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How can you tell if it's hypomania or happiness (bipolar II)

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How can you tell if it's hypomania or happiness (bipolar II)

Postby sicksadgrrrl » Sat Aug 03, 2019 6:33 am

disclosure: my therapist thinks i have bipolar II. not looking for a diagnosis as I'm already talking to a professional but I would like to know your experiences (could be mania or hypomania).

skip to the bottom if you don't wanna read!

So for the past few years I've had bipolar II as this diagnosis lingering over my head but I feel like I don't identify with a lot of other people's experiences. I don't really know if I've ever experienced racing thoughts or if I'm talkative. I have social anxiety so I'm extremely to myself and super quiet. I've always been that way so I don't know if my behavior changes in the eye of the public. Also, I don't think the feeling of euphoria is how I would describe what a possible episode would be like if that's what they even are. I just get really content with life. Like my life could be falling apart (at home, school, etc.) and I would not care. I feel hopeful for the future. I feel beautiful and I'm narcissistic. I feel like I could take on becoming a model or being famous in the future. I have these thoughts that the world was crafted just for me. Like I am the center of the universe almost. Like I'm the main character in a movie. I spend a lot of time making lists and writing out my thoughts and opinions and feelings. And I get more creative I think. I feel more confident. I have the lowest self-esteem but while feeling content, I'm able to walk around without looking down or feeling insecure. And I notice people looking at me more!! but I don't call my friends at 3 am or get super interested in sex.

This lasted for like 3 months until I experienced the worst depression of my entire life and towards the end of it I was very irritable and angry and thought I was better than other people for some reason? Now getting to the question, how can you tell when/if you're just happy in life (I had just gotten out of being super depressed when it started so I thought it was me recovering and getting back to normal).

I asked my friends during this time if I was acting different and they all said no so I felt like maybe it was all no big deal and just normal happiness. Symptoms that I don't really identify with are racing thoughts, being talkative (although I think I could spend hours talking to myself out loud alone just not to other people), and not needing sleep (there were times where my body was tired but my mind was awake but I'm not sure if this was all the time). I also sleep really late anyway and pull frequent all-nighters so I wasn't sure if it was different. but I definitely was more productive, confident, had plans, and was super distracted. The last time something like this happened was around the same time last year (lasted a month) except that time I was super impulsive before feeling content with life (example-I randomly cut my own hair because meredith grey had bangs in the early seasons of grey's anatomy and I was jealous of her)

The way people describe their experiences is just different from mine. I've always taken those online quizzes for fun and a lot of them say there isn't indication that I have this disorder. I have a feeling that what I experience is just me recovering from depression and feeling happy that it's over (even though I do know that it's not my regular behavior). What are the signs that you think distinguish you being at a regular level and being hypomanic/manic? and are there any symptoms you don't experience either? Also, are you aware you are symptomatic during an episode? or are you oblivious until someone says something?
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Re: How can you tell if it's hypomania or happiness (bipolar II)

Postby Son » Sat Aug 03, 2019 8:56 am

for me its the energy level. if I am just content, slept well, feel rested after 8-9 hours, am patient etc then I'm happy. BUT. if everything is more colorful, music is more meaningful and intense, I talk just a little faster, feel restless, am excitable, have sooooo much to do, gotta move and walk, got 6 or less hours of sleep and don't need more, and feel like the sun is shining down just for me, it's hypomania.
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Re: How can you tell if it's hypomania or happiness (bipolar II)

Postby sicksadgrrrl » Mon Aug 05, 2019 5:58 am

Son wrote:for me its the energy level. if I am just content, slept well, feel rested after 8-9 hours, am patient etc then I'm happy.
The thing is that for me I usually get 5-6 hrs every night in general and never feel rested. that's really good that you can tell. i probably have been misdiagnosed or something.
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Re: How can you tell if it's hypomania or happiness (bipolar II)

Postby Son » Wed Aug 07, 2019 8:56 am

sicksadgrrrl wrote:
Son wrote:for me its the energy level. if I am just content, slept well, feel rested after 8-9 hours, am patient etc then I'm happy.
The thing is that for me I usually get 5-6 hrs every night in general and never feel rested. that's really good that you can tell. i probably have been misdiagnosed or something.


keep in mind it's different for everyone. I know a guy that gets by on 4 hours of sleep and works 2 jobs, is not bipolar, and is fine with it. its all relative. I know for me 8-9 is normal, less is hypo, and 4 or less is the beginning of mania. whereas 13-15 hours is depression. it might very well be different for you.
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Re: How can you tell if it's hypomania or happiness (bipolar II)

Postby quietgirl2538 » Sun Aug 25, 2019 3:02 pm

I've recently experienced a period of hypomania. I felt elated and joyful in an intense manner. Felt like nothing could go wrong. Wanted to share all this happiness with everyone. Nothing could get me down from this 'high' that seemed so wonderful. I moved faster at things, smiled more. Mundane tasks seemed so simple and brought such joy to me. I thought it was surely an answer to my prayers from God. My mind was racing. Many random thoughts with every conversation I had and had to try really hard to stick with the topic instead of say things like the sun shone ever so brightly and warm. I only had so much self-control as I kept changing topics with my mind moving from one thought to the next. In an instant or what seemed like less time. This lasted days. But to be honest I didn't have the speech where you almost can't make sense. The sound of it. Then I sunk into a deep depression that continues today. I suspected hypomania but wasn't sure until I looked back and saw how overly optimistic I felt and acted. And also I figure in that the depression following that episode of hypomania seemed like up and down of mood in an extreme manner for days at a time. At this time, I am hanging on to see and feel level headed again. My depression exists.

Mania. I am simply oblivious to it. Don't even suspect it and laugh at the idea it could be that. I feel everything to be right and buying or sending messages of love or things like that are normal and I can't understand what could possibly be wrong with that. Then later I think clearly and see how I was not in control. My mania took over and it was out of my control. That wasn't too bad of an episode of mania, but I've had several that were indeed terrible.

I forget I even have bipolar. I seem to function so well in life. Then I get hit with terrible depressions that seem to come out of nowhere and I am reminded that I do have this terrible illness.

Do you want to talk some more on here about symptoms? What other questions can you think of?
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Re: How can you tell if it's hypomania or happiness (bipolar II)

Postby saucygirl31 » Sat Sep 07, 2019 7:28 pm

feel rested on 3 hours, colors more vivid, singing songs stuck in my head, racing thoughts, hypersexuality, impulsive spending, laughing at everything, pressure to speak, sometimes paranoia, remembering my dreams, increase desire to do drugs, etc.
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Re: How can you tell if it's hypomania or happiness (bipolar II)

Postby quietgirl2538 » Wed Apr 01, 2020 1:47 pm

quietgirl2538 wrote:I've recently experienced a period of hypomania. I felt elated and joyful in an intense manner. Felt like nothing could go wrong. Wanted to share all this happiness with everyone. Nothing could get me down from this 'high' that seemed so wonderful. I moved faster at things, smiled more. Mundane tasks seemed so simple and brought such joy to me. I thought it was surely an answer to my prayers from God. My mind was racing. Many random thoughts with every conversation I had and had to try really hard to stick with the topic instead of say things like the sun shone ever so brightly and warm. I only had so much self-control as I kept changing topics with my mind moving from one thought to the next. In an instant or what seemed like less time. This lasted days. But to be honest I didn't have the speech where you almost can't make sense. The sound of it. Then I sunk into a deep depression that continues today. I suspected hypomania but wasn't sure until I looked back and saw how overly optimistic I felt and acted. And also I figure in that the depression following that episode of hypomania seemed like up and down of mood in an extreme manner for days at a time. At this time, I am hanging on to see and feel level headed again. My depression exists.


I was seriously thinking that this was indeed hypomania. I am not sure, but with hypomania you may not need that speech that is described with mania. Definitely something I'd like to ask the pdoc on my next visit.
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Re: How can you tell if it's hypomania or happiness (bipolar II)

Postby turnaround » Mon Jul 13, 2020 9:37 am

For me, there's a huge difference. Happiness = amiable, a calmness in the head, general goodwill to all, my plans are realistic, and I can lounge around the house having a pyjama day & just enjoy chewing the fat with family. I go out (pre-Covid haha), maybe have a few extra beers & dance around then go home. But the biggest thing is that if I don't get enough sleep, I really feel it, I'm grouchy the next day, I need more coffee & when I get home I'm all "Right, off to bed, need to catch up on the zzzzs". In other words, I'm a normal human being.

Hypomania is way different. Over a few weeks, my sleep dries up. I don't recognise it at first, but the grouchiness starts. Then I get irritable. Very impatient, cannot concentrate. I get suspicious that something's swinging up or down. And (and I challenge anybody on here who denies they do the same thing because after knowing how awful depressions are, it’s hard not to welcome a pleasant high)…I admit to thinking Oooooh when I think I’m going up.

For me, what comes after several weeks of horrible, increasing irritability is the final, sudden, breakthrough into euphoria when I get no more than 1-2 hours of sleep but I don’t feel tired. I simply don't need it. This is the classic indicator separating regular, healthy rising & falling moods from hypomania/mania. Then the colours start to glow. Man, it gets to the part where I’m just entranced by traffic lights. I fell in love with a girl once because her hair was glowing blonde. Once I even got engaged to a guy whose passport was due to expire a few days down the line & he’d have to go back to Hong Kong...he wanted a UK passport. Phew, I just about extricated myself from that one. And don’t get me started on a summer sunset. As for music…wow…it’s like the sound of heaven. I can literally hear the silence between each note, the music itself is exceptional. So I’d say much-heightened sensory perceptions & impulsiveness relative to your normal functions.

And, oh yes, the post-high crash. FFS get that high under control ASAP because the further up you go, the harder the bump when you land. And this bump is HARD.
CJ

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