Kira has a question that I'm attempting to answer but perhaps others have suggestions as well.
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.
Sleep is a big problem during a hypomania. My doctors have always said it's very important to get at least 8 to 9 hours of sleep each night, and I've religiously followed their advice. Of course, it's very difficult during a hypomania.
There are some natural ways to try to fall asleep, including making sure you exercise during the day so that you're more tired, taking a walk after dinner to calm down, meditation, and deep breathing exercises before you go to sleep. There's also calming music to listen to and trying to engage in "peaceful" activities at night to try and bring yourself "down."
I've also taken homeopathic remedies that were supposed to work as well as drinking tea that was supposed to be calming. If you've read my blog for awhile, you'll know that I'm medication resistant so that I've tried everything and very little of it has been effective. I've also tried a slew of alternative treatments and they haven't worked either. That's not to say that they won't for you...but that's been my experience.
The only thing that's worked for me is "sleeping pills." These days I take Ativan (which is prescribed for some people for anxiety but for me, it's always been prescribed for sleeping). If the hypomania isn't a bad one, I can take 1/2 mg. and fall asleep within an hour. Lately, I've had to take 1 mg.
Over the years, my doctors have prescribed other pills for sleep, including Ambien and Klonopin, but both were way too strong for me and had a residual affect in the morning. But, medication affects everyone differently. For me, a little goes a long way--and always has.
I don't know what to recommend if you can't get medication. In the comment you left yesterday, you said you're living in an ashram and can't afford medication. I think it's really important to find a mental health facility nearby where you can get medication for free.
For most people, the mood stabilizers work to level out the highs and lows and anti-depressants work for depressions. And sleeping pills work when you're need to sleep but can't. If you haven't tried any of these drugs, you should. But I'm not sure where you can get them in your current situation. Perhaps someone else knows more.
Anybody got advice here?
In terms of stress at work, that's a tough one and I'm not the best person to answer this. In my younger years, I worked without difficulty. Once I started taking medication, I had a lot of problems with stress causing depressions.
These days, I'm semi-retired. However, I know there are people who read this blog who are working and I'm sure they have good advice for you. I'm rushing off and wanted to respond to you before I leave. I have three important appointments today and I won't be home until this afternoon. I live in Los Angeles so there's a time difference as well.
So...I'm turning off the "comments moderation feature" so other people can respond directly to you. When I come home, I'll read what they've said, and see what I might add. Hang in there!