The Agitation of Hypomania

My husband is very sweet.  He constantly asks me how I’m doing.  Since I am not doing all that great, today’s post is more of a rant I’m afraid.  I’m trying to get a mixed state hypomania under control, and the agitation is getting the better of me.

Sometimes I really like hypomania.  I can get so much done in so little time when I’m on my game.  But, a mixed state like this drives me up a wall.  Boundless energy hampered by irritability can best be described as a desire to shatter all the glass in the house.  There are few things more irritating than having countless things to do and be unable to start any task. Today, I can’t even get my act together to put on the iPod and go for a walk.  The paralysis irritability and agitation bring with it only wind me up more.

I have contacted the Dr, I have adjusted my meds.  Now it’s a waiting game.  The next thing on my agenda is to try to go do something nice for myself this afternoon to curb the irritability.

OK, everyone.  What do you do when the hypomania train rolls into the station?

For me, exercise is the best. It burns off some of that pent-up energy and gets the chemistry evened out. I know you said you “can’t get your act together”, but can you make the choice of a walk simpler? Just pull on your shoes and go out the door?

We are definitely on the same page 🙂 In the end, I decided that walking to the store with my husband after dinner was an acceptable compromise. At least he is good at kicking my lazy butt out the door.

For me, it depends on what the mix is. This past year, I have had a variety of mixes. So depending on what the cocktail of physical, mental, and emotional states existed, would determine the coping strategy. It just seemed I would gravitate towards it. For example; When I had too much in my own mind that I needed to do and could not do anything cause I felt like I was going to explode due to excessive neuron firing, I packed up everything. I would then proceed to the fridge where whatever was not tied down was fair game (no chocolate, vegies best they help alleviate frustration through chewing), made myself a cup of tea (caffeine free of course), and headed for the t.v. There, I could occupy my mind with senseless drivel, (nothing scary though), bounce on the spot if need be, and keep my arms and mouth busy chewing. Yes when I was in some strange states which has been most of the year (life really), it actually never occurred to me to go outside for a walk. Just breathe and say, “this too shall pass”.

Hi, Laurie. It’s been a few hours and the worst is definitely over with. I should have gone downstairs and turned on the TV but I struggled through writing another chapter. Bad idea. What is it about being BP and needing to chew on something? Some days I would go through an entire pack of gum in a few hours. Do you think it’s the need to eat (chew and swallow) or just chew?

When I’m really scattered from hypomania, I take a Klonipin. If I don’t have one available, then I make lists. The list forces me to focus on one thing at a time. When the list is done, I select one thing (usually the easiest) to do first. Once it’s done, I cross it off the list and select another thing. It’s really difficult to do, but I find it helps when I am feeling overwhelmed either from hypomania or just a lot of random to-do things.

Great point! I hope others out there see your reply. You’re right…some days it’s the only way to make sense of it all. I’m a big fan of lists, too. Was wondering if you’ve ever taken alprazolam instead of the klonopin? Which did you think was better?

The only anxiety medication I’ve ever taken is Klonopin so I’m afraid I can’t make a comparison. It’s always worked well for me so I figure if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it! 🙂 I spoke to my psychiatrist because I know it can be addicting, but she assures me that at the dosage I take I have nothing to worry about. Most of the time I am OK without taking anything – for years I didn’t even have any! It’s when I am in a manic/hypomanic/mixed state that I actually need it. Have you tried them both? If so, which is your favorite?

Great news that you aren’t on anything most of the time. I’m not sure which is worse…hypomania or feeling foggy from the meds that help control it.

I have tried both. The klonopin is slower to act but lasts longer overall. My first psych had me on it and wanted me to take it every day. I like the aprozalam better because it acts much more quickly. Twenty minutes and you’re feeling A-OK for the next four to six hours. I’m really bad about taking something right away when the hypomania starts. I bet you’re much better at it 🙂

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