Mixed States

I am bipolar II and seem to suffer from mixed states. I am wondering if can I ever just have depression or just hypomania? Also when someone is in a mixed state, is the treatment the same as if someone was just hypomanic or depressed?


Mixed States are one of the most complex and difficult parts of the bipolar disorder. I’ve been diagnosed as being in a mixed state while hospitalized, yet until now I didn’t fully understand what the definition of a mixed state truly was. I’m really good at identifying my depressive and manic episodes but when it comes to mixed episodes this expertise may take a few more years to master.

A mixed state occurs when symptoms of both mania and depression co-exist. Often these symptoms can include: irritability, insomnia, impulsiveness, guilt, change in appetite, and suicidal thoughts. These kinds of episodes can often be quite stressful to the individual.

Your doctor may change your medication a bit to counter the mixed episode. These kinds of mixed states can lead to substance abuse, panic attacks and ultimately the real possibility of suicide.

You may wonder as did I about how this is possible? How could you have manic and depressive symptoms at the same time that co-exist? One thing to remember which has helped me is to remember that this is a mental illness that we’re dealing with and as a whole the bi-polar illness defy the definition of standard or normal emotional states. Logic is thrown out here.

I really hope this helps your understanding of mixed states within the bi-polar illness.

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