The Hypomania is Coming! The Hypomania is Coming!

[Fun Fact: Revere did not shout, “The British are coming!” but rather, “The Regulars are coming out,” in reference to the King’s ‘regulars’ who had been stationed in the colonies.  The infamous cry makes no sense for another reason as well – most colonial residents at the time considered themselves British as they were all legally British subjects.   But I hypomanically digress.]

Yes, my Med Cocktail is being adjusted, which has resulted in sliding into another delicious hypomania.  I really love the beginnings of becoming hypomanic.  The world is so much better and brighter.  What better subject for a blog post.

Unless I’ve been medicated in a completely inappropriate way, the first signs of hypomania are missed.  This time, however it is very obvious.

It all begins with one task.  It can be something as simple as reading a book or something more complex like writing one. Let me use reading a book on the craft of writing as today’s example.

Day One: I’d had seven hours of sleep. At first, focus is good. I can sit, I can read. Concentration is pure.

Day Two: After six hours of sleep, I begin reading at 6AM. There are just so many good nuggets of information contained in the book, I convince myself I could never absorb every single one.  Out comes the highlighter.  I will re-read what I’ve already read, highlighting key points along the way.  Once I’ve highlighted the text up to the point previously read, a burning desire takes over to go back again, review the highlighted sections and practically apply the principles to my current work.  But, this is not as simple a task as it sounds.  Where will I record all of my epiphanies?  A trip to the office supply store ensues.  I am now the proud owner of two new packs of colored pens, a new white lattice pen holder cup (that will come everywhere with me around the house), small purse notebook for on-the-go-brainstorms, a four-pack of accordion file folders, and a 12 pack of Glassines.  Oh, and a brand new Roget’s 7th Edition Thesaurus and a Writer’s Digest book on self-publishing articles…because the hypomanic writer simply cannot ever just drive past a Barnes and Noble.  The icing on the cake is a four subject, college ruled blank notebook I pilfer from my son’s closet. Supplies in hand, I continue reading my book on the craft and continue feverishly making character notes.  It does occur to me, however, that the genre I am now writing in is not my usual.  So, a brief break to stand up another domain, web site and blog ensues.  During Day Two, colors are getting brighter, sounds are becoming sharper, and noises in both higher and lower registers deserve more attention than normal. I am also watching the clock like crazy, planning and executing a complex dinner with ease.  Tactile sensations are also becoming hyper-sensitive.  I cannot stand the greasy feel of frosting or ground beef on my hands while cooking, so much hand washing ensues.  My overall thought processes are beginning to go 1,000 miles an hour again.  So far I am productive, and my encroaching hypomania is not a problem.  Let’s just call it a hyper-mania for now, because even on the Clonazepam, Xanax, Abilify, & Wellbutrin I am still feeling hyper.

Day Three:  After a mere six hours of sleep (see the pattern developing here), I am awake and finish the new website.  I write a long blog about authors of a specific genre and post it.  I am working on this blog.  I am dressed and ready to go with my husband to a recreation show he eagerly awaits each year, and I will crack open my writing craft book with highlighter in hand while I await the hour of our departure.  I am hyper, my brain will not stop.  I am plotting my novel in my head.  Colors are very bright, smells very potent, the January chill is wreaking havoc on my exposed forearms and fingers, the song streaming seems to capture my mood perfectly (Jazz Suite No.2 by Dimitri Shostakovich).  I realize I must be very careful today.  When the spending devil is sitting on my shoulder, as he is today, I could sell matzoh balls to a priest, and my husband’s hobby isn’t cheap. I am lit, almost on fire.  I can certainly convince my husband to bail on his current recreational kit and go in for something more grand.

Day Four:  Hypomania is in full swing now.  I played with an Ambien / Trazadone cocktail last night in hopes of getting more than 6 hours of sleep.  No luck there.  This is how I know I am finally in the clutches of hypomania.  I do not need to sleep, find it an inconvenience and can perform flawlessly without it.  Yesterday’s outing was a success.  Up at 5:30 this morning to continue writing (but character analysis is something I am not in the mood for today).  After an hour of troubleshooting both computer and internet provider problems, I still managed 1360 words in a scene that was very loosely structured when I began.  Hunger is also something that wanes during my manic phases.  Like sleep, eating is a major inconvenience.  I have so much to do!  Nourishment is downright boring.  Colors are the brightest they have been since last summer’s hypomanic episode. I listen to classical music and in my mind’s eye can see the sheet music of pieces I’ve played.  I recall the lyrics to every song on the 80’s station and have enough energy to clean and dance while doing it for six straight hours.  Cleaning is an excellent manic activity.  There are many things that need cleaning and it doesn’t have to be a linear process.  If one dirty thing attracts attention before something else is complete, well, it’s OK to jump subjects.  Just as long as the music keeps playing.

And, that’s what it feels like to slip into hypomania.  It took me all of three days after my  pdoc cut my Abilify in the fear the higher dose was triggering a depression.  Well, Doc, this is much better than feeling blue.  Thank you!

If anyone else is willing to share their ascent to mania, I’d love to hear about it.  Feel free to send a private e-mail if you’re shy about posting comments.  manicmuses at gmail dot com

I have only had two, but my manic episodes develop gradually over the course of a few days. I start to feel highly energetic, then the chatting/talking begins followed by insomnia. What happens next is terrifying and uncontrollable: voices, incredibly incomprehensible actions and outlandish words, lattices of coincidences are formed into a master scheme … I see it all so clearly, now I can save the planet! I am already in a full-blown manic episode before I realize that there is anything is wrong. No one can convince me to take my meds.

Thank you both for your comments. I’ve never been in a full manic state, but it is very helpful to read and hear about others experiences of slipping into one. Ofeliaj, you talk about how your thought processes change. Do either of you experience sensory changes as well?

wow – what an eye opener.

i guess i never knew there was a name for this. i am on it and i love it. i have my ways of controlling it. this is probably my 3 – 6th time in this way. i dont want it to end. in 20 mins of internet searching i am ready to propose a self-diagnosis of hypomania. the coincidences (if you believe in those) are too true. what the internet cant find for me is the downside (aside from the slipping). If one can control it, and they can harness the power in order to effectuate change in order to bring about progress, is it a bad thing? if so, why? if not, good, then there is only one thing to do: Fix It! (and i’m not talking about the hypomania).

Thanks for your comment! Oh, hypomania is so incredibly intoxicating! It can be highly productive, seductive and inebriating. I love it. There is a dark side, just like everything else in life. That feeling of being all-powerful can result in some really poor decision making and downright dumb behavior. I can personally attest to that. As Astrid points out above, there’s also the risk of sliding into full fledged mania (thankfully, I’ve never been there). Bravo to you for doing the research and admitting to yourself you might be hypomanic! I sincerely hope you have a physician you can confide in and get a proper diagnosis. I am not a Dr, but can’t stress enough how important it is to take care and get on top of the hypomania. You’ll be absolutely amazed how much better you’ll feel and how much productivity you’ll retain when on a proper care regimen. Thanks again for your comment and I’m so happy the blog helped!

I cant even describe how sensory awareness, the brightness, the smells, … you have an amazing gift if you can harness your hypomania ..
I just need to read more of your writing.

That’s quite a good description. What I find deceptive about it, is how the intensity of the symptoms can fluctuate so much. Eg sitting watching tv for an hour or 2 I think I’m “normal” again. Then the phone rings and suddenly I’m excited and can’t stop talking. I get the bright colours thing, most especially with lights eg street lights. I know I’m really going up there when looking at any light gives me a rush of joy. I once went into ecstatic rapture at the sight of 2 police cars parked together, blue lights flashing like crazy ~ but that was psychotic mania and no they had NOT come for me ;-)!


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