Tag Archives: Hypomania

Hypomanic Mind Chaos!

ID-10046699Anyone else feeling their brain is in total chaos at the moment?

It’s so hard to put in words how I feel at the moment. To all who interact with me regularly, I probably seem like I’m fine, maybe a bit more sociable and excitable than usual, but that there is nothing amiss.

But inside, my thoughts are racing and it’s like everything I come across in my life at present is 10 times bigger, 10 times more fun, 10 times more exciting, 10 times more fascinating, 10 times more beautiful, 10 times louder, 10 times more powerful!!! No wonder I’m so distracted!

This may sound like a lot of fun, which it can be! But I know I can switch to anger and agitation in a split second.

I just don’t feel like myself!

I can’t stop DOING! I want to do do, do! Have more, more, more! Talk LOUDER! Not stop talking! Everybody else seems so slow!!

I can’t be too hypomanic though- I’m totally aware of what’s going on. I think?!

My sleeping has been totally weird and not always what you’d expect from hypomania.  I’ve had the more standard night of 4 hours sleep, and most nights I’m still buzzing with energy at 2am, despite not having been out or doing much; but I’ve also had long, blissful sleeps- the best sleep I’ve had in ages. I haven’t wanted any of my afternoon 2 hour naps that have been standard fair for me over the last 10 years.

But I can’t quite connect with myself. Everything seems to be distracting me from what I’m really feeling, or what is really going on inside me- perhaps all the memories I’m tapping into at counselling.

Be interesting to see what happens over the next week or so!

Overwhelmed!

Overwhelm seems to be happening a lot at the moment.

I can cope with one thing in a day, eg. work, but not 2 or more. Try adding on choir, cooking, seeing friends etc and my anxiety levels shoot up. Being productive with any other activity other than work is just not happening- I can’t concentrate, get easily distracted and restless.

Overwhelm seems to happen when exciting things are happening too. I recently went away to Edinburgh to sing in a choir I’m part of. Most of the members I hadn’t seen for a few months and we were all really excited to see each other again- well, I was excited anyway!!! Couple this with singing awesome music and trips out to shows and tourist attractions and soon I wasn’t coping. Too much excitement!!! I had three panic attacks that week. I hadn’t had one previously for a good few months. I was overly emotional.

I didn’t take this limitation very graciously, and was very angry and frustrated with myself for not being able to join in everything I wanted to. I could try, but panic attacks had already resulted from doing too much.

Accepting limitations is something I’m still working on! Remembering it’s not my fault is important, but also to evaluate whether I’m putting too much pressure on myself or judging myself harshly.

Affirmations that I’m finding helpful from Louise Hay’s companion book to You Can Heal Your Life are:

I have the power, strength and knowledge to handle everything in my life.

I relax into the flow of life and let Life provide all that I need asily and comfortably.

I am enough just as I am.

Louise Hay

 

Newly Diagnosed Bipolar: You’ve Got This!

Healthline have just launched a video campaign for bipolar disorder called “You’ve Got This” where bipolar patients can record a short video to give hope and inspiration to those recently diagnosed with bipolar disorder.

You can visit the homepage and check out videos from the campaign here: http://www.healthline.com/health/bipolar-disorder/youve-got-this

Healthline will be donating $10 for every submitted campaign to To Write Love On Her Arms, so the more exposure the campaign gets the more the videos we’ll receive and the more Healthline can donate to research, support, and treatment programs for mental health disorders.

Below is a beautiful video posted by Julie about her experiences with Bipolar Disorder:

Related Posts

To Write Love On Her Arms

Resources

Healthline

To Write Love On Her Arms

 

A Racing Mind

ID-10097641Today my thoughts are galloping through my head at top speed, possibly due to a reduction in the medication I’m on. The doctor has reduced my Venlafaxine prescription from 300mg per day to 225mg per day, which I’m very happy about!

The withdrawal effects are pretty hefty though- I feel like I’m on Speed (or what I imagine being on Speed to feel like!), my brain is racing, I have so many ideas I can barely keep track of them, and I feel restless and agitated. There are a few digestive issues added on for good measure too! (I also forgot to take my morning dose yesterday and ended up passed out on the bed for a few hours!!)

This all feels like very familiar hypomanic ground and so I’m reminded of the need to respond appropriately in a self-caring manner, in order to prevent impulsive actions and decisions which in the past have gotten me in trouble!

My intuition is screaming “No more caffeine!!!” and am I taking a blind bit of notice?! No-ooooo! I will try harder today!  Lots of water, much less Diet Coke! Meditation will definitely be on the schedule, as well as listening to calming music and taking Bach Flower Remedies Impatiens, Vervain and White Chestnut. Clematis, Chestnut Bud and Scleranthus might be useful too. Turn off Facebook too!

I also thought it would be helpful to revisit some old posts to help me regain my balance:

Relax with Gentle Meditation Music (guaranteed to calm me in seconds!)

Calming Tips (related to Christmas, but still relevant)

Previous posts on Hypomania.

 

 Useful Resources

Your Brain is Like a Nuclear Reactor: Avoid Meltdowns. Keep It Cool.

Christmas- Cooling Off!

Xmas RachI LOVE Christmas- the lights, the carols, the Christmas story, the Christmas films, the food, the general merry-ment.

This year I find myself questioning more and more the concept of gift-giving. Am I really giving a gift when what I am really doing is fulfilling somebody else’s expectation that they receive a gift from me- and vice versa I guess?

I love buying presents! I love the aha moment of- “oh this person would love this gift!” Then I feel I’m truly giving from the heart.

Maybe it isn’t the gift-giving itself, but rather the way I shop that makes it feel a bit mechanical- sounds a bit weird! Maybe it would feel more fun going to small businesses and craft stalls to buy presents. Maybe I’m just giving this too much thought LOL!

Anyway I think I’m getting a bit mind-spinny from all the shopping and could do with some general calming-down. So today I’m going to be meditating, playing the piano and drawing, amidst a bit of present-wrapping. Need some mind-cooling, right-brained, creative activity. If you haven’t read this fab article about the over-heated mind, I think it fits in very nicely with hypomania & obsessive, racey-thoughts in general:

“Your Brain Is Like A Nuclear Reactor. Avoid Meltdowns, Keep It Cool.”  By Word From The Well.

I’m thinking peaceful thoughts from now on and remembering to keep grounded.

Bach Flower Remedies which really help to keep the hypomanic-type mind balanced and calm:

Vervain; White Chestnut; Chestnut Bud; Cherry Plum; Impatiens.

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Related Posts

Crazy-Hypomanic Birthday Shopping

A Christmas Present To Ourselves

Hypomania & Grounding

Bach Flower Remedies

Art Shop

You can now order greetings cards, postcards and prints of my artwork on Red Bubble:

Buy on Red Bubble

A month or two ago I was riding a hypomanic wave and created a few new pieces of art work which you can see in the gallery below or on Red Bubble. Needless to say I crashed straight after to a mixed episode and have been irritable and agitated and obsessing ever since. But starting to feel a bit calmer and more positive, so hopefully I’m on the up!

Hope you like my art work, I’m chuffed to bits with it, because last year I couldn’t get started on anything due to my perfectionism (which I’m still working on!). I feel I’m starting to take control of life again.

Related Posts

Perfectionism Part 2: Excuse Me- Where Has My Life Gone?

A Crafty Step Forward

More Illustration

You Are Amazing!

Thought Addiction: The Ego vs The True Self.

Suppressed Anger & Fears of Abandonment

Does anyone else have difficulty owning their anger? By this I mean do you find that you get angry with yourself when you feel anger towards another person, if that makes any sense?!

Basically I feel very uncomfortable with my own anger towards others and I’m trying to work through this issue.

Any anger I feel towards a friend or loved one I struggle to deal with. I think it might be due to a fear of abandonment: if I’m angry with those I love- I might push them away, which is always the last thing I want!

Black & White Thinking

My thinking around all this is probably very black & white, which is a well known cognitive distortion in those with psychological issues. If I feel angry I judge this as a “bad” feeling. I often transfer this to thinking that I am a “bad” person for feeling “bad” emotions.

Black & White Thinking & Bipolar Disorder

To me, black & white thinking & beliefs seem to merge very well with the idea of Bipolar Disorder. The word Bipolar means two polar opposites- such as hot and cold, or indeed, black & white.

As we develop through childhood, do we learn to see ourselves as all good or all bad?

Do we reject the bad side of ourselves & embrace only the good?- Hypomania/Mania.

Do we accept only the bad and none of the good?- Depression.

Depression is sometimes thought to be caused by suppressed anger– anger that we consciously push out of our awareness or ignore. In an attempt to process these emotions- which never really leave our whole being- we automatically turn them around to ourselves. We may have been brought up to believe that it is safer to be angry with ourselves than with others. Being angry with others may have caused very difficult circumstances in key relationships. A deep fear of abandonment by caregivers is obviously something a child is very likely to feel as their parents are absolutely essential to their existence as they see it.

Traumatic Experiences With Anger & RageID-1007128

If we deal with Bipolar Disorder or Borderline Personality Disorder, we may have had particularly traumatic rages with others, which we felt were so powerful they overtook us completely. This can be a very scary experience and one that we would do anything to stop from recurring.

High Sensitivity

If we are also Highly Sensitive (take the test here) we will likely process seemingly smaller behavioural clues as rejection or abandonment: thereby increasing the likelihood of Bipolar Disorder, Depression & Anxiety occurring in later life.

One of the diagnostic criteria for Borderline Personality Disorder is described as “frantic efforts to avoid real or imagined abandonment.”

Any anger we experience towards someone we love may then be construed as a threat to our safety and therefore a potential danger in provoking this abandonment.

ID-100156695Bullying as Abandonment

Abandonment can also be seen to be a rejection by our peers. We are isolated as different and therefore a target for teasing and abuse. This creates an intense feeling of isolation and loneliness- effectively abandonment by peers.

Abandonment by God

I often think there is a real link between religion and psychological disorders. If we were brought up to believe that we were “bad” for feeling angry towards our “elders”, or that it was in some way unacceptable, we may have grasped hold of the idea that we could possibly go to “hell” for these feelings. We would therefore be rejected by God and cast out.

It all sounds very extreme and is initiated by such prehistoric religious ideas  (in my opinion) that are still circulating today.

(My idea of God is now very different- a belief in a loving, forgiving God who would never abandon any one of us. It is only us who can abandon Him.)

Suppressing Anger As A Coping Mechanism

We suppress our anger as we view it to be so dangerous to our wellbeing. It is the way we have learned to cope with our deep-seated fear of rejection.

To move forward we need to address and question this belief. Is it still relevant in our adult lives? Are we capable of taking care of ourselves? Do we love ourselves enough to take on challenges ourselves? Why do we feel we NEED other people so desperately for our basic survival?

We could identify situations we have handled on our own and feel a sense of accomplishment in that. Or challenge ourselves to participating in something just a little scary, but fun, to increase our confidence in ourselves.

Inner Child Visualization.

It is also helpful to travel back through our memories of childhood and identify times where we felt desperately abandoned. What happened? How did it feel?

Imagine your little-self and how you would comfort yourself if you could travel back and be with her/him now to support them. As your little self, imagine that love and support coming to you. If spiritual, you may like to imagine a beautiful guardian angel enfolding you in her/his protective wings.

Stepping Into Our PowerID-10021637

We are powerful beings, though it may not always feel this way. We have choices in life- choices in how we deal with emotions, situations, challenges, how we perceive things, etc.

By increasing the feelings of confidence in ourselves, we can rely on ourselves more and feel less fear of abandonment. Potentially we will then have no need to suppress our own feelings of anger as we step into our own powerful selves. We will learn to embrace our own anger as an emotion which can teach us about ourselves, and one that we can eventually become comfortable with. It will not cause our loved ones to abandon us. It is safe to feel angry. It may not feel this way yet, but imagine your own confidence growing as you experience and deal effectively with it. We are powerful enough to take charge of such a powerful emotion and use it to initiate healthy change in our relationships.

Related Posts

Bipolar Disorder- Repressed Anger

Bach Flower Remedy Consultation: Anger and Low Motivation

Take Back Your Power

Changing The Mind- Programming

Little Me and the Angel

Resources & Links

What is Suppressed Anger?

Cognitive Distortion: How Does Black & White Thinking Hurt Us?

Subservient Anger in Bipolarity

What is the Relationship Between Anger & Depression?

Highly Sensitive Person Self-Test.

Borderline Personality: Diagnostic Criteria

Photo Credits: Storm by dan; Sun by graur codrin; Lonely Girl by Sira Anamwong; all via freedigitalphotos.net.

Relax with Gentle Meditation Music

One of the most effective methods I’ve found of inducing relaxation is by listening to gorgeous meditation music. The track below is one I find particularly peaceful and I find I’m deeply relaxed after 5-10 mins.

This type of music is also great for insomnia- something which I am very familiar with- and I would say 99% effective in getting me back to sleep.

There are also some very effective relaxation meditations available on You Tube, for example:

Music and Meditation are a great way to calm the racing thoughts of anxiety or hypomania! The deeply relaxed state you are guided towards is perfect for releasing tension & stress too.

Related Posts

Yoga Benefits for Mental Health

Self-Forgiveness: A Work in Progress

Self-Forgiveness Meditation

 

Manic Over-Commitment & Quitting

I’m reblogging a post from last year. I had a really interesting comment on it yesterday, from Ashley, which is worth looking at- maybe you can help??

I’m happily in a much better headspace now- but the whole topic of manic over-commitment and quitting is still valid and appropriate I believe!!

Emotional Wellness

 Today I learnt of a recurring theme in my life: quitting. When I was 10 I quit ballet lessons, 11 I quit flute lessons, 12 tap lessons, 15 horse riding……on to age 22 I quit my degree at University of Leeds- the list goes on. Needless to say those hobbies I quit as a child, I’ve returned to and quit again at numerous times of my life.

I realised that I’ve never really learnt to follow through with anything. As soon as the going gets tough, the weak give up. Maybe there have been good reasons for me to quit many of the things I’ve started, but I’ve also started many things I never should have- like full time jobs in the middle of hypomania. When hypomanic, it is sooo easy to want to do everything, here’s my usual list:

Full time job (where I will naturally have a…

View original post 310 more words

A Christmas Present to Ourselves

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With Christmas comes the inevitable present-buying for others. If you’re like me, you love to shop for presents. I love the challenge of trying to find a gift that will make someone smile and then the creativity you can bring to wrapping up and hosting family get-togethers. Maybe you get a bit hypomanic- I definitely do, especially with shopping and seeing family & friends.

I find it’s easy to become overwhelmed by Christmas, caught up in presents, decorations, merry-making, twinkly lights and games. It’s all wonderful, but I do tend to forget about keeping myself in a “good space”- remembering to ground and centre myself and keep a sense of inner peace.

This Christmas I think it would be a great thing to remember ourselves in all the chaos and give ourselves the present of:

Committing to our own Inner Peace & Bipolar Balance.

How we can best do this will be individual to each of us, but I can think of no better present than making sure we look after ourselves and find as much Bipolar Balance as we possibly can.

Think about what you really need in this moment.

Here are some ideas for maintaining Bipolar Balance during the holidays:

– meditation or just time to sit and be with ourselves in peace and quiet.ID-10050484

– yoga.

– gentle dance to peaceful music.

– sitting and stroking a pet.

– cooking a healthy meal (or lots of healthy meals!).

– booking a massage or spa day.

– walking in fresh air.

– tidying that messy drawer or cupboard.

– swimming.

– crafting/drawing/painting.

– taking time out in a quiet room when at friends & families’ Christmas parties.

–  journalling.

– staying away from the shops if we’re feeling energised and impulsive.

– hot bath with aromatherapy oils.

– recognise early on if we have over-committed and reduce our schedules. Nobody will mind and if they do, remember we need to put our health first!!

– light a candle and give thanks for all we’re grateful for.

My head is already buzzing with mind chatter, so I’ve been taking the Bach Flower Remedy White Chestnut which is excellent for quietening things down a bit! Impatiens is also good for reining in that hypomanic speediness, impatience and pressure to do, do, do!!

Click here for more information on Bach Flower Remedies.

Let’s commit to our Wellness and Peace of Mind this Christmas! 

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Photo Credit:nuttakit via freedigitalphotos.net;sakhorn38 via freedigitalphotos.netSimon Howden via freedigitalphotos.net.