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  • How to Avoid Mania When Hypomanic?

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    Old 07-29-2007, 08:03 PM   #1
    neon_dreamer
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    How to Avoid Mania When Hypomanic?

    Hi everyone,

    What are some things a person can do while hypomanic to avoid experiencing full blown mania?

    I'm hypomanic right now and don't have an appointment with my pdoc until Friday. In the meantime, my PCP has given me samples of Ambien to help me sleep.

    The last manic episode I had (last year) was quite severe and included the following symptoms: extreme confusion/irritability, auditory hallucinations, persecutory delusions, excitement, racing thoughts and rapid speech. I also didn't eat or sleep for a week.

    Over the past several days I've kept to myself and have tried to keep stimulation down to a minimum since stress was part of the reason I experienced my manic episode last year.

    Any suggestions?

    Many thanks!

    neon_dreamer

    Last edited by neon_dreamer; 07-29-2007 at 08:06 PM.

     
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    Old 07-29-2007, 09:55 PM   #2
    tsohl
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    Re: How to Avoid Mania When Hypomanic?

    Hello neon_dreamer,

    Try to pay attention to your diet, avoiding sugars, caffeine and remembering to drink lots of water.

    Try to keep stimulation to a minimum as you mentioned. If you have a quiet, soothing CD, listen to it in a quiet room and concentrate on your breathing. Have you ever practiced yoga? That is the sort of breathing that can slow down your heartbeat and calm you. You could try a teeny drop of lavendar oil on your pillow to help calm you into sleep.

    Engage in some calming exercise, like yoga or walking, simple rhythmic stretches, again with deep, regular breathing. Try to ignore the urge to run around doing things!!

    If none of this works, call your pdoc's office and tell them. They can tweak your meds so that you avoid going into a manic episode.

    Hang in there!!
    Tsohl

     
    Old 07-30-2007, 08:23 AM   #3
    neon_dreamer
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    Re: How to Avoid Mania When Hypomanic?

    Tsohl,

    Those are some great suggestions -- thanks so much! I especially like the idea of listening to a soothing CD.

    Since the weather is beautiful here today, I plan to spend some time outdoors and go for a walk.

    I'll let you know how I'm doing later today or tomorrow.

    Thanks again!

    Hugs,

    neon_dreamer

    Last edited by neon_dreamer; 07-30-2007 at 08:26 AM.

     
    Old 07-30-2007, 10:37 AM   #4
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    Re: How to Avoid Mania When Hypomanic?

    Someone may have already said this, but if you can, sleep. Lack of sleep is one sure fire way of blasting me into a manic episode. Also, make sure you stay on your meds.

     
    Old 07-30-2007, 11:40 AM   #5
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    Re: How to Avoid Mania When Hypomanic?

    You could go down to the lake shore, with your water bottle of course , and sit on the rocks and watch the water roll in and practice your deep breathing.

    Hope you have a nice, calming day.

    Tsohl

     
    Old 07-31-2007, 09:01 AM   #6
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    Re: How to Avoid Mania When Hypomanic?

    Tsohl and Jen,

    I made it through the entire day yesterday thanks to your advice.

    I started off the day taking a walk, spent some time on the computer in the afternoon, took a short nap and spent the evening listening to some calm music. The nap was especially helpful.

    Unfortunately Tsohl I couldn't get to the lakefront, but that's something I will definitely plan on doing the next time I feel hypomanic.

    I feel so much better now knowing that I can handle hypomania. As you mentioned in another one of my threads Tsohl, the hypomania caught me off guard.

    I'll let you know how Friday's appointment with my pdoc goes. This has been a roller coaster month mood-wise, so I'm particulary interested in knowing what he has to say.

    So far I have a written mood journal with 2 weeks of information, so that should help my pdoc and I better understand what's happening.

    Thanks again to both of you!

    neon_dreamer

    Last edited by neon_dreamer; 07-31-2007 at 09:03 AM.

     
    Old 07-31-2007, 10:13 AM   #7
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    Re: How to Avoid Mania When Hypomanic?

    Great news!! When you make it through an episode, it gives you a lot more confidence in knowing you can do it again if the need arises.

    Please tell me again what meds you are taking!!

    Tsohl

     
    Old 07-31-2007, 10:34 AM   #8
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    Re: How to Avoid Mania When Hypomanic?

    Hi Tsohl,

    I'm currently taking Depakote (500 mg twice a day) and Risperdal (4 mg).

    My PCP also gave me Ambien samples (12.5 mg) to take this week to help with sleep until my pdoc appointment.

    Because of the hypomania and insomnia I've experienced throughout the month, I think I may need a slight adjustment on the Depakote, but of course, that will be up to my pdoc.

    neon_dreamer

     
    Old 07-31-2007, 10:59 AM   #9
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    Re: How to Avoid Mania When Hypomanic?

    I think you're right. I wanted to mention that my son was an ultra-rapid cycling Bipolar I and it was initially difficult to control. His first 3 pdocs would try one drug, and then another one, and then another one...in succession. And we were beginning to think there wasn't a drug that was going to help him. My son finally found another pdoc that has more experience with pharmaceuticals. He first added tegretol to his lithium, which helped and he felt about 90% better. Then he added Lamictal and that brought him to where he feels stable, well and healthy and has continued to maintain that for over 2 years now. Each of these mood stabilizers works in a slightly different way, on a slightly differnt area of the brain....so it makes sense that it might be necessary to combine and take more than one. My son is able to take a smaller dosage of several, rather than one large dosage of one. Just tuck this away for future reference incase the depakote isn't totally taking care of your mood swings, and other symptoms.

    Tsohl

     
    Old 07-31-2007, 11:05 AM   #10
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    Re: How to Avoid Mania When Hypomanic?

    I have another idea for the lakefront. I work as a docent at the art museum so I am there frequently. But every time I walk into the main doors that enter into the Calatrava addition, it is almost a spiritual experience, like going into a beautiful old cathedral in Europe. It makes me feel peaceful and quiet. There's something about seeing all that white marble with the lake beyond that is spiritual and I find it very calming.

    You might try it sometime. You don't have to pay to enter the addition area (which is now the "front" door to MAM). Also the museum is free to Milwaukee County residents every Wednesday. Don't know if you live in the county or not....but the main area doesn't require an admission ticket!!

     
    Old 07-31-2007, 01:35 PM   #11
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    Re: How to Avoid Mania When Hypomanic?

    Thanks for sharing your son's experience, Tsohl. I'm glad to know that he finally found a combination of meds that worked for him.

    The Depakote has been working well for me over the past year, but I think it's starting to lose its efficacy. As for the Risperdal, I don't think that will need to be changed since I'm not experiencing any of the symptoms it is designed to relieve.

    I think I might ask my pdoc for an additional mood stabilizer (or as you suggested several different meds with small dosages instead of one med with a larger dose)because I've been more irritable than usual this month.

    I've been on Lithium in the past (for major depression) and that worked well for me. Perhaps I'll ask my pdoc if I can try it again.

    Tsohl or anyone who can answer this: One thing I'm confused about is what my pdoc will do regarding my insomnia. Will increasing Depakote or adding another mood stabilizer take care of it (the insomnia) or should I request sleep medication? I've been taking Ambien since yesterday, but worry that the insomnia will continue to be a problem until my moods are under control. (I should also mention that I only have 3 Ambien samples left.)

    I've been to the Calatrava several times and you're right -- it's absolutely beautiful! I live in Milwaukee County, so getting to the lakefront isn't a problem.

    Since I'm able to get to the Calatrava and the lakefront, I really should take advantage of it. Not everyone is as fortunate as we are to have either in their backyard.

    neon_dreamer

    Last edited by neon_dreamer; 07-31-2007 at 01:53 PM.

     
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