Four Simple Ways to Better Handle Hypomania

So let’s talk about the kind of exhaustion that happens when you get a tiny bit hypomanic, so you start to make bad decisions. Not really bad decisions reminiscent of what you did when you were stupid and in your twenties and ended up god knows where doing god knows what with god knows whom. But decisions that have distinct ramifications on your brain, which starts to get tweaked out and confused and cloudy because, like the plant on the corner of your desk that’s dried up and brown and withering and begging you for some water — you’re not taking care of it.

“Oh yeah,” you think, pumped up by caffeine, “I’m kind of awesome.” You stay out late and you talk for hours to whomever is sitting across from you at dinner or the bar, and, when it’s time to work on a project, you are hyper-focused at work. For a couple days, it’s great. But the excitement breeds more excitement and even though you know you need to get sleep to sustain yourself, to stay healthy, to get up the next morning and the one after that to live your life, you keep making these silly judgments. You don’t go to sleep on time and you skip lunch and you do this enough times that by the time Thursday rolls around you find yourself up after midnight typing a post about bipolar disorder on a blog that no one reads (well, if you, someone, out there is reading this… thank you for listening to my rant) instead of sleeping.

The thing is: I need to get smarter. About so many things, but especially this. I know better than to fall into the same traps that lead me to a frantic, frazzled mood state that needs to be tamped down by extra Seroquel. And I just hate that: because once I get too revved up, the dousing of my mood with the Seroquel feels damn depressing.

Here are things I should have done to avoid this predicament:

1. Stop guzzling iced coffee in the morning.

Enough said. It’s a trigger for mania, at least for me.

2. Go to bed before eleven: turn off the computer by 10.

Research shows that shining a light into your eyes (what you’re doing when you’re on a device in bed) is terrible for sleep.

3. Skip the alcohol.

Now that I’m single again and dating, it can be hard to not at least order a glass or wining when I first meet someone. But one glass of wine is something I can tolerate–I need to just not drink more than that.

4 Take your medicine.

I do this every night. But if you don’t, make like a Nike swoosh and Just Do It.


3 thoughts on “Four Simple Ways to Better Handle Hypomania

  1. When I’m hypomanic I find it hard to relax so I’ve found taking a bath is super helpful – make sure it has bubbles and candles and that you dim the lights. Also, sitting in a dark room and avoiding all forms of stimulation is helpful. I avoid listening to music because it pumps me up, and you could also listen to a relaxation CD or one you find online. Hmm…maybe I’ll write about this on my blog one day too :) :)


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