Saturday, June 23, 2007

Other Hypomanic Symptoms

First, thanks to Syd, Dootz, and Marja for your kind responses to yesterday's post. I really appreciated hearing from you. And thanks to Meredith for commenting on Hypomania Revisited (Part 3).

A few other hypomanic symptoms:

1. My feelings get hurt quite easily. I've always been sensitive. Years ago, I thought it was a "bad" trait because it made me so unhappy. So I tried to desensitize myself but it didn't work. Then I decided it was OK to feel emotions deeply as long as I didn't show them. It was kind of a survival skill. A number of years ago, I just decided to say what I think and feel (within reason). Still, during a hypomania, I sometimes feel like I did as a child--that I'm just too sensitive.

2. I talk too much even though I try not to. In a way, I feel it's OK. I'm mean, my last depressive episode lasted five months. I barely spoke at all, except to my mother, husband, and son. So, I somehow think that if I remained mostly silent for approximately 130 days, it's OK to talk a little too much for a few weeks. But I don't think my friends agree.

3. I am a bit too exuberant. Again, I never felt this was a bad trait although I know that others do. Quite honestly, I find many people to be dull and emotionally unable to communicate happiness, joy, excitement, sadness, pain, or sorrow. Since I'm able to show all these emotions, it truly should be considered a good thing. But I can tell from the expressions of others that they wish I were more even-tempered.

4. I sometimes lose things during a hypomania. Yesterday I lost a ring in the library. I can't write with my jewelry on and usually I'm very careful about placing it in a pocket of my purse. I don't know how I lost it but I did. In the scope of life, this is a small thing. But it's distressing nonetheless.

5. I certainly have a stronger sex drive during a hypomania. For the purposes of taste, enough said! I'm married and monogamous.

6. I do have difficulty sleeping. Although I had vowed to remain off sleeping pills because I can easily get addicted to taking them and it takes weeks to break the habit, I've had to start taking Lorazapam again because without it, I just can't sleep. I'm on a very low dosage but it's also distressing.

7. I do have all kinds of wonderfully creative ideas. But I've learned to keep them in check. I write them down rather than act on them. Once the hypomania dissipates, if the ideas still seem good, I can pursue them.

8. I have difficulty typing the verification letters to post comments on other people's blogs. I just had to type three different ones for Surfcountry. However, the system is accommodating. Each successive time, there are few letters.

9. I crave chocolate.

10. Although I've already mentioned that I've reigned in any spending problems, that doesn't mean I can't dream about how I would spend money if I had it, and if the ideas were practical or fun.

Today, I thought that when our son leaves for college in January, it would be fun to travel around the world and meet all my new bipolar friends. (Don't worry; I'm not going to do it.) I also thought it would be great to go to a dude ranch in Wyoming; my husband could paint and go fly fishing, and I could ride horses, hike, take photographs, and write.

I'd love to visit Alaska and Japan. I'd like to ride a motorcycle from Los Angeles to Manhattan. (I learned how to ride one in college but haven't been on one in years). I'd like to rent a villa in Florence for three months. I'd like to take Autoharp lessons every day. I'd like to join a gym and have a personal trainer. I'd like to begin playing tennis seriously again, try out for the team at the community college I'm attending, and compete. (Since I had my first depressive episode when I was an 18 year old freshman, I missed out on a lot in college.)

Well, those are just a few ideas...what are yours?

1 comment:

Syd said...

Another great post, Susan. One of the many things I love about visiting your site is that I never know what I'm going to find. It's so refreshing to see how creatively you use this forum. Thank you.

I find hypomania fascinating. I wish there were more attention paid to it. There's a ton of literature on depression, and the media provides numerous depictions of mania (although I'm not sure how much stock I put in those), but hypomania seems to be the step-child of the bipolar family (I think I'm going to write something on this later).

Just like last time, I share many of your hypomanic symptoms... feelings being bruised easily, exuberance, talkative, difficulty sleeping. Symptoms I'd add to the list include expansive thinking, inability to concentrate, incessant planning for the future, overcommitting to myself and to others, and a significant increase in goal-oriented activities. Thankfully, I'm much better in the excessive spending (translation=getting into debt) area (I'll post this weekend about the budget software I mentioned in my last comment), but every now and then, I still get the urge to splurge, so I go to the $1 store. Most of the stuff there is too cheesy to want to buy, but even if I "go crazy", I can't do too much damage. LOL What's more likely to happen though is that I'll get the idea in my head that I'm going to win the lottery and I start planning how I'm going to spend the money. What's really weird about that is that I very rarely buy a ticket!

Ideas of things I'd like to do.. Too many to list here. I think I'll write a post about that one too.