Jump to content
Mental Support Community

Is it (hypo)mania?


malign
 Share

Recommended Posts

Today is the first anniversary of an episode that I had that I would describe as a half-suicidal running away that resulted in me committing myself to a hospital for nine days.

As a result of that "break" I have been diagnosed, and I am considering, that I might be bipolar. I'm not very sure of the diagnosis, but it's a working hypothesis.

The thing is, I've noticed lately that my posts here, and my feelings generally, are more positive and hopeful than my usual. I am also planning tentatively to leave my wife, which while it may be necessary or even healthy, could be seen as another running-away.

What I'm left wondering is, are these changes a result of an improvement in my outlook, or some recurrence of hypomania, or a mixture? And of course, I doubt that anyone can answer that, concretely, for me.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

The fact that you are stopping to ask the question and are genuinely interested in what others may say does not sound like mania to me. I'm not sure what hypomania means-- low mania? I'm sorry things are so difficult for you right now. It will take a while to sort out your life's path now that you have new information (the diagnosis) and are trying to get healthier footing. It makes sense to me that big things would change in your relationships if they were based on old patterns. It's impossible to know the outcome really. Some of those relationships might surprise you and change along with you. (tho I wouldn't count on it)

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Thanks for the encouragement.

I don't expect "others" to change, any more, and that has been very freeing! A big part of the dynamic is that both my wife and I keep pointing out each other's errors in the hopes that the other person would change. This rarely happens. :-)

My biggest doubt is that my "decisions" are so changeable that they feel more like mood than thought, if you know what I mean.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Well, I'm not sure of what your previous diagnosis was but considering the term 'hypo mania', as long as you are not pre-occupied with activities to the point where it might interfere with your daily activities or that it bothers you, I don't think I can assume what you're going through is another phase of hypomania.

Possibly, you are having a better view on life. About leaving your wife, I do not know, is she causing you any measure of stress?

I do not think it is safe to self-diagnose but then again, you mentioned that it's your theory. Maybe you are concerned of what people may think of you when you leave your wife... ?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Oh boy, have we tried separating! :-)

At one point, I counted over two dozen different local hotels that I have stayed in on well over three dozen total occasions in six years of marriage. I stopped counting, after that.

Either I get fed up and try to leave, then don't follow through, or she claims I'm abusing her and that I have to leave, but takes me back a few days later.

In my opinion, my wife is a narcissistic personality, and I'm passive enough to allow her to treat me the way she does. Of course, in hers, she's just an enabler to my addictive personality, though she's not clear on what I'm addicted to, since I don't drink or do drugs. Or smoke or ... About the only thing I depend too much on is caffeine.

I don't think I care much what others think, but I did grow up thinking that I would never be a "divorced guy". Not so much that it's wrong, but believing that I "should" be able to make anything work. It's not true, of course.

One danger, for me, is getting too involved in the disagreements. There's something unhealthy about the way she and I relate, that keeps us cycling when it should long ago have been clear that things aren't working.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Ooooooh, narcissism, that is tough. You have been through it, all right:o. Well, as you know, it's your own self that you can work on, and it does sound like you are getting some clarity. Big changes still are very difficult, even if you know what you have to do. You really don't sound manic or depressed; you sound like someone who is making their way through very tough stuff. (I'm not questioning your diagnosis-- just commenting that you don't seem like your talking from a polar episode). Keep us posted.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 2 weeks later...

For instance, next phase in the cycle: I crash and become helpless.

I spent most of the weekend in bed, not eating or drinking. It's like SI for the very passive.

And as usual, I got out of bed on Monday and went to work.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

"Hypomania" is supposed to mean low-level mania: a more-functional part of a bipolar cycle which doesn't rise to the level that most people would see actual mania. So, for instance, it may be a more productive period interspersed in a cyclic depression. If the mania doesn't get bad enough, this can seem to be periodic recovery from depression rather than a bipolar cycle.

I guess I do respond to "structure", but I also have difficulty actively harming myself, like losing my job, despite some desire to just chuck it all and become a hermit. I feel like I'm just providing for my abuser by going to work, then I realize that I need the job for my own needs, and so on around the cycle.

Oh yeah, I talk myself out of action all the time; the result is the passive doormat you're talking to. ;-) Yes, I'm aware that that is negative self-talk. Some of the actions I talk myself out of are self-damaging; others are not.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Is the self-talk compulsive? Can you stop it?

Many people on this site are asking to learn meditation or other relaxation techniques. A big part of this means quieting that compulsive inner dialogue. If we can get a break from it, sometimes deeper resources (positive ones) can come through that get silenced by the mind chatter.

I just wrote to you on your blog too. Is there anyone on your side that is near you? You could really use some support to combat this stuff.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Well, it feels more subliminal (below my noticing) than compulsive, but that's not easier to stop. Meditation might help; I have done Tai Ch'i and find it helpful while I'm doing it, but the benefit does not seem to last. Probably just need to do it more, but I'm too anxious to take a break in the middle of the day like that.

The compulsive thing seems to be, being here all the time to answer you. :-)

Thanks for spending the time yourself, O Senior Member. :-))

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Nah, Kwai Chang was a childhood friend. Inner peace, what a concept.

And probably nah on the catching up, quickly at least. I find I often need some time to stifle (well, consider) my original emotional response to someone, to make sure that the result is supportive, something that I don't feel comes naturally to me.

Maybe something I should practice talking to myself, as well.

You go on ahead, we old folks'll take our time. ;-)

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Bet I'm older'n you!

That is an AWESOME possibility you have discovered. Maybe it is the most significant, sublime, (& free) benefit of participating on this site!!!!! : tempering your comments to another's post to be supportive as a compassionate thing to do for another, but also (and most importantly) as practice for what we could be doing for ourselves but haven't known how to do.

Dang, your good. Mark, Allen, are you listening to this guy?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Flatterer. :-P

Only after I read your reply did I really see that what I said could be useful for myself, instead of just making a wry comment. And only then did I start to think of objections.

I won't list them, but my self-talk is probably the first thing I need to fix about myself.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I'm glad if anything I might say turns out to be helpful.

I had to make an effort to say that without evasion, because I have a tendency to avoid accepting praise whenever possible. I seem to believe that accepting it might cause me to be overbearingly proud. And I have no way to objectively estimate whether my self-image is accurate, by which I mean, I doubt myself all the time.

As you said, "cruelty is cruelty", even if you're doing it to yourself. I mean, even if I'm doing it to myself.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Well that's friendlier than my reaction to praise; I tend to think the person is deluded or wants something from me. How mean is that?:rolleyes:

OK, back to the situation of making it through your life... if you tweak your self talk a bit, hold the cruelty to yourself at bay a bit, does that change any of the dynamics on the outside?

Edited by finding my way
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I wasn't really up to respond the way I'd like, before, and I've thought about it some more.

The thing about me stopping to consider my response so that it will be more supportive to someone writing on the board is that, in some way, the result is a bit ... false. Not that I don't wish them well and want to help, but that I feel like I'm pretending to be doing better myself than I really am. Reading some of my posts on a given day, and putting them next to, say, my blog entry for that day, it would be difficult to believe they were written by the same person.

I mentioned way back at the beginning of this thread that I seemed to be unusually positive, at that time. Now, I'm swinging the other way again, so it's sort of an example of the cycle that I seem to be in. I don't know if it's actually bipolar disorder, but there's a definite loop.

I think I think too much. <wry smile>

Link to comment
Share on other sites

What if you kept the hyper-aware-observer self, but dropped his judgements? Tell him to keep observing how you are in the different activities: blogging, posting, going to work, being at work, interacting with your wife, etc, but JUST observe, do not assign a goodness or badness to it, or realness, or less realness to it.

Even you being "fake" is really you being "fake" and it's real... I mean, how can you not be you no matter what? And why is one activity the genuine "you" and the other one, where you're just "finding your way" not the real you? Can you allow an aspect of yourself to just be in process and observe where it takes you?

People used to tell me all the time that I think too much:rolleyes:

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Well, keeping the observer but eliminating the judgments would be ideal, in a way. The thing is, I developed this mechanism for what seemed like a valid reason at the time: keeping myself in line, preventing myself from making mistakes, which I felt I could not afford, before they happened.

Does it work? Objectively, no, but it's self-perpetuating. The worse I feel about myself, the more I feel I need something to keep me safe, and this is all I have, even though it makes me feel worse about myself. So the causes seem to have been: excess anxiety, a flawed mechanism for coping with it, and a lot of years to get used to the process.

People still tell me I think too much. ;-)

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.
Note: Your post will require moderator approval before it will be visible.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

Loading...
 Share

×
×
  • Create New...