10 personal signs that I am hypomanic

When coming into a hypomanic or manic episode it is not always easy to realize it within ourselves.  It is not like a warning bell goes off inside us or a red light begins flashing to let us know of the danger ahead. There have been times when I have been in the episode for quite some time before I realize how bad it has gotten or before someone finally has the nerve to tell me that I am in an episode.  Unfortunately I do not always see the signs as they begin to appear.

For anyone who has been hypomanic or manic they probably understand that completely, you are probably sitting there nodding your heads because it is so familiar.   While I am sure there are others who have not experienced hypomania or mania and are sitting there reading this shaking their heads wondering how we did not see the warning signs.

But since my diagnosis and several pointed obvious hypomanic episodes I have tried to look back on the episodes and pin point any early warning signs.  Anything that should be a red flag so to speak that something may be happening.

Sometimes I feel like the signs were more obvious and that I should have known that things were beginning to go down hill, and this frustrates me.

So I have tried to see what my early signs are, and these are the ones I have come up with.  Just because I can see them now in retrospect does not necessarily mean that I will see them when they come my way again.

These things all tend to get worst the longer I am in an episode.

1.  Lack of sleep.  This is one of my biggest and most prominent signs.  Every episode that I can think of begins with not getting proper sleep.  Okay so first thoughts on this is that I should be able to tell when I am not getting enough sleep.

But first let me explain sleep for me.  I don’t sleep well anyway.  6 hours of sleep in a 24 hour period is a good night/day. And I explain it as night/day because my sleep is broken.  There are nights I do not fall asleep until 5 am, only to wake at 7:30 get my kids off to school and try to force myself into more sleep.   4-6 is what I mostly get.  Now that is not to say that there is never a night where I get more.  In the past 14 days/nights my sleep hours went something like this…… 1.5 hours, 1.5 hours, 1 hour, 30 minutes, 6 hours, 5 hours, 9 hours, 5 hours, 6 hours, 4 hours, 5 hours, 20 minutes, 3 hours and 8 hours. In case you are wondering I do mood tracking now and keeping track of the hours is one of the categories in the one I have chosen to use.

2.  Tingling.  Yes tingling….like my spidey sense is going off.  It feels like my skin is crawling, especially my arms. Everything is jittery.

3.  Ideas.  Lots and lots of ideas. Writing down ideas, researching ideas, new projects.  A passion for it. I get so fixated on something.

I get an idea and I research the heck out of it, bookmarking websites, writing down jot notes, making plans to do this, or read that, or build this, or paint that.

A few years ago I was fixated with gardening, green houses, composting, and chickens.  Yes chickens.  I had website on top of website saved in my bookmarks with information on all of these topics.  I built square foot gardening areas in my garden, I planted carrot, spinach, green peas and I don’t even know what else. I wanted a green house, but above all else I wanted chickens.  If my husband had given in we would have had them too.  But alas he did not. In retrospect I am so glad that he didn’t.

I remember seeing my doctor as we were trying to balance out the episode and the last two things he said to me before I left his office that day were:

“Do not make any big decisions while you are like this, don’t sell your house or anything.” AND “Do not get chickens.”

4.  Too many thoughts in my head. Like 10 things floating around all at once.  And by all at once, I really do mean all at once.  There is so much going on, I could be mid sentence with a thought only to have another thought invade the sentence.

5.  Lack of concentration.  This one is weird.  Because I just told you I can get fixated on something and research the heck out of it.  But other stuff I cannot concentrate on.  I am an avid reader.  But then when hypomanic I cannot read a book.  I have tried believe me.  I end up reading the first paragraph over and over and still not knowing what I read.

6.  Not being able to sit still.  I shake my legs, I squeeze my hands, I get up do something, sit back down, get up do something else.  Over and over.  When I am thinking or contemplating something I cluck my tongue.  I had a friend who told me this the first time about 3 years ago.  I had no idea I was even doing it.  I would be on the phone with her for hours at a time and when I was thinking about something or talking about it and I would click/cluck my tongue. The topic at that time was frugal living, couponing, contesting.  In one way or another I am constantly moving.  Even if it is just wiggling my toes.

7.  Heightened senses and irritability.  Hearing things louder, seeing things brighter, feeling things differently.  Sometimes even my own thoughts inside my head sound like they are extremely loud.  Sometimes the agitation is so bad that just to have someone touch my hand or sit near me makes my skin crawl and makes me want to jump up and run.  I get jumpy, quick temper, quick to get frustrated even by simple things.  The phrase “Don’t cry over spilled milk.”  yeah, I have cried over spilled milk.

8.  Talking a lot.  I talk and talk and talk.  And I talk FAST.  I talk fast on a normal day to day basis anyway.  I have always had rapid speech. But during a hypomanic phase it can get so fast that my friends and family cannot understand me and they are used to my every day rapid speech.  The last bad hypomanic episode I had I remember my husband saying “Make no wonder you cannot sleep, you cannot stop moving and talking a lot to sleep.”

9.  Increased self esteem.  Normally I have pretty low self esteem.  When hypomanic I feel like I can do anything.  That I am indispensable at work, that I can do things faster and better then others.  Or that I would have something already completed that someone else doesn’t.  These are unusual thoughts for me because when balanced I do not think like this at all.

10Paranoia.  I am afraid someone is doing something vindictive to hurt me.  I feel like people are talking about me.  During one of the hypomanic episodes I thought everyone texting on cell phones were talking about me or doing something behind my back.

So these are some of my personal signs that hypomania has set in.  They start off small.  Maybe a thought to research something or getting excited to do cleaning, maybe I cannot sit still or perhaps I am talking faster then normal and cannot stop talking.  But they always get worst over time. Everything gets more and more heightened.

For me the end of the episode brings a lot of irritability.  Frustration over little things and big things that becomes worst and worst until I crash in some frustrated way and blow up, getting upset, crying, accusatory questions and pointed remarks even towards people I love and care about more then anything else in the world.

Then I hurt and feel ashamed because I hurt them…..

What are some of the signs and symptoms that you experience while hypomanic or manic?  Do you have early warning signs?  Are you able to pin point theses warning signs and symptoms before they get too bad?

Let me know your thoughts in the comments section.  Thanks for reading.

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About bipolarwhisper

Mental health blogger. Bipolar, PTSD, OCD, Anxiety. Lover of butterflies. Risen out of the ashes like a phoenix. Survivor. Contact me at: Email: bipolarwhispers@gmail.com Twitter: @bipolarwhisper
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17 Responses to 10 personal signs that I am hypomanic

  1. Brianna says:

    Hello! I’m sorry that this comment is unrelated, but I couldn’t find another way to message you, so please feel free to delete this after. I just wanted to let you know that because I realized my lack of anonymity on my blog previously, I needed to move to a new one (that wasn’t connected to my main account.) Your comments obviously didn’t follow 😦 but they meant a lot to me! Thank you! ❤

    Liked by 1 person

    • bipolarwhisper says:

      There is a way to transfer your blog to your new account that was what I did with this one so that it was not linked to my main account as well. Not sure if that was what you did or not. I had just created it so there was nothing to switch over just the name/address type thing. But thank you very much for letting me know, and I am glad to hear that my comments meant a lot. 🙂

      Like

  2. Melinda says:

    I was reading this and nodding my head with nearly every sentence. My mania phases are very much the same, especially the rapid speech, lack or concentration and heightened senses.
    Very well written 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • bipolarwhisper says:

      Thank you. It is very easy as someone who as also went through it to see and understand, sometimes I wish the people in our lives that have never experienced such a thing could only understand as easily.

      Like

  3. bpnurse says:

    I was sitting here nodding my head as I read this post. I’m in a bit of a pre-hypomanic state and can relate. You write very well. And thank you for the follow!

    Liked by 1 person

    • bipolarwhisper says:

      Thank you so much for commenting and liking. I am also in a stage of some sort, its been a weird couple of weeks. Sleeping schedule has been off and been going from balanced to mild to moderate back to balanced for a bit. Nothing serious for the most part. I think this is part of why I created Bipolar Whispers when I did. I needed to be able to write and I have a regular blog but its for other stuff and is just not cutting it for what I need right now. I look forward to reading more of your blog.

      Liked by 1 person

      • bpnurse says:

        I’ve been lucky where sleep is concerned. I sleep 8-9 hrs most nights, but then I’m on two antipsychotics AND a benzo at night so I’d *better* be sleeping! I think that’s the only thing keeping me somewhat grounded right now.

        Liked by 1 person

      • bipolarwhisper says:

        Yes it probably is keeping your just anchored enough. Some of the meds that are suppose to make people sleep seem not to work well for me, while other things that can cause some drowsiness ends up causing me to feel like I am underwater and just cannot wake up.

        Liked by 1 person

  4. Jipsi Harris says:

    This is brilliant! You have no idea how relieving it is to me to see such a well written and explained story about mania/hypomania.

    Thank you.

    Like

    • bipolarwhisper says:

      Thank you so much for the kind words and for reading my post and commenting. It is a wonderful feeling knowing something that I have written is helping someone else as well. Thank you for sharing it. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Jipsi Harris says:

    Reblogged this on Jipolar and commented:
    This is an amazingly accurate and helpful post about hypomania.

    Like

  6. Tessa says:

    Reblogged this on Tessa Can Do IT! and commented:
    This pretty much explains how I feel, but I usually don’t notice til it is pointed out to me.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Pingback: Mania Check List | Bipolar Whispers

  8. I really got a lot out of this.

    Tingles! I never put it together but I get them too.

    I love the whole chicken thing!! That’s hilarious!!

    I know what you mean about super concentrated. I recently got into internet business and read and read and researched and researched. At the same time thinking I could so anything I made a bunch of websites and became so overwhelmed I scrapped it all. I’m starting over this time I’m scheduling my time to work smarter instead of harder and taking one project at a time!

    Liked by 1 person

    • bipolarwhisper says:

      Thank you for coming to my blog and taking the time to read and comment.

      I never put two and two together with the tingles until a long time after. I was going through my mind after a particularly bad mania and was trying to pin point my warning signs while I was still balanced. Tingles were there every time. Probably seems like a weird sign symptom to some people but it is definitely there for me, like electricity or spidy senses lol.

      The chicken thing was sooo bad, I was in this mind set and that was all I could think about was gardening, green houses and chickens. If my husband had said yes I know I would have had some. And I know that would have been bad because once the mania was over I would probably be wondering what the heck I did. lol.

      I do the same as you described, I get so caught up in something there is so much information and then I crash and want nothing to do with it.

      Again thanks for visiting, and thanks so much for the chat 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  9. Ettedja says:

    Relate to all of this, amusing but embarrassing at the same time. Other signs for me are …

    No appetite – can walk around a supermarket and not find one thing I feel like eating

    Huge surge in sex drive

    I “feel” music, need to listen to music, discover new music. It brings powerful waves of emotion.

    Fascination with language, new vocabulary and use of metaphors – my daughter with Aspergers loves this part.

    Sensation my life is part of a film, there is so much meaning in every moment. Like a highly emotive soundtrack is always playing in the background.

    Liked by 1 person

    • bipolarwhisper says:

      Hi and thanks for reading my blog and commenting.

      I completely agree with the amusing but embarrassing. I feel the same way. Looking back at some of the times when I have been manic I just have to shake my head and move on.

      The no appetite thing for me happens too. I tend to go from one extreme to the other with eating. Either I eat way too often or I don’t eat at all.

      I have only ever had the huge surge in my sex drive once while manic and that was this year.

      The music thing I completely get, I was completely caught up in music by P!nk for a while and Metallica for a while. I would play it constant and write while it played. The last time I was really hypomanic/manic I listened to the same song over and over for a 45 minute drive to my doctor and 45 minutes back. This was at the point when I knew I needed a medication adjustment and was told by family and friends that I was not well.

      My fascination with language is probably different than yours. The last time it was kinda bad was when I started this blog. I kept comparing, and using metaphors and similes and analogies.

      I do not think I have ever felt the film thing per say. I tend to read things into things that are not there….or at least I do not think they are there.

      That must be a somewhat interesting one.

      I hope that you are having a fantastic day and I look forward to hearing from you again 🙂

      Like

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