Inside a Hypo-Manic Episode

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“No I’m not just upset. I’m way beyond that. I’m truly enraged. I can’t stop my heart from racing and my pulse is pounding. I feel like I want to kill someone, anyone, but especially myself. I want to blow the whole world away. I feel way too much energy in me right now and I can’t sit still.

My brain is boiling and my eyes burn. My head feels like it’s about to explode and the energetic spasms in my body are thru the roof. I have to do something really quickly to stop this or I’ll do something I’ll regret later I’m sure and I don’t want to do that. But I feel so lost and disoriented and out of control. I Hate this shit.”

That was me yesterday when things were really bad. I couldn’t even write about it because I was too irrational. I wasn’t making any sense and I knew it and I had to take action, as I describe below, to keep myself from doing harm to myself or others, or just plain trash my belongings. And I still feel it today too, damnit. Why do I feel this way? It really doesn’t matter. What matters to me is How I feel.

If there are ever any times I doubt the manic part of my bipolar diagnosis it’s when I stay depressed for so long I think that part of me has gone away. It takes times like this to realign myself with my full nature to recognize that the manic part of me is still alive and well, unfortunately.

I usually stay well below the midline with my moods. I’m usually depressed or on the verge of it. It’s my default state of being. But now and then something happens to me that makes me so angry, irritable and enraged that I explode and lose it entirely. That’s when I recognize the mania that I embody as well as the depression.

Now is when I feel the Manic-depressive aspects of this damn illness. I can stop these feelings better than I can the depression because I have drugs to help me with mania and I don’t with depression. Still, I got so angry and enraged yesterday that I thought I was going to do something really bad to myself or something else. I really felt like destroying everything.

So I took a dose of my anti-psychotic and a dose of an anti-anxiety medicine and in time they calmed me down to the point of being almost comatose. I could barely move after awhile and had to lie down on the couch to decompress and just rest I was so wiped out from the drugs. But that’s a better place to be than destruction.

Technically I’m only supposed to feel Hypo-mania, not True mania, because I was originally diagnosed as Bipolar II, which doesn’t include getting truly manic, just a bit below that, which is called Hypo-mania. That’s mostly true for me in my life. But hypo-mania is just as dangerous as mania if you don’t control it. It can still kill you or make you do things you’d rather not do.

It may not last too long but it lasts long enough to totally degrade my thinking and make my life a living hell. And it’s not so easy on my partner either. He tries to help me but I get so shut down that I refuse all offers of help or suggestions of assistance. I get totally locked up in myself and I can’t move or act constructively.

This is very different from depression. When I’m depressed I feel like I deserve to just die and that’s it. I feel hopeless, discouraged, in despair, and all the rest of the stories any of you who suffer from depression know all too well. But I can see how I’m being and ask for help and receive it. I can change my moods.

Mania is very different for me. I generally lose most of my self awareness. I was barely able to hold on long enough to take drugs yesterday and if I hadn’t done that I’d have been lost for sure. I can see how when I have true mania I totally lose myself in it and can’t begin to act even as well as I did yesterday. You can’t tell you’re messed up is the thing. You think you’re normal. But you’re not…

I’d love to have a handle on these extreme mood swings I have. I guess I do have many of them if I look back at my earlier posts and see that I’ve talked about how to change your moods and thoughts many times. But right now it’s all bullshit to me and none of it is real. I’m just a mess and I feel like I’ll always be one so why bother living.

Shit, I guess I’m starting to slip back into depression even as I write this. Wow. How can I go from being so high to so low in just a few minutes?!! This is called Rapid Cycling and it’s common for a small percentage of those of us who have Bipolar disorder. It’s when we flip from one state to the other several times in a year, or in my case, in a month, a week or a day even. It happens Fast.

I also suffer from having Mixed States where I’m both too high and too low at the same time. I guess that’s what’s going on now because I feel both in my system. It’s like my whole body is flooded with chemicals that make me feel weird and out of it. Slow and draggy but hyper and antsy all at once. It’s not the drugs, it’s the Manic-Depression at work in me. It’s bio-chemical after all so why shouldn’t’ I feel it that way?

So now I’m totally screwed. I feel too hyper to sit and rest and too depressed to do anything about it. A classic state of mind for a mixed state and one I’m all too familiar with. But the fact that I’m shifting does mean that sometime soon I’ll be back to myself and be able to change this mood of mine. I’ve learned that when I feel too powerless with it all I just have to wait it out, like a bad drug trip, and it’ll change in time.

I just hope that I make it thru that time and don’t do something really stupid in the interim. I can tell I’m still on the edge with it all. I’ve even thought of deleting this whole blog because I feel so isolated in it so often. Why do I bother I wonder? No one cares… sigh. Wait! This is depressive thinking I can tell and I have to stop it. Now!

It’s amazing to me how much writing out this stuff can help me. It may not be interesting to you but it’s Real and it’s a glimpse of what I go thru on a daily or weekly basis. I do this dance a lot and it’s a hard one for all of us who have this Disorder. If you have it I suspect you’ll recognize my journey here. If not maybe you’ll understand more about what it’s like to go thru it.

In any event I hope it’s useful to someone out there. It’s been good for me to talk about it and I’m grateful for this forum to speak the things that we live with and how we are in the world. I’m Bipolar and I accept that. It’s an OK way to be much of the time, even tho it’s hell other times. In fact sometimes it really rocks so remember that too. I’ll write about that part when I’m really OK sometime, maybe. We’ll see, eh?

No longer enraged but still Hypo-manic…

Steve

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19 comments on “Inside a Hypo-Manic Episode

  1. Today i was searching, i don’t know what for, maybe its cause i feel alone, maybe its cause i’m looking for something to relate to, or maybe its answers, or maybe its connections. Thank you for sharing. Its nice know there are other people in this world who are dealing with similar things. Defiantly don’t delete your blog. Your whole first paragraph is just what i go through sometimes. In fact i’ve never read anything like this to do with hypomania. I’ve never been able to explain or people just dont understand. I get the over creative, no sleep, life just couldn’t be better feel at times too. But when i’m like what you just described thats when i do stupid things like take an overdose. I’m so out of control. When people tell me to calm down it makes me worse. I take medication for Bipolar II, but i feel its just not going to go away entirely. It defiantly has helped. but i feel the depression coming back. I’d like to write it all out of my head too, i was kinda of hoping it might help in some way. I hope that this state passes you by soon.

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    • Thank you for visiting me Katie. I hope you don’t feel quite so alone and disconnected now. It’s always good for those of us who deal with these illnesses to be supportive of each other and your visit here is a wonderful sign to me to keep on with this work and write more about what I go thru. I don’t always realize that it might be something new for someone to hear. I’m glad it’s given you a touchstone to feel that you’re not alone in this struggle. There are a lot of us out here and I do understand what you’re going thru with the bad stuff. It’s nice how creative and full of energy we get, but no one talks much about the dark side of hypo-mania. It’s hell and I went thru it the other day and just decided I had to write about it. I wish you all the best and hope you’re doing better soon. Hang in there… 😉
      peace,
      Steve

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        • Thank you so much for this feedback Katie. It means a lot to me. I was pretty scared to write this but it felt necessary to share this so others can know more of what it’s like, and for folks to connect with it as you have.
          Thanks for visiting me 😉
          Steve

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  2. Another great post Steve! A peek through the window at the complexities of life inside us. I find the worst part sometimes, is feeling alone with “it”, whatever that “it” may be. That which we experience on our side of the wall that separates and isolates us from the rest of the world. It is posts like this that remind me I am not alone. Thank you.

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    • Feeling alone is the Great Curse of this sort of illness. It’s hard to remember there are really tons of people out there who go thru similar things. We just need to talk about it and be visible so others can connect with us. I’ve just joined the Mental Health Writers Guild, the Blog for Mental Health 2014 blog, and the Bipolar Blogger Network to gain more connections and show my support of them. It’s a good thing to do for me. I’m glad you stopped by to visit me. Thank you for being there for me too!
      peace,
      Steve

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  3. You are not alone Steve. Thank you so much for sharing this as so many go through it and feel isolated–like no one understands or care. Well, I understand. The two people who posted previously understand. I’m certain a whole bunch more did also. And, most importantly, I–we CARE! Stay strong my sweet friend. ❤

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  4. Hang in there my good friend. It is marvellous how writing rows the boat with it, connects with itself and others, and delivers. Writing is a way of breathing. It is faith and courage in spadefuls, when we think we don’t have any. Thank you for this post.

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    • Thank you for such insightful input Jane. You’re right about the writing – how it has it’s own life and can bring us understanding where there seems to be none. I love your comparisons with breathing and faith. We sometimes Need to do it…
      All the best to you,
      Steve

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  5. Please don’t delete your blog, Steve. Although I don’t suffer from bipolar, I do suffer from some other mental illnesses such as depression, anxiety, ADHD, PTSD and BPD. Those symptoms come with other mental illnesses as well. I”ve trashed my room, more than once, and broke things that were important to me, by doing that. I’ve kicked holes in walls. I wanted to be dead on many occasions. I self harm, suicidal ideation is common with my mental illnesses. The reason I say not to delete this blog is because it’s very therapeutic for me to blog and maybe if you keep blogging about what it’s like to live life this way, it will become therapeutic to you, as well. You’ve read my blog. I put it all out there. I want people to know what it’s like to live with all the chronic illnesses, chronic pain, and mental illnesses. I used to journal on paper until I started blogging and I have been getting better, mentally anyway. My physical illnesses aren’t going away. I get a lot of support, kindness, and encouragement from blogging. I would have to say that therapy, lots of therapy and blogging is what has kept me alive. Please don’t give up. You matter to me and I do care and understand. I may suck at gardening, but I’m pretty good at blogging people have told me. Hang in there. A lot of people care. Take care, my friend.
    Wild Thang:)

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    • Don’t worry. I won’t delete my blog. I too have found that it’s very therapeutic for me. If you look back at some of my earliest posts you’ll see why I started this blog and how open I’ve been about my illnesses. I think it’s necessary to come out and talk about these things we go thru. I do it a lot and I’ve gotten some really kind and useful feedback. I think it’s helped others too and that’s my goal along with helping myself. Read my “30 things” post; https://nakednerves.wordpress.com/2012/11/23/30-things-about-my-invisible-illnes-you-may-not-know/. It’ll give you an idea of what all I deal with. It’s also a good exercise you might want to try out. It’s from the Invisible Illness Week people and is very good at pulling out some useful information for us to share and to know about ourselves. I have a tattoo I got to stop myself from cutting my arms and I’m suicidal often so I understand your suffering with mental illness issues. I empathize all too well.
      Thanks for all your kind words and support.
      Cheers,
      Steve

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