The first time I ever experienced hypomania came shortly after a medication dose increase. I woke up one morning and felt like a great weight had been lifted from my shoulders. The world around me was vibrant, alive and inviting, like it had been waiting for me for so long. It gave me a sense of excitement and positivity that emanated deep into my soul.
I was miraculously recharged and for the first time in months, I was ready to start living again.
I felt amazing.
Thoughts began to fire through my mind at lightning speed and there were many things that I wanted to do right away. Projects I would start but never get finished because my mind would be easily distracted to start something new, but I still felt a sense of accomplishment in my productivity.
The energy I experienced was very intense. The best way that I can describe this energy is if you drank a pot of coffee every hour. If I stopped to sit, I felt like I could jump out of my skin. Within a few days I had stopped sleeping entirely. I remember trying to rid some of the energy by enduring long grueling workout sessions on the elliptical machine.
It didn’t matter.
Friends and family noticed my change in moods almost instantly. I remember them telling me how happy I was and talkative. It convinced me that everyone liked me more, even my few months old son who I had such a horrible time bonding with.
He finally loved me.
All this made me feel extremely giddy and I would burst out in hysterical laughter when I would think about how wonderful I felt and how beautiful the world was. I didn’t think that there was anything wrong with what I was feeling at all but there was a downside to this euphoria.
Extreme agitation and paranoia.
I would fly off the handle on complete strangers for no good reason. Once a woman had rammed a cart into my heels at a grocery store and I had humiliated not only her by my extreme outburst of yelling and name calling, but myself and my husband.
Then there was the constant fear that someone was coming to take my son away because they thought that I was a bad mother.
The day my husband put his foot down and dragged me to my psychiatrist’s office, I was convinced that someone had been in the house while I was taking a shower and I could “smell” them. When my husband said that no one was in the house I became combative and started swinging at him.
That day I was diagnosed as being hypomanic. I can’t remember exactly what the treatment plan was. I believe I was weaned off of the anti-depressant which sparked the episode and it took me a few weeks to recover.
While these symptoms of elation and energy seem very enticing especially when you have been feeling so ill I assure you that being hypomanic can be extremely dangerous. Please I urge you if you do have any of these symptoms let your doctor know immediately. Hypomania can lead to severe crashes and even mania itself.