Why a Hypomanic Episode Doesn’t Actually Help You Function

Why a Hypomanic Episode Doesn’t Actually Help You FunctionHypomanic episodes may seem to be helpful, because you experience a season of extreme creativity and productivity. But there are great risks to hypomania that must be understood. In order to grasp the importance of these risks, an introductory explanation of hypomania is needed.

Hypomanic Episodes Explained

According to 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 classic symptoms of a hypomanic episode include:

  • Exaggerated self-esteem
  • Decreased need for sleep
  • Increased talkativeness
  • Racing thoughts or ideas
  • Marked distractibility
  • Agitation
  • Excessive sexual indiscretions
  • Impulsive business investments

Also accompanying these hypomanic episodes is an increase in creativity or problem solving. It is this creative burst that is often seen as a valuable asset. It is not an exaggeration to state that experiencing hypomania at an opportune time could result in being seen positively in the work or school environment. However, the risks must be considered as well.

Hypomania Is a Mental Illness

Hypomania is on the mood scale that includes bipolar disorder and severe depression. Failure to treat hypomania can lead to an increase in episodes, emotional instability, or an expansion of hypomania into a fuller expression of bipolar disorder. This opens an individual up to risks like psychosis or fully manic episodes.

Additionally, the lack of inhibitions typical of hypomania can have significant and severe repercussions. Consider for a moment the damage that could be done to a marriage if a hypomanic episode leads to sexual fidelity, and the damage to your finances if you invest in an unsound business opportunity in this state.

If you make the decision while in a hypomanic state to purchase a home, depending on the length of the episode and the quickness of the transaction, you may be stuck with a mortgage you didn’t want or can’t afford.

Consider Seeking Treatment

There are a number of pharmacological options for those suffering from hypomanic episodes:

  • Lithium: This simple medication has been used for more than sixty years to treat the symptoms of all types of bipolar disorder. It is particularly useful in managing the highs, thus its usefulness for hypomanic episodes.
  • Depakote: Depakote is helpful as a rescue medication of sorts, used to level out moods in the midst of a hypomania moment.
  • Lamictal: Lamictal is a maintenance medication for adult with any permutation of bipolar disorder. It delays both the frequency and length of depressive and hypomanic episodes.
  • A variety of other antiepileptic medications have proven to be helpful in managing the symptoms of hypomania in the midst of an episode.
  • Antipsychotics have proven to be helpful in limiting the frequency and duration of hypomanic episodes, despite the fact that these episodes are by definition not psychotic in nature.
  • A variety of antidepressants are useful in drawing an individual away from the highs and lows, and more toward the middle of the mood spectrum. However, some have an unintended effect of increasing the hypomanic episodes.

Psychotherapy has also been shown to be useful in the treatment of hypomania. Cognitive behavior therapy is particularly helpful in changing the thoughts and actions surrounding a hypomanic episode. Regardless of how you approach this condition, the important thing is that you do not ignore it. The risks you face are too high to just let it go, or to simply use the hyperactivity to your advantage.

A Change in Mindset Is Necessary

Another thing to consider about hypomanic episodes is that reliance upon them is unhealthy in the long term. If you are waiting for the hypomanic episode to “catch you up” at work or in school, then you run the risk of falling too far behind in in the meantime. You and your colleagues will grow to depend upon you coming through at the last minute. This perceived or actual lagging will be noticed by you and others, and can potentially lead to an increase in stress. Thus, an unhealthy cycle is developed as you grow to lean upon these episodes just to keep up. Furthermore, individuals with mood disorders often self-medicate to regulate their moods with prescription drugs like Lorcet. This can lead to even more complications and result in dependence and addiction.

Find Help Today

If you are struggling with hypomania and addiction, call our toll-free helpline today. We can help you. We can answer your questions. Our admission counselors are available 24 hours a day to help you learn more about addiction and mental health. They can help you find your way.