So strugglingwithbipolar linked to an article about hypomania, which led me to this next article about handling hypomania without obliterating it with medication.  First of all, I really don’t like that this guy calls people with the illness “bipolars.”  It’s actually really dated to refer to anyone as their disorder, and the current shift to the recovery paradigm in mental health teaches us to respect ourselves way more than that.  Regardless, the post is interesting.  I was recently medicated for being in a hypomanic state, and I had only been that way for about a week.  I told my doctor I felt “crazy” and that I couldn’t control my emotions, but I’m not sure I was truly on the track to mania.  Was it better to be safe than sorry? Will I permanently be on a higher dose of medication without actually seeing if I could have de-escalated on my own?  I guess I’d rather be here than in a hospital, but I have a great deal of clinical support in place – the hypomanic part of me really wants to see where it would have gone this time.

Which is why I blog.  To see just how textbook I am. ;) I told you I miss the mania.

Okay, whew, distracted.  Here is the article about hypomania. What do you think?  Can “Four Secrets” teach us to reign in hypomania and use it to our advantage? Is it worth a try?

PS: I think reducing it to four steps is like calling us “bipolars.” 

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4 thoughts on “Hypomania

  1. I appreciate your linking to the article and respectfully disagree with the bash on calling us bipolars. Here is a different take on the point of view. It was in response to someone who contacted us directly saying he is not bipolar disorder, but has bipolar disorder:

    “Thank you for contacting us. You are certainly not your disorder, but you need not have bipolar in disorder at all. The argument you present has been floating around for a long time. The way we look at it is that I am six feet tall, weigh 185 pounds, am male, gay, and bipolar. I am bipolar because I have a wide range of highs and lows, which makes bipolar a description of me just like my height and sexual preference. I do not have the flu, a cold, or bipolar disorder, which are all illnesses, so I would not want to be identified as any of the illnesses just because I temporarily had them. I have bipolar IN Order, which is not an illness at all. I am proud to be identified with being bipolar just as I am proud to be identified with being gay. They used to try to say being gay was a mental illness too.

    Does that make sense? Without the difference between Bipolar Disorder and Bipolar IN Order, it makes sense to lump bipolar as a trait in with bipolar disorder the illness. Bipolar itself is not an illness at all and nothing to be ashamed of. As a matter of fact, those of us who have Bipolar IN Order see it as a tremendous advantage over those incapable of experiencing as wide of a range as we can.

    Although that is an interesting semantical debate it has little to do with what we do at Bipolar Advantage. We teach people how to make bipolar work for them instead of trying to make it go away, which is not possible anyway unless you are willing to be a zombie for the rest of your life. It would be like cutting off your head because you do not want to be associated with being six feet tall.

    Have you signed up for our free concepts course yet? I think once you take it you will understand the difference and soon will be proud to tell others that you are bipolar too. In a way, arguing that you are not “bipolar disorder” is reinforcing the false notion that bipolar must only be seen as an illness, which is a major source of the stigma associated with it and the despair that those with the bipolar disorder diagnosis feel.”

    PS. The four steps are an attempt to fit a very complex topic into an 800 word article. We have a 38 hour course certified for Continuing Education Units by the California Board of Behavioral Sciences (PCE#4050). A short article can barely scratch the surface of it.

  2. Aimer Shama says:

    Do not listen to this Charles Nelson character. Having bipolar disorder is a treatable illness and what he states is very likely the result of delusions. Bipolar In Order? Such pathetic wordplay does not deceive anyone. Hypomania comes with a significant lack of mental clarity and lack of good judgement, and nothing is worth that.
    However, saying “I am bipolar”, is like saying “I am diabetic”. You can also say “bipolars” or “diabetics” and there is nothing to be ashamed of there. Check out my article “Why I Love Being Bipolar”. No it’s nothing like this “abuse your hypomania” crap.

    • strugglingwithbipolar says:

      I have to agree with you. It is a chronic illness and may creep up again after finding stability, but it is HIGHLY treatable. There are things that can be done to minimize the impact of hypomania. For example, my husband takes my credit cards away so I don’t spend too much money shopping on things that I don’t want or need. I do find mood diaries helpful to catch episodes early. I do agree that having bipolar disorder is not something to be ashamed of. I wouldn’t be ashamed if I had diabetes, cancer or Crohn’s disease.

  3. saradraws says:

    I like the sentiment of the four steps, in that people with bipolar qualities can not just “manage” but actually successfully exploit their hypomania. I believe that most states can be beneficial if handled appropriately on an individual basis. But this is only my personal experience, and it may only be a deluded view of the past…
    Either way, I appreciate it anytime people see these “conditions” as something other than illness. If we’re always told we’re sick, then we fixate on ridding ourselves of the illness. If we’re told we have different abilities than others, maybe we can learn to hone these abilities to the best advantage? In short, I wonder if the “disease” model of mental health actually does more harm than good?

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