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This is the eye of the hurricane. This is a full confrontation with your demons. It's the point of no return, yet at the same time it's where you find your spirit and your courage. It's the end of the line, the lowest of the low. It's the full stop at the end of a wild sentence. It's the carriage return before a new paragraph in your life.

It's a stress induced hypomanic episode that's escalated into a massive panic attack and the heart is struggling to cope with the pressure. You're on your own with only that soothing light bulb for company. You stare at it, trance-like. You don't even realise anyone else is in the room, let alone a team of doctors injecting your arm with large amounts of Haloperido and Benzodiazepines to stop you going into arrest.

It all feels quite peaceful even though you are aware that you are sweating on the outside. On the inside you feel compelled to let everything else go and fade into the comfort of the light bulb. Leave everything behind and go.
But you can hear your mum faintly crying in the background. She's outside the room with the nurses and she's in distress because she knows you're dying. She feels it. Her tears and her stressed vocal chords strike a note inside your soul, your connection with each other helps you decide you cannot leave her like this. No one wants to out live their son.

So this life conquers the next life, in terms of unfinished business. At the same time as this monumental concept explodes in your consciousness, the drugs injected by the diligent medical staff begin to take effect but you've already made your choice to stay. The body relaxes, the mind seeps into gentle unconsciousness and the episode is over. You live, to fight another day. The confrontation is complete and you are infinitely stronger for surviving, full stop.

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Stay curious. Stay well.
Posted by: hypomanic | December 15, 2013

I’ve changed my mind. Posted by: hypomanic | September 5, 2013

My discharge notification letter Posted by: hypomanic | July 31, 2013

What does it mean to be discharged after 17 years of psychiatric care? Posted by: hypomanic | July 18, 2013

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I want to empty my head. Pour it all out onto paper in some form of communication to try and explain to everyone what this is like.

Is order important? I donʼt feel Bipolar is sequential, obviously it happens in a certain way but to me, once you have experienced madness then you are constantly aware of the sudden, sometimes odd, sometimes frequent ways that your inner persona steps back, to question what you are doing and maybe more importantly what the world is doing around you.

I think itʼs not what happens to you in your life that is important, it is how you deal and interpret what happens to you that is! We all try to find significance in things around us. A sign, perhaps, that means some kind of personal gain or benefit. Horoscopes, ladders, mirrors? Mania amplifies these thoughts to a point where you are either petrified or full of psychotic confidence.

The journey to this point is absolutely brilliant. It really and honestly is the best, like one of those dreams that after you awoke affected you deeply, if only for that day but in flashing extremes of elation and a deep rooted sense of loss for the perfect reality that was THAT dream.

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What is Hypomania?

Hypomania is a mood state characterized by persistent and pervasive elated or irritable mood, and thoughts and behaviors that are consistent with such a mood state. It is distinguished from mania by the absence of psychotic symptoms and by its lower degree of impact on functioning. Hypomania is a feature of some mood disorders, such as bipolar II disorder and cyclothymia.

Hypomanic episodes

A hypomanic episode includes, over the course of at least 4 days, three or four of the following symptoms, depending on whether the predominent mood state is elation or irritability: inflated self-esteem or grandiosity; decreased need for sleep; being more talkative than usual or feeling pressure to keep talking; flight of ideas or the subjective experience that thoughts are racing; distractibility; increase in goal-directed activity or psychomotor agitation; and excessive involvement in pleasurable activities that have a high potential for harmful consequences.

Possible benefits of Hypomania

People with hypomania are generally perceived as being energetic, euphoric, overflowing with new ideas, and sometimes highly confident and charismatic, and unlike full-blown mania, they are sufficiently capable of coherent thought and action to participate in everyday activities.
John Gartner's The Hypomanic Edge (Simon and Schuster) contends that notable "Americans" including Christopher Columbus, Alexander Hamilton, Andrew Carnegie, Louis B Mayer, and Craig Venter (who mapped the human genome) owe their innovativeness and drive, as well as their eccentricities, to hypomanic temperaments. Gartner suggests that the constructive behaviors associated with hypomania may contribute to bipolar disorder's evolutionary survival.

Treating Hypomania

It is unknown to what degree hypomanic symptoms can occur without a depressive component.
Patients may be relatively unlikely to seek psychiatric treatment for hypomania alone.
However, many hypomanic patients experience disrupted sleep patterns, irritability, racing thoughts, obsessional behavior, and poor judgment. Hypomania is also associated with impulsiveness, recklessness, excessive spending, risky sexual activity, and other out-of-character behaviors that the patients may regret following the conclusion of the mood episode. Hypomania can signal the beginning of a more severe manic episode, or it often directly precedes a depressive episode.

Virtually all clinical trials of medications for the non-depressive phases of bipolar illnesses involve treating patients for severe mania during the acute (initial) phase of mania. Recommended medication doses are based on these trials, in which case high doses are justified in order to remove the patient from immediate danger. Treating hypomania, however, involves different considerations and may demand greater clinical judgment

What is Bipolar Disorder?

Emotional highs and lows are part of life for everyone. But for someone with bipolar disorder, these ups and downs can be so extreme they can interfere with daily life. Sometimes they can even be dangerous. One day a person with bipolar disorder may feel so depressed that they can't get out of bed. Work may seem impossible. On another day that person may feel great, full of endless energy and creativity. But other people might think that their actions are reckless and out of control. Bipolar disorder is a lifelong medical condition that can be confusing and unpredictable, but it's nothing to be embarrassed about. Learning more about bipolar disorder can be helpful in managing this medical illness.

Bipolar disorder is a serious medical illness that can affect a person's ability to feel a normal range of moods. People with bipolar disorder have mood swings that can range from very low (depression) to very high (mania).
Bipolar disorder is also known as manic depression. The word "bipolar" is now used because the disorder is made up of two poles, or extremes. For example, picture a globe. The North Pole would be mania, and the South Pole would be depression. Every time a person experiences symptoms of one pole for a specific period of time, it is called an episode.

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