View Full Version : When Hypomania Turns Harmful


Daydreamin22
11-18-13, 08:59 PM
Found this article about Hypomania and wanted to share.

http://www.health.harvard.edu/press_releases/when-hypomania-turns-harmful
Q. Recently I've been staying up until 3 or 4 in the morning to work on my oil paintings. I know I should feel tired, but I don't. One of my friends said that I might be hypomanic. What is that?

A. Hypomania is usually described as a mood state or energy level that is elevated above normal, but not so extreme as to cause impairment — the most important characteristic distinguishing it from mania. In fact, the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, Fourth Edition (DSM-IV) criteria for hypomania and mania are almost identical.

The word hypomanic tends to confuse some people, because of the "hypo" prefix. Hypo (from the Greek) means "under," and it is used in this case because this mood state is under, or less manic, than mania. But, compared with normal mood, hypomania is actually higher.

The decreased need for sleep that you describe is one of the hallmarks of hypomania. Some people who are hypomanic sleep only a few hours a day, and yet they say they feel rested. At the same time, many creative people are energetic and while they are in the "flow" may need less sleep than normal. That does not necessarily mean they (or you) are hypomanic except in an informal, descriptive sense.

The formal DSM-IV diagnostic criteria for hypomania require at least three of the following symptoms for at least four days: inflated self-esteem or grandiosity; decreased need for sleep; increased talkativeness; racing thoughts or ideas; marked distractibility; agitation or increased activity; excessive participation in activities that are pleasurable but invite personal or fiscal harm (shopping sprees, sexual indiscretions, impulsive business investments, and the like). For mania, the symptoms are mostly the same, except that the DSM-IV specifies that they last at least one week, lead to hospitalization, or include psychotic symptoms (a break with reality).

Hypomania can occur on its own, whereas mania by definition occurs only in conjunction with bipolar disorder. Moreover, the presence of mania is also what differentiates the two major types of bipolar disorder from one another. In type 1 bipolar disorder, a person usually experiences alternating episodes of depression and mania; in type 2 bipolar disorder — generally considered less severe — a person alternates between depression and hypomania, and has never experienced mania.

If you truly have none of the other symptoms described above, then maybe you are one of the lucky people who can burn the midnight oil without troubling consequences. I have a very productive and successful friend who says he simply never feels tired and is fine with much less sleep than experts recommend. I envy, at the very least, that he has more waking hours to enjoy his life!

But if you run into trouble because of the sleeplessness — it might show up in periods of depressed mood, or relationships or work may suffer, or you may notice some of the other hallmarks of hypomania — then you may want to see a clinician to undergo a psychiatric evaluation and receive treatment.

Severe episodes of hypomania may require mood stabilizers used in treating mania. For mild or moderate episodes, however, it may be possible for a person to deal with hypomania by adopting basic healthy lifestyle habits. That means eating regular meals, doing physical activity every day (a great way to burn off some extra energy), and trying to get at least seven or eight hours of sleep per night. It may also help to learn to recognize common triggers of hypomania, such as sleep deprivation or too much caffeine.

— Michael Craig Miller, M.D.
Editor in Chief, Harvard Mental Health Letter

December 2010

Artists, entrepreneurs, and other creative people tend to be energetic and inventive, bursting with new ideas, and more than ready to talk about them. These are also some of the characteristics of hypomania, reports the Harvard Mental Health Letter. Hypomania is a mood state or energy level that is markedly higher than "normal" but not as extreme as the mania that accompanies bipolar disorder.

The hallmarks of hypomania include exaggerated self-esteem, decreased need for sleep, increased talkativeness, racing thoughts or ideas, marked distractibility, agitation, and excessive participation in pleasurable activities that tend to invite personal or financial harm, such as sexual indiscretions or impulsive business investments.

In moderation, the characteristics of hypomania can contribute to creativity or make someone the life of a party. But when they harm an individual's quality of life by interfering with relationships or jeopardizing finances, it's time to seek help, advises Dr. Michael Miller, editor in chief of the Harvard Mental Health Letter. For mild or moderate episodes of hypomania, a person can often remain on an even keel by concentrating on basic healthy lifestyle habits—eating regular meals, doing physical activity every day (a great way to burn off some extra energy), and trying to get at least seven or eight hours of sleep per night. Severe hypomanic episodes, in contrast, may require a mood-stabilizing medication.

Daydreamin22
12-09-13, 10:06 AM
I wanna rock and roll all night. And party every day.

sarahsweets
12-29-13, 08:37 AM
In moderation, the characteristics of hypomania can contribute to creativity or make someone the life of a party. But when they harm an individual's quality of life by interfering with relationships or jeopardizing finances, it's time to seek help

this couldnt be more true.

mirandatoritess
12-29-13, 03:25 PM
Probably the impulsiveness. When I get into a similar state, I am way more impulsive which by extension can lead to dangerous activites.

Rebelyell
12-29-13, 03:37 PM
If it ever turns dangerous for me ill guess theyll be reading bout me in the papers in one way or the other. Lol

Daydreamin22
01-06-14, 02:23 PM
I'm still not at all clear what's hypomania yet. I am going to state figuring that out.

Daydreamin22
01-06-14, 07:44 PM
*not clear what is and isn't Hypomania
*start

Daydreamin22
01-14-14, 04:52 AM
But if you run into trouble because of the sleeplessness — it might show up in periods of depressed mood, or relationships or work may suffer, or you may notice some of the other hallmarks of hypomania — then you may want to see a clinician to undergo a psychiatric evaluation and receive treatment.

That^ definitely got me. Weird to see it listed as part of hypomania. I blamed myself. My ex bf did too. We both wouldn't have fathomed it was actually normal behavior for me.

Rebelyell
01-14-14, 05:02 AM
your ex bf sounds like a real buffoon an @sshole to boot.

Daydreamin22
01-14-14, 05:10 AM
We had a great relationship until our boss started to torture me. I figured out that he couldn't see through the whole thing. It sucks because she ruined it. I still suspect she wanted to. It's just a matter of whether the facial expressions I saw when no one was around were really what they looked like. She couldn't control her feelings, that's for sure. She made up lies about things. She had no shame. mean stairs, walking toward me and everything. What a weirdo. I couldn't deal.

fracturedstory
01-14-14, 06:06 AM
Yeah, my over spending has eventually led to a depressed mood.

Daydreamin22
01-14-14, 09:51 PM
Yeah, my over spending has eventually led to a depressed mood.

I'm sorry. I remember you talking about that. I did the same thing on ebay. My sister was realizing it wasn't normal, and bc I had a sound mind still and had made the decision to do that, I was honestly trying to get her to see that I knew what was going on and i'm not going crazy. The different part was the behavior I felt like doing bc of the hypomania... I guess...somethin like that...

Rebelyell
01-14-14, 11:10 PM
next time I have a manic episode Im gonna fire up my kx 500 do some practice laps around the yard rip it wide open and jump my house or the neighbors house:D

Daydreamin22
01-15-14, 01:19 AM
I wanna rock and roll all night. And party every day.
and/or.. "It's my party and I'll cry if I want to.".... haah


Still figuring out this whole Hypomania thing after just being diagnosed and medicated for add as well. It would be a lot easier if I was feeling good about life events instead of recovering yet again from another self defense fail. I think i'm good to go after this boss. I read up and did a lot of learning and observing. I would have liked to have been able to do my job... but she also tinkered with that... I believe she did anyway. bleh. Can't wait till things all get sorted out.

Daydreamin22
03-15-14, 12:14 AM
Reality check
Hypomania got harmful before I knew I was being harmful.
My family wasn't there and I worked all morning with 2 yr olds then with adolescents. I love them all, but didn't think ab side effects and didn't know I had them at first. I'm still confused about it. I'm donezo. My natural Hypomania was different.