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Hope & Harmony Headlines: Happiness or Hypomania?

November 7, 2019   •   Volume 12, Issue 45
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When Hypomania Masquerades as Happiness

Feeling better than usual about yourself but more easily agitated by others? Participating more often in pleasurable activities but edging closer to personal or financial harm?

This is the time to pay close attention to your symptoms, because when it comes to hypomania, there’s a pretty clear line between what’s healthy and what’s not.

Mild or moderate episodes of hypomania can be managed with nourishing lifestyle habits—eating regularly, getting enough sleep and exercise. In fact, as clinical psychologist and Touched with Fire: Manic-Depressive Illness and the Artistic Temperament author Kay Redfield Jamison points out, many features of hypomania—including self-confidence, increased energy, and heightened productivity—have been “linked with increased achievement and accomplishment.”

There’s no denying the allure of an amplified mood, particularly when it moves into euphoric territory. But there’s no denying that once that mood evolves into full-fledged mania, there will be a price—potentially a hefty one—to pay.

That’s why it’s essential to identify our limits and know our danger zones.

One strategy for staying in the safe zone, used often in cognitive behavior therapy, is using automatic thought records to keep track of hyperpositive thoughts. The records are worksheets that help identify thoughts and clarify how they affect emotions.

“Once these thoughts are recognized,” says Stephanie Roberts, PhD, author of The Bipolar II Disorder Workbook, “they can be restructured into more realistic thoughts.”

Blogger Carrie Cantwell knows how easy it can be to dismiss hypomania, which is why she doesn’t ignore its possible dangers.

“Because I have bipolar disorder, I never let my guard down,” she says. “If I start feeling happy, even if my reaction is warranted, I question my emotions. Although it can be tempting to ignore hypomania, I must be willing to acknowledge it if I want to stay healthy.” Read more >>

Healthy Foods, Not Specific Diet, Reduce Heart Disease Risk

August 28, 2019, Boston, MA—Researchers examined the effects of three healthy diets emphasizing different macronutrients—carbohydrates, proteins, or unsaturated fats—on a biomarker that directly reflects heart injury, and found that all three are beneficial.

The findings, from researchers at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, emphasize that healthy foods are more important than the type of diet when reducing Heart Disease Risk.

“Our findings support flexibility in food selection for people attempting to eat a healthier diet and should make it easier,” says corresponding author Stephen Juraschek, MD, PhD, Assistant Professor of Medicine at BIDMC and Harvard Medical School.

Each diet included at least four to six servings of fruits and vegetables a day. Read more >>

6 Practical Ways Self-Tracking Helps Manage Symptoms

Since people who do best over time implement more self-management strategies, here are some you can start today to get you on your way:

1. Keep a mood chart. This is simply a daily diary of your mood states, with times indicating when these moods start and stop. This type of chart will urge you to be more aware of subtle changes in your mood and help you recognize a relapse into either mania or depression. By observing your fluctuations within your tracking, you may be able to prevent any episodes from happening. Your doctor will also find the mood chart of great use in helping to identify stress or environmental triggers. Read more >>

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Hope & Harmony Headlines: Happiness or Hypomania?


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