" and that was totally true.

 

I start new hobbies, but not expensive ones. I bought some coloring books and pencils, but it ended up being useful, because I was incapacitated for a few months from a surgery.

 

Sex is weird. I converse through it. I have fun, I just talk the whole time.

 

And I clean. And clean. And clean. Usually I am a gross housekeeper. Sometimes I wish I could select that symptom, and ditch the rest, just so the house would get under control again.


I asked my pdoc if cleaning was common among hypo people, and he laughed.

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Sex is weird. I converse through it. I have fun, I just talk the whole time.

I do this too! When I'm not hypo I really have zero interest in sex. I guess I got enough as a teenager, lol. But when I'm hypo I enjoy it but I just don't stop talking. And I talk about the most mundane crap too. Husband gets so pissed off.

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For me it feel like the happiness can't be contained at all.  I don't sleep as much, I am MUCH more social with everyone.  Talkative, but I talk really fast, and I know I can't stop talking.  Walk really fast, like I am on top of the world.

 

Some of this happens when I am excited about something, but if I'm excited, these symptoms only last for a short amount of time.  When I am hypo they can last for days.

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For me, since I was diagnosed, every time I feel happy (or even just content) I worry that its going to end up becoming something else. I am the worlds most fantastic housekeeper when hypo. I end up vacuuming twice a day (as opposed to once a week) and polish everything. I wish someone would bottle that. Until then I'm just going to overthink overthinking about being happy.

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When I was first diagnosed, every good day had me thinking "oh no, am I going hypo?". The last hypo episode I had turned into a mixed episode, but all the previous ones were just straight hypo episodes. When I am hypo, I have racing thoughts, I talk constantly, I interrupt people because they are talking at a normal pace, but my mind is going 100 miles an hour and I can finish their statement, because my mind is going so far ahead of them. I get butterflies in my stomach that stay there. The sun shines brighter, my vision is crisper, food tastes better, things smell better (or worse depending), my hearing is more intense, so normal sounding things can actually be very loud for me. Of course everything I think and say is brilliant. I buy a ton of stuff I don't need. I have no impulse control at all. I sleep very little. I bounce off the walls with energy. And it will last for weeks or months, where as my good days last days and end, or I'll have a good day here, couple of normal days, another good day, etc. My hypos always lasted months, so I no longer worry about a good day and if things start going too good for a week or more, I worry.

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When I'm hypo I feel like I'm high on drugs. Everything is SO much brighter.

I feel like everything is really shiny, almost shimmering. And energy, wow, I've got a ton of it when hypomanic. I also spend a lot of money. Its like I can't help myself...I feel compulsed to buy ALL THE THINGS.

When I'm happy, I feel like I can more easily take on problems. I enjoy the simple things in life and appreciate what I have. I enjoy the company of others.

Edited by Phoenix_Rising
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Oh wow, I'm going through this same thing.  Feeling really happy for no reason a lot of the time, which hasn't happened in a long time.  Last weekend I cleaned for five hours straight.  Last night I went out and I was crazy social and got five hours of sleep and I feel great today (usually I need about nine hours).  Yesterday I was horribly twitchy and couldn't sit still.  Having BIG BIG feelings, huge swellings of love and empathy for the world, feeling connected to humanity.

 

But then, it's not happening all the time and not all signs point to hypo -- I'm not super productive, I don't have the pressured speech, and things aren't quite as intense as the other times when I knew I was hypo.  I don't feel like I'm "going crazy," which is how I've felt in the past -- knowing that I was going crazy but not caring because it felt great.  Before I was diagnosed I would call it the Good Crazy (as opposed to the Bad Crazy, which I now recognize as mixed episodes).

 

Saw my tdoc yesterday and we talked about all this.  She didn't seem that concerned and we couldn't decide if this was hypomania or just happiness.  She told me to be more diligent with tracking my moods and she wants to set up a more concrete treatment plan for when this stuff happens so it doesn't escalate.  She also told me that it's good that I'm feeling so many wonderful things, though, and that I should enjoy that.

 

My plan for now is just to try not to "lean into" the feelings too much -- I think that if I don't make myself sleep, if I seek out too many social and stimulating experiences, if I overindulge in caffeine or pot or alcohol, that this could turn into full-fledged hypomania, and while there's a part of me that finds that idea immensely appealing, my more logical side knows that it's not healthy.

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I'm a step up from happy when I'm hypo. When I'm happy, I'm not easily irritated or get angry as badly. I get really irritable and angry when hypo. I also can't stand getting interrupted if I'm doing something, I have to do it. 

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I interrupt people because they are talking at a normal pace, but my mind is going 100 miles an hour and I can finish their statement, because my mind is going so far ahead of them.

 

^THIS.  Also as others have mentioned, the spending impulse control just goes, and I spend way more than I should. 

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I'm really, really happy when hypo. I'm very confidant. I talk alot. My personality changes, I think for the good. I'm more outgoing and fun to be around. I see colors brighter than they really are. I race cars and motorcycles. I crash motorcycles. I don't sleep as much and get up very early in the morning. I have a lot of energy.The feeling is almost euphoric.

 

However I can pass into mania and then things start to come apart. And then there's the inevitable crash. You know it's coming. What goes up comes down. I haven't been manic in some time, mostly BP depression. Today I feel realy good and I'm pretty stable lately. Meds were tweaked a month ago.

Edited by moooz
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