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Why a Hypomanic Episode Doesn’t Actually Help You Function

Why a Hypomanic Episode Doesn’t Actually Help You Function

During a hypomanic episode you may feel fully functional but you are in an unstable mental state and this can lead to bad decisions

Bipolar disorder is a debilitating condition that gets in the way of work, relationships and your ability to function, but not all symptoms feel impaired. During a hypomanic episode you may feel happy, better about yourself and more social, but that does not mean you are functioning better. Hypomanic episodes may seem like a positive symptom, but when you are hypomanic you are not clear-minded. You cannot make the same choices you would make if you were in your normal state of mind and this makes a hypomanic episode equally as bad as other symptoms of bipolar disorder.

What is a Hypomanic Episode?

Also known as hypomania, hypomanic episodes are not a mental disorder but a symptom of bipolar disorder and may also be caused by medications (especially antidepressants) or drug abuse. During a hypomanic state, you experience disinhibition and a constant elevated, irritable or euphoric mood. While the symptoms exhibited are not as severe as manic states or other psychoses, you are not in a normal state of mind and are more likely to engage in risky behavior or make bad decisions.

Hypomania can be deceiving because it can feel pleasurable and does not seem to lower your ability to function. During a hypomanic state you do not need as much sleep, you feel more outgoing and creative, have more energy and still function fully. While you do not feel the same grandiosity as a manic state, hypomania does induce a sort of confidence or disinhibition that affects the way you think. Your abilities are not actually greater when you are hypomanic, but you feel more confident in yourself and this can cause you to take risks or make decisions you would not make in a normal state.

Dangers of Hypomania

How you feel during a hypomanic state can vary, but even if you feel more positive or capable than usual you are still in an unstable mental state. When you are hypomanic you do not make logical decisions and are more likely to do things such as engage in casual or unsafe sex, abuse drugs or other activities that can be harmful to you and others around you. Hypomania can cause physical harm to yourself and the lasting effects of rashly made decisions can affect you in the future. One bad decision during a hypomanic state can be enough to land you in jail, the hospital or result in other damaging consequences.

Preventing Hypomanic Episodes

Hypomanic episodes can be caused by a number of things but luckily they are largely preventable. There is no medication that can stop hypomania but with a few changes you can take the steps needed to prevent symptoms from occurring.

If you experience hypomania more than once, you should speak with your doctor and get help determining the cause. Hypomania can be caused by changing antidepressant medications, so maintaining a stable dose is important if you have a prescription. If you are trying to find the right medication, work closely with your doctor in order to limit the number of drugs you try until you find what works best for you. Abusing drugs such as amphetamines or steroids can cause a hypomanic state but can be prevented by ending your abuse. If you suffer from addiction you need to seek addiction treatment in order to quit and avoid further hypomania. Hypomania may also be a sign of a mental disorder such as bipolar type I or II. Your doctor can help you figure out what is causing your symptoms to occur and give you further instruction on how to prevent them from persisting.

Finding Treatment for Bipolar Disorder

Hypomanic episodes are a common symptom of bipolar disorder and there is a decent chance if you experience hypomania regularly that you may be bipolar. With therapy and medication your bipolar symptoms can be minimized and you will be able to function normally again. The only way to improve your condition is to talk with a therapist so you can learn about bipolar disorder and how to manage your symptoms.

If you experience hypomanic episodes regularly, call our toll-free helpline today to speak with an expert who will direct you to a treatment center where you can get help. We are here for you 24 hours a day to provide the answers to all your questions about bipolar disorder and how to reduce your hypomanic symptoms. If your hypomania is caused by drugs or alcohol we can help you find treatment for addiction as well. Your health insurance may help pay for rehab or therapy so be sure to have your policy information on-hand when you phone in. Call today so you can get the treatment you need to end hypomanic episodes and function normally again.