Tag Archive: hypomania

Jan 26

Dangers of Mania

A cheerful young woman comes in for a consultation and soon we come to a topic that can be remarkably frustrating for all: trying to explain the dangers of mania. She is only mildly manic. It’s true she often gets into arguments that don’t really make much sense and she has been smoking more marijuana …

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Nov 20

Hamster Brain

A young woman who has been making good progress tackling the problem of severe depressive episodes suddenly is having trouble managing the opposite end of the mood spectrum.  She gets energized and is consumed with getting stuff done. She is unable to stop until she is exhausted and she crashes. I call this state of mind “hamster mind” …

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Aug 23

Tricked by Mania – Bipolar Hope

I have been fortunate this past month to have been working at the Bipolar Clinic at UCSF. Chief of the clinic, Dr. Descartes Li, shared with us this article that is one of the best discussions about why it is that people who are clearly manic are unable to recognize the change in mood. It …

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Nov 21

Poor Health Predicts Bipolar Outcomes

poor health predicts bipolar outcomes

John has not been doing well. He used to be optimistic about all challenges and, although he had ups and downs, he managed to overcome these shifts in mood and maintain a focus on achieving his life goals. For the last year and a half he seems to be having difficulty focusing on those goals. …

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May 13

Hypomania and Success

Hypomania and Success

During the 1990s clinical psychologist John Gartner was planning on writing a book about religious movements started by manic profits, but he began to be distracted by the energy and excitement swirling around him as people became immersed in the Internet “bubble”. He decided instead to write a book about the relationship between hypomania and success …

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Feb 15

Travel and Mood

Travel and mood are very much related. Often a trip is associated with a significant change in mood. This can be due to many factors. Getting out of a rut, experiencing new locations and meeting new people can bring you out of the depression. However there is also the possibility that travel may disrupt circadian rhythms …

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Jul 08

How Mood Can Influence Events

What I do for a living often involves asking dumb questions. For example, we all know our moods are usually affected by events. In fact, if we happen to notice we’re in a bad mood, the first thing we start to do, often unconsciously, is try to figure out what caused that bad mood. It’s …

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Jun 12

Hypomania and Sensory Experience

More than a decade ago, Dr. Suzanne Black, who occasionally writes posts on this blog, got me interested in the sensory experiences associated with hypomania.In our Diagnostic and Statistical Manual, the only reference to these is under the heading of “distractibility.” And, indeed, sometimes people who are experiencing intense and profound sensory experiences everywhere they look …

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Oct 15

Fall Mania

I had been gearing up to write my usual set of posts about seasonal affective disorder, and then this afternoon I met with a young woman who has had a clear and consistent pattern of getting hypomanic in the fall. We talk a lot about winter and fall depression. And, for many people, as the …

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Sep 28

But Hypomania is Great!

Sometimes I feel like the Grinch. This past week I found myself in the uncomfortable position of suggesting that it might be good to moderate the hypomania one of my patients was experiencing. I also got a somewhat frantic call from the therapist of another mutual patient, the therapist was asking, “how does this end… …

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Nov 20

Talking to Yourself

Sometimes talking to yourself is a sign of health. Those of you who have been following this blog for a while, know that I am very impressed with how mood shapes our reality. One day I wake up and the world is bright and filled with hope, and the next day, nothing works, nothing feels …

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Nov 20

What’s the Hurry

It’s been a very busy week for mental health professionals in the Bay Area. The holidays are ramping up. And it has been dark and rainy. Many people are feeling a great deal of stress. Last night, we got a call from a wonderful woman who we’ve been working with for several months. She said …

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Sep 28

Magic

It’s hard not to believe in magic when you have the experience of mood shifts. What can be more extraordinary and more magical than waking up one day, after a long stretch of struggles and pain, and seeing the world transformed all of a sudden into something positive and hopeful and vibrant and alive. This …

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Aug 24

Mood and Reality: Mood’s Ability to Shape Perception and Interactions

We have been thinking for a while about how mood powerfully creates our reality. And how hard it is to hold on to a consistent sense of the world as moods change. Mood affects what we notice and remember and how we see it. It also affects where our thoughts naturally tend to go. We …

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Aug 12

Bipolar Brains

After years of trying, a group of researchers down at UCLA (led by Lori Altshuler) may have succeeded in identifying important changes in brain function that are associated with bipolar moods. They have found two specific areas of the brain that show pretty consistent changes associated with bipolar. One area (the orbitofrontal cortex) is generally …

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Jul 26

Watch the Mood Waves

One of the best ways of helping people MoodSurfing successfully is to look closely at the shape of their mood waves. Often when we talk to someone about this idea they are perplexed. Waves are waves right? If you have a depression wave then you should do one thing and if you have a manic …

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Jul 15

Kay Jamison

If you do much thinking about moods and how they affect us, you eventually run into Kay Jamison. She has dedicated her life to understanding mood and its impact on us. She teaches at Johns Hopkins, but she is not just an academic, she is also a brilliant writer and compelling lecturer. She is the …

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Jul 11

Mood and Food

Many people have an intuitive sense that a good diet is a foundation stone of good mental health. We don’t disagree, although the evidence for dietary manipulation’s effectiveness is not overwhelming. There are a couple of things that we have noticed over the years about food and its effect on mood that might be useful …

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Jun 21

What is Hypomania?

What is hypomania (“a little mania”) and what changes when you are hypomanic? Depending on where you sit it can be the most desirable state conceivable or a mood that is terribly destructive to relationships. We often say that hypomania is a symptom that rarely motivates people for treatment, but often motivates a spouse or …

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