Thursday, August 2, 2007

Serial Blogging: A Hypomanic Symptom (Part 2)

In terms of the responses to yesterday's blog, Kira said that before her diagnosis, she was so critical of herself because she moved from project to project and lacked focus. Tery discussed how much she can accomplish during "hypomanic states," and said there are "pros and cons" to hypomania. Marie said it was good that I paced myself and mentioned that she's starting another new blog.

Of course, everyones' experience is different. Because my illness wasn't diagnosed until 25 years after my first depressive episode, I didn't realize I had a "problem." Although my interest in a subject (or a person) might fade, I always felt sorry for people who weren't as passionate as I was.

While I realized that few people had as many jobs as I did, I attributed the career changes I made to my decades-long quest to find my true "calling." Since I've had three books published (and a fourth one is on the way), I also know what it's like to work hard on projects and follow them through to fruition.

My point was that I believe it is important to "pace" myself. In many ways, I'm thankful to have found blogging as an outlet. Whether I write one blog or 100 (just kidding); it's free. That sure beats the days when I would write book proposals for books I would decide not to write when my mood changed (and spent hundreds of dollars buying books for research).

While, I too, think it's great to have varied interests (and see nothing wrong with starting blogs that I decide to stop writing), for me it's important to be aware of my behavior. I know that starting and stopping activities is a sign of hypomania. Since medication doesn't end my hypomanias and I need to self-regulate, it's very important for me to be aware of symptomatic behavior.

That's not to say that I won't start and stop "serial blogging" in the future. The same day I stopped writing my John From Cincinnati blog, I began one on photography--a new hobby and passion.

In the end, my purpose in writing about hypomanic symptoms is to discuss my own patterns, learn whether others share them, and help educate people who may not realize that this behavior is symptomatic of hypomania.

In the ten years I researched this illness, I never found anyone who identified the kind of behavior I was exhibiting. If I had, it would have saved me a lot of grief, heartache, and money, and I could have begun the self-regulation process years earlier.

1 comment:

Kira said...

Susan, What do you do when you notice that you are becoming hypomanic? I'm feeling frustrated because I can't do anything about my two main triggers for hypomania right now (job stress and insomnia), so the symptoms just keep getting worse and worse. I'm afraid that it will turn into agitated depression soon, and I don't know what to do to prevent a full blown episode. My current situation at work prevents me from taking any time off, and I can't sleep no matter how hard I try.