It is commonly believed that it is impossible to be hypomanic without rapidly escalating to an out-of-control state. Even the National Institute of Mental Health believes that the standard of care for manic should go way entirely. Although bipolar disorder is a dangerous gift, we must learn to take responsibility for our states and keep them from getting to places that we can’t control. An article from Psychology Today offers four secrets to being hypomanic successfully.
Determine a Starting Point
Assess where you are in terms of the ability to handling elevated states. Most assessment tools for bipolar disorder are only for making a diagnosis. Gauge the varying levels of intensity, awareness, understanding, functionality, comfort, and what value the person sees in experience until you find the one where they are all optimized. It’s also critical to determine the level of intensity that will allow a big enough window of time. That window needs to be a month or more, which for most beginners is at 10 to 20 percent intensity.
Find the necessary tools and use them
There is a plethora of proven effective tools used to help reduce the intensity of mania. Many of them can be modified to maintain or lower intensity if it begins to increase. The top three essential tools to controlling hypomania are to recognize your state, learn to separate feelings versus reactions, and keep a behavior inventory.
Create a Realistic Plan
Plan for the next crisis with concrete actions. Far too many people see crisis and bipolar as synonymous. Instead focus on a crisis plan on making symptoms go away. This plan should include who is going to help, how to recognize mania when it starts, estimate time before losing control, and know the steps necessary at each time frame.
Do the Work
Remember, the plan won’t succeed if you don’t do your part. Manage hypomania before it starts!
The Villa Orlando and Pasadena Villa’s Smoky Mountain Lodge are adult intensive psychiatric residential treatment centers for clients with serious mental illnesses. We also provide other individualized therapy programs, step-down residential programs, and less intensive mental health services, such as Community Residential Homes, Supportive Housing, Day Treatment Programs and Life Skills training. Pasadena Villa’s Outpatient Center in Raleigh, North Carolina offers partial hospitalization (PHP) and an intensive outpatient program (PHP). If you or someone you know may need mental health services, please complete our contact form or call us at 407-574-5190 for more information.