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Can exercise make you hypomanic?


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I've recently started working out at Curves 3 times a week.  I've felt very up the last few days, and I don't know if this is what normal feels like, or if I've been pushed into hypomania or if this is random hypomania.  I feel like I've had way too much caffeine, a bit hyper, energetic, and more anxious and paranoid than normal.  But it feels soooooooooo good.  It takes me a moment longer to process information, but that could be just from the Seroquel.  Oh, and I'm a little more distracted than usual.

I'm usually in a depressed state, I've only experienced this stuff a few times.  It's either one or the other, y'know?

I just started a mood log a few days ago, so it won't be of much help right now.

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Which is why it's recommended to not exercise very late in the evening. Not sure, think I remember hearing you should allow at least 2-3 hours before bedtime?

Or is what you're experiencing more than that? Thoughout the day? Energized in a bad way?

Edited to add: Oh, I just re-read your post. "I feel like I've had way too much caffeine, a bit hyper, energetic, and more anxious and paranoid than normal."

Maybe give it some time to see if it levels out and you just feel to good from the exercise? Plus keeping the mood log sounds like a good idea.

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How hard are you working out?  Might you be getting an endorphin rush?  If you're really out of shape it wouldn't take much to get the old hormones going.  If you're working out very hard you might actually want to go slower so your body gets time to adjust.

I used to exercise compulsively, partly because of the old distorted body image but also because I was trying to exhaust myself physically to bring myself down.  I can't say it worked all that well, but the endorphins were a temporary upper.  Mild exercise like walking and light weights doesn't have the stimulating effect, and helps me sleep better and be much more calm.  But no matter what I don't do exercise for about 3 hours before bedtime or it will keep me awake.  Morning is the best, but who can get up early?    ;)

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How hard are you working out?  Might you be getting an endorphin rush?  If you're really out of shape it wouldn't take much to get the old hormones going.

I work out for about 45 minutes and keep my heart rate at or just below what it should be.  The most stressful part of the workout is riding the stationary bike for five minutes.  I'm quite overweight, so it doesn't take much to get me going.  But I'm feeling this way and I haven't exercised for a couple of days (I go in the late afternoon/early evening) - I don't know if the exercise high can last that long.  Maybe it's a metabolism thing?

It's just that I've had so much energy.  I've been cleaning like mad, which is good, but I do all this work and still have energy left.  I'm seeing my tdoc tomorrow and I'm sure he'll be able to help me sort this all out.

But hey, at least I'm having a few good, happy days! ;)

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Well, then, I just have to ask--have you changed any of your medication dosages lately?  Or done anything else differently?  Any particular stressors hitting you right now?  Exercise might be energizing for several hours afterwards but I haven't heard of it causing this kind of activation for days.  Feeling good and energized or even a little manic for a few hours, sure; manic or caffeine-crazed more than a day afterwards, not so much, in my personal experience. 

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I'd like to reiterate that a workout can trigger a hypomanic episode for me. Especially weight training. It's not just endorphins or feeling better for a few hours. I don't workout very hard so it's not a huge stressor. I know it's rare and I've only heard of one other person this happens to, but it is possible.

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I'm sorry if it sounded like I don't believe you, lemonflavor.  I just meant it doesn't work that way for me but that I agree it could happen.  How long does your exercise-induced hypomania last?  If it's for more than several hours, then well, I've learned something new today!

And as for stressors, I meant things like med changes, relationship problems, work--other things than exercise.  I was looking for other things that might be causing this for Beth.  I've regularly thought something in particular was causing me mood problems and later found out it was something completely different.  Example: I got hypomanic last fall and thought it might be caused by starting to use my light box, which stimulates serotonin production.  I stopped using the light box and didn't get better.  It turned out the 450 mg of wellbutrin I'd been taking for months reacted badly with the lamictal I'd just got up to speed on.  I reduced the wellbutrin and upped the lamictal and the problem went away.

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I'm sorry if it sounded like I don't believe you, lemonflavor.  I just meant it doesn't work that way for me but that I agree it could happen.  How long does your exercise-induced hypomania last?  If it's for more than several hours, then well, I've learned something new today!

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

No problem. I may have been a bit defensive. Until recently, hypomania would last 2-3 days. Being a short cycler, if I'm ready to go up, the workout can really induce it. Although I've only been recently diagnosed, when I look back I can see this happening even ten years ago. So it's not every workout or anything like that, just when the body is ready to go.

There was a question on Ask the Doctor on psycheducation.org or maybe another site where someone thought their dad was getting hypomanic after some weight workouts. The doctor didn't think this could be the case but I was right there agreeing with him (the son). If there can be mental triggers for this I'm sure the stimulation of exercise could do it for the odd person.

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Last med change was upping Seroquel to 75mg a month ago, so I don't think that would do it.  Other than that, there's some financial and college stress.  I haven't had any more caffeine than usual.  I did recently end a relationship with my best friend because he lied, but this last week we talked and are on okay terms again, which is great cause he's probably the most important person in my life.

My tdoc called in sick so I'm unable to discuss this with him right now... argh!

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I'm not familiar with seroquel, so I can't be much help there.

Does your tdoc do phone appointments?  Or can you get in with your pdoc?  My tdoc will do phone appointments if she's out sick, or if I'm sick (she's got MS and has a vulnerable immune system). 

And I suggest watching your moods carefully.  Write a short paragraph every morning and night about your energy level, sleep quality, behaviors, etc., etc.  Or use Moodtracker.com to track things.  If this continues or gets worse you want to do something sooner rather than later. 

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I'm a distance runner and while I feel a great, almost "blushing" feeling inside from running, I wouldn't call it hypomania. How many hypomanic episodes have you had? And how long were they? And how intense? Hypomania for you may feel like just a nice mood for me. We are all sensitive in different ways.

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How many hypomanic episodes have you had? And how long were they? And how intense?

Usually it just lasts a couple of days, but this is going on day 5.  It has calmed down a little.  I wouldn't say it's too intense, but it's the most intense it's been in the last couple of years.  Here's what I wrote in my blog last night about it:

The last few days have been blissful.  I've been full of energy, felt like I had a little too much caffeine.  I was awake.  Looking forward to the day.  Happy.  I don't feel this way often, so I'm taking advantage.  It feels like the sunshine is coming from inside me.  It's a glowing, soft, springtime high.  I don't want it to end.

I got so much done!  I vaccumed, cleaned the kitchen, did four loads of laundry, moved my furniture, worked out furiously.  And I'm not done.  There's more to do.  Too much to do, too much sweat to get out, too many things to clean.  It's funny, I get this way and all I can do is clean.  And write.  And keep moving.  I'm not hungry, not sleepy.  If I don't take the Seroquel, I won't sleep at all tonight.  I don't need it.

The downside is the heightened sense of paranoia, the anxiety and nervousness.  Slight hallucinations creep into the corners of my eyes.  Spiders on the ceiling, people who aren't there.  Sometimes I see lights when I'm driving, and it really freaks me out.  I can't pay attention to things.  Thoughts tend to move a little faster, the racingthoughts, and things repeat.  The same sentence over again.  The same sentence over again, the next repeat beginning before the last ends.  Now, these are all normal things, but some come forth slightly more when I'm like this, some stay the same, and others rage furiously, turning my mind into a tangled mess.

I'm really doubting that this is due to exercise now.  What scares me most is the paranoia, anxiety, and hallucinations.  They're really starting to take a toll on me.  They're keeping me from living.

Phone appointments aren't an option, but I will call in the morning and see if I can get in to see someone, anyone.

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