For the last few days I have been having hypomanic symptoms, an increase in energy and creativity and productivity alongside feeling pretty good about life itself. These are all symptoms that I thoroughly enjoy about mania, until it crashes. In this post I explain how it feels to come down from a hypomanic episode.
Hypomania vs Mania
The reason this is specifically aimed at hypomania and not mania is that the symptoms of hypomania did not cause any impaired functioning in my life which allowed me to enjoy the experience. Secondly the crash from hypomania is lesser, for me, than full blown manic episodes. The higher you go, the higher you crash.
My increased creativity and productivity came from a significant rise in my energy levels to the point of only requiring roughly 4 hours sleep. Once you crash you will generally sleep extensively to make up for this lack of rest. Your body and mind become tired from the aftermath of going so quickly for so long, like a hangover. This is incredibly frustrating to go from being overly productive to spending half of the day in bed, but this rest is important to recover from the mania.
I am unsure if I am in mild depression or if I feel slowed down due to the shift back out of hypomania but I feel slower, like my body is heavy and difficult to drag around. I woke up at 12 today and took until 4.30 to get ready. I should really clean my house up but I don’t have the desire or energy to force myself to do it right now, I am however able to get myself dressed and will be going out shortly. I am probably just coming down to normal levels and feeling the aftermath of oversleeping which can make you lethargic and trigger depression symptoms if not managed. (EDIT: No this is not normal and is definitely the onset of depressive symptoms)
Everything I wanted to pursue yesterday just feels kind of pointless to me today, like there is no way I could succeed and that I would not be good enough to try. It seems like there’s no reason to start up and I feel less passionate about my hobbies, I am surprised I am able to write about this feeling this way with such a lack of desire to do anything but I find writing helps me work through these emotions.
Not in an aggressive way but I feel being around people is too much to handle for extensive periods of time today, they take up too much of my energy, but I still want to socialise it just quickly drains me and I need to go home and rest my mind from all the conversation. Again I think the best thing to do is rest in any way your body or mind desires for a few days whilst you stabilise.
In an attempt to feel better again it is very tempting to turn to small comforts, coffee, chocolates, alcohol etc. However these should be kept to a minimum as they will come with a crash afterwards that will only make you feel worse. However some healthy comforts can be beneficial, exercise for example is a healthy coping technique to help manage depression.
Living with it
This experience overall is very frustrating, I love being hypomanic and I wish it could last longer. At the same time I am grateful that my medication takes care of it quickly to prevent full blown mania and depression. I believe that I am the most stable I will ever be on my current medication and likely will have to live with this for the rest of my life. If it is only this mild I can handle it.
EDIT – I am not recommending anybody take effort to become and/or remain hypomanic, simply being truthful and honest about my experience with Bipolar Disorder.