Am I Happy or Hypomanic?
Happiness, according to Psychology Today, “is more than simply a positive mood. It is a state that encompasses living a good life with a sense of well-being and deep satisfaction.”
Happiness is consistent and is simply not obtained by bouncing from one “feel good” thing to another.
On the other hand, hypomania is what I like to call, “pseudohappiness.” It’s like any other drug on earth that releases dopamine, but as we know, what goes up must eventually come down (a.k.a. baseline/depression).
It feels great, but is flighty.
It’s fun, but risky.
It’s temporary and inconsistent (euphoric to dysmorphic).
Hypomania can subsequently lead to full-blown mania, or more commonly for me, right back down to depression if left untreated.
In my opinion, if one is medication compliant, seeking therapy and has reached a comfortable baseline in which they can wake up and feel contentment and continuous peace, it can be safe to say they are genuinely happy.
Craving or consistently seeking out “pseudohappiness” through risk taking, grandiose thinking, racing thoughts, sexual acts, etc. lead me to believe hypomania is the one at play.
Here are some personal examples of hypomania:
Everything around me is in sync. The song on the radio mentions something that happened to me the previous day.
The thoughts I have are mentioned in conversations with people who can’t read my mind.
I can predict time without looking at a clock — and no, I’m not psychic!
I can give auctioneers a run for their money when it comes to my rate of speech. I talk fast and it’s your job to keep up.
My confidence turns to cockiness and everyone around me is perceived to be less than. I become a self-centered prick with a classic case of “me, me, me!” syndrome.
I know the dysmorphia is starting to kick in when it feels like everyone is moving sooo slowly. I get so irritated and annoyed. This has led me to embarrassing road rage and easily preventable car accidents.
These are just a few examples. I could probably write a book about my hypomanic self, but I’ll leave that for when I’m actually hypomanic!
Follow this journey on Good to the Bone.
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Thinkstock photo via Andesign101.