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How can you really know for sure if you're hypo or manic?


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Does anyone else often have trouble recognising that they are going through hypomania or mania? Often times I won't even know I was until I look back and think yeah those past few months I was a bit off the planet. I think it can be hard to recognise when the behaviours we exhibit become normal to us and we don't know any different.

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I have been getting better at detecting breakthrough symptoms, but I have trouble distinguishing hypomania from mania. I haven't been manic for quite a while.

Edited by confused
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6 hours ago, dazed and confused said:

Does anyone else often have trouble recognising that they are going through hypomania or mania? Often times I won't even know I was until I look back and think yeah those past few months I was a bit off the planet. I think it can be hard to recognise when the behaviours we exhibit become normal to us and we don't know any different.

I agree with his ... the behaviors become normal to us so we have a hard time noticing if hypo is starting or not.

I also have trouble recognizing symptoms leading up to hypo.  I dont see the symptoms of mania until I have it. 

 

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I can sort of tell, but I'll think "I'm a bit hypo" when I'm full blown manic. So not so good with the insight, there. I rely on my therapist and psychiatrist; they both have interacted with me while manic and can tell me what's going on. Of course I tell them they're wrong at the time, but in hindsight I know they weren't. 

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I've spent 95% of the last few years depressed, so it makes hypo/mania easier to distinguish.  However, my ego wants me to believe that the hypo/manic version of me is my "true" self.  I think that's probably common.

Having support and loved ones around helps.  They can be good spotters when we miss the signs and indicators of mania.  I get annoyed when a relative tells me post-mania that I sounded unusually high or elated recently.  Why didn't they say something?!  Sigh.

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I find that if i am around people, some of them (Read: parents) can't see the hypo/mania ... they just think I am in a good mood.  When I have the stammering/stuttered speech, I just say it is my meds and they are fine with that.  I've never had anyone come up to me and ask if I am hypo/manic.

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For many people sleep is a good indicator, mainly a very reduced need for sleep. If you previously got 6-8 hours sleep at night and now you are doing fine on 3 hours that is a good indicator of possible mania of some sort.

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After paying attention to my behavior, I've found 2 red flags to alert me: sex and spending. They are what get me in trouble. I haven't been able to tell good mood vs hypomania, but that seems to be a common theme here. If only I could discern the two--but I guess there is no firm dividing line, more like a continuum. I have suspected that my hypomania is what is for non-BP just a good mood, but they don't have my side issues. Maybe that's not true, but I do feel cheated that right when I feel pretty good in one area, I have these negative issues along with that. 

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I for the longest time did not think I got manic, because I rarely did stereotypically manic things - only slight overspending, no increased sexual activity, managed to remain functional at work, only occasional instances of markedly erratic behavior (e.g. the time that I passed a whole line of cars in the parking lane on a city street). But at the same time I got things like intense racing thoughts, intense paranoia, being overwhelmed with sensory stimuli (especially in public places), very little need for sleep and significant difficulty getting to sleep, deliberately trying to make my mood even higher (doing things like ordering full-sized cups full of espresso), and particularly when part of mixed mood, intense antsiness. When I first mentioned such to my pdoc at the time (albeit not in as much detail as I would have now) his response was to promptly drop all the meds I was on and put me on lithium. When I have mentioned this in retrospect to subsequent pdocs, it's always raised eyebrows. However, none of them have actually told me I was manic.

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4 hours ago, Closure said:

I for the longest time did not think I got manic, because I rarely did stereotypically manic things - only slight overspending, no increased sexual activity, managed to remain functional at work, only occasional instances of markedly erratic behavior (e.g. the time that I passed a whole line of cars in the parking lane on a city street). But at the same time I got things like intense racing thoughts, intense paranoia, being overwhelmed with sensory stimuli (especially in public places), very little need for sleep and significant difficulty getting to sleep, deliberately trying to make my mood even higher (doing things like ordering full-sized cups full of espresso), and particularly when part of mixed mood, intense antsiness. When I first mentioned such to my pdoc at the time (albeit not in as much detail as I would have now) his response was to promptly drop all the meds I was on and put me on lithium. When I have mentioned this in retrospect to subsequent pdocs, it's always raised eyebrows. However, none of them have actually told me I was manic.

What?  Just drop your meds cold turkey?!  That wouldn't be a good thing to do, IMO.  You could have withdrawal from any dropped meds, plus the lithium added on. With all that, who knows if anything will happen, especially with the lithium and possible side effects from that.  I hope your pdoc is titrating up the lithium slowly.

What meds were you taken off cold turkey?

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11 hours ago, melissaw72 said:

What?  Just drop your meds cold turkey?!  That wouldn't be a good thing to do, IMO.  You could have withdrawal from any dropped meds, plus the lithium added on. With all that, who knows if anything will happen, especially with the lithium and possible side effects from that.  I hope your pdoc is titrating up the lithium slowly.

What meds were you taken off cold turkey?

IIRC the med I was taken off was topamirate (I thought it was divalproex sodium, but I now remember I had already been taken off that when it showed zero efficacy with me), which I had been on for a short period of time, but my memory is hazy since it's been ages since then.

Edited by Closure
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I do have a problem knowing if I'm proper manic but others know. If I'm hypo I know it. Like now I am bit. It comes and goes.

I've been hypo from jan to march, I was a bit down for 2 weeks after that and been a little hypo for about a week now (probably because of the weather). I keep a mood diary and that helps.

Thanks to the valporate, my episodes a sooo mild, they barely are episodes and they are so much sorter. I like this "minuscule instability" because it means I can feel a little awesome and do my college work.

My suggestion is keep a mood diary and if you're start feeling too awesome go to the doctor even if it's hard as hell. 

Edited by The Right Honourable Jimmy
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