Confluence: Hypomania

Part of the reason that I have been quiet lately is due to struggles involving Bipolar Disorder II.  January was filled with a combination of hypomania, depression, and my destructive Borderline Personality Disorder traits.  None of these conditions and symptoms are particularly welcome on their own, but, when combined with sociopathy, they become fuel for extreme behavior.

This is the first of three posts (the other two reference depression and Borderline Personality Disorder) that explore how the parts of my personality and brain chemistry all fit together.

Hypomania (as compared to mania – which is the distinction between Bipolar Disorder I and Bipolar Disorder II ) affects me in many ways.  I was hypomanic for most of the previous month and found a great period of productivity with respect to other projects that I’m working on.  A need for sleep was minimal and my energy was through the roof.  However, there is a price to pay for such energy.

With the energies associated with hypomania comes an increase in aggression and irritability.  Every word, every emotion, uttered by others burned and grated against me like red-hot razor blades.  The slightest failure by others to meet my expectations would lead to schemes on my head – schemes in which I envisioned nothing but the complete destruction of those that “wronged” me.  In my hypomania, I would spend much of my energy on plotting their destruction, although I never did pull the proverbial trigger.  Any tolerance that I have for others’ failure disappears when I am hypomanic.

That is a price for others to pay, but my increase in impulsivity is my cross to bear.  When I am hypomanic, any self-control I have to delay gratification vanishes.  I shudder to think how many thousands of dollars I wasted last month on items that I simply did not need.  If the  target of my desire was in front of me, there was no possibility that I could show restraint.  The new guitar, new software, and other lavish spending serve as mementos from such a state.

That said, the energy that comes during hypomania is welcome.  I was able to put hundreds of hours into projects near and dear to me, often to the detriment of my health.  For weeks, I went on less than three hours of sleep a night, relying on stimulants and my own energy to keep me going.  The solitude that resulted from my own increased aggression and irritability did not matter to me; only results mattered – and, while hypomanic, I was able to achieve great progress on many things because there seemed to be no shortage to my own potential and energy.

However, they call the disorder “bipolar” for a reason.  The flipside of the coin is dangerous enough for anyone, but, for the sociopathic borderline, the resulting destruction to the self and others is legendary.

Image is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported license.  Use of this image should not imply endorsement by the image author, Wikimedia Commons user Solomon203.

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