Unique perspective of a women with Bipolar Disorder and a Master's degree in psychology. Posts include summaries of current research, essays on experiencing and managing bipolar disorder and data on mood over time, in relation to medication compliance and other aspects of health.
Wednesday, May 20, 2009
What Is Hypomania?
Hypomania is a sub-manic state, which, along with one or more episodes of major depression, warrants a Bipolar II diagnosis (as opposed with Bipolar I -- full-blown mania with or without depression).
Symptoms of hypomania may include optimism, pressure of speech (talking fast), a high level of activity, and decreased need for sleep. Some people also experience increased creativity, but on the negative side, they can also display poor judgment and be very irritable. Hypomanics are usually able to function socially and in their work-life and do not manifest the psychoses that can be part of an all-out manic episode.
Many of the symptoms of hypomania are within the spectrum of 'normal' behavior, so the condition is tricky to diagnose, since the person who is hypomanic typically feels great and is very productive. This good feeling can, however, when not managed, spiral out of control and cause problems in a persons life.
Although for diagnosis, those classified as Bipolar II cannot have had a true manic episode prior to diagnosis, this does not mean that mania could not occur in the future, as untreated bipolar disorder tends to worsen and become more extreme.
The DSM-IV-TR definition of hypomania is: "A distinct period of persistently elevated, expansive, or irritable mood, lasting throughout at least 4 days, that is clearly different from the usual non-depressed mood."
I am Bipolar II, so this all sounds very familiar.
Here is a link to that provides on-line free access to DSM-IV-TR disorder descriptions, from Behave Net Clinical Capsule.
Home, work, kids, doctor appointments for kids...I feel the pressure building. When I start getting very stressed the hypomania begins to feel like a bad, chaotic thing, rather than a happy, productive thing. Gotta cut down on work somehow. How??
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This blog is for informational purposes only, it is not intended to be used for the treatment of mental illness. If you are having emotional troubles, please see a mental health professional.