Hypomania

June 8, 2008 at 12:04 am 7 comments

We tell ourselves stories and we never know how true they are. Is the fact I’m feeling great at the moment a pathological symptom, or a sign of recovery? Although I know that the question “Is this the real me?” is meaningless (what does it mean by ‘real’ anyway), that doesn’t stop me wondering. I’m confident, sociable and filled with energy. I don’t need much sleep and don’t get hungry. I am the very picture of a happy hypomaniac.

So if I tell myself I’m hypomanic at the moment, I confirm that these feelings are part of the disease. This is not the real me. According to my therapist, I switch between depressed and hypomanic states when either becomes unsustainable, when the coping strategies that either represent fail. She asked me where I want to be emotionally. I think somewhere around here would be good, but without the unreasonableness and selfishness that hypomania seems to evolve into. This is the real me, but only a part of me. I am not my coping strategies.

I take the medication and it seems to make me feel better. But I started feeling this way a few days before the first tablet. If I tell myself the medication is responsible, does that make it work? Is the lamotrigine responsible for this present hypomania, or am I waiting for it to kick in and bring my moods under control? I’m a group of one, a single data point. The irony of medications is you can only ever tell what they do on average.

It’s been maybe a month and I don’t recognise the depressed guy from before. The things that were impossible to him seem easy. I was in a big shopping mall on a Saturday afternoon and wasn’t at all fazed by the crowds. I went to a rock club for an hour or so and had awesome fun while completely sober. How can anyone find it difficult to be around people? I know, but I can’t remember how it felt.

Are there people who feel like this all the time? Is this the way I’d be in the absence of depression? I’m having intense and disturbing dreams. I just took my first 100mg tablet of lamotrigine.

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More Lamotrigine Secret Resentments of the Low-Level Service Industry Employee

7 Comments Add your own

  • 1. exactscience  |  June 8, 2008 at 12:27 pm

    I spent three years trying to figure out if I had a disease or if it was just the way I am wired, then I was given a diagnosis. Now I wonder at what point is it I am asymptomatic.

    I am glad you are feeling well.

  • 2. Margaret  |  June 9, 2008 at 7:31 am

    Seize the day. Enjoy it while it lasts, however long it lasts.

  • 3. aikaterine  |  June 9, 2008 at 9:02 pm

    Not that you need to be told this; but, the lamitrogine should be kicking in a bit now. I remember being hypomanic for a while when I first started it. After a few months I levelled out a bit. Just don’t do anything stupid.

  • 4. experimental chimp  |  June 9, 2008 at 11:32 pm

    exactscience: I think everyone has these kinds of thoughts. I wonder if it’s more about responsibility than anything else. If my moods are my own, then I’m in some way responsible for them. If they’re not part of me, then I’m only responsible for dealing with them as best I can.

    Margaret: I am! It’s so great having energy to do stuff and not worrying about being around people.

    Aikaterine: It doesn’t appear to be yet. I’ve only been on it for a month though. Took my third 100mg dose tonight. I don’t appear to be at the point where I’ve lost any insight (although I would say that, really). My therapist should notice if I do, I hope.

  • 5. Pole to Polar: The Secret Life of a Manic Depressive  |  June 11, 2008 at 10:17 pm

    Ah, the hypomanic selective memory of not even being able to imagine what depression was like.

  • […] ‘Hypomania’; June 8, 2008 “But my experience of life today has been mostly suicidal. Not the big, loud, exciting kind of suicidal, but the quiet this is all pointless and I want to die kind, with maybe a shade of hey, you have a rope here right now so why wait?. Not so much of that last bit as to make me feel that it’s a realistic possibility in the near future, but enough to make me wonder if cutting would make me feel better.” […]

  • […] ‘Hypomania’; June 8, 2008 “But my experience of life today has been mostly suicidal. Not the big, loud, exciting kind of suicidal, but the quiet this is all pointless and I want to die kind, with maybe a shade of hey, you have a rope here right now so why wait?. Not so much of that last bit as to make me feel that it’s a realistic possibility in the near future, but enough to make me wonder if cutting would make me feel better.” […]

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Hi, I'm James. I'm a 26 year old guy from England with bipolar disorder (currently well controlled). I also have a circadian rhythm sleep disorder (not so well controlled). This blog has charted my journey from mental illness, through diagnosis and, recently, into recovery. It's not always easy, but then, what is?

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As of 12th September 2008 it has been forty five weeks since I quit smoking. So in another seven weeks it'll have been a whole year.

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