Each person’s hypomanic episode can vary substantially. I believe I’ve had numerous hypomanic episodes that had gone unrecognized for the past 2 years. People with bipolar disorder mostly seek help only during depressive states. Each episode has also been slightly different, but always featuring insomnia, high productivity, motivational happiness, sexual drive and irritability. I think that they need to expand on hypomania; the DSM-IV Criteria doesn’t recognize that hypomania seems to have a variety of stages within the actual episode.
I’m currently hypomanic at the moment, its 2am and I’m at my laptop, I’ve taken mood stabilizers today and insomnia tablets, yet I’m still awake. I feel productive when I write at the moment; the night-time has definitely become my time of focus. Not all of my hypomanic episodes have been like this, some were beyond awful, with bouts of crying/laughing simultaneously, tension headaches, head chatter/static/white noise (whichever you prefer) and the inability to focus on a task without getting agitated and eventually irritated, this isn’t including the racing thoughts that leave me sitting in the one position without recognizing the time passing, the worst hypomanic episode I experienced was co-morbid with dissociation caused by antidepressants. My thoughts seemed like they weren’t my own, that I was looking at all these social instances from a macro level instead of my perceived micro level perception. The dissociation caused me extreme anxiety whereby I couldn’t function properly for two days and was taken off the medication.