FLIGHTY - A New Way to Identify Hypomania

Patient Expert

Recently, I talked about an article in Current Psychiatry that I found frustrating. This week, I want to highlight one I thought was interesting and has some value to us as consumers. In the June 2007 issue of Current Psychiatry, Dr. David L. Wagner suggested a new way to identify when hypomania might be present.

Hypomania is a problem because, as you know, it's more subtle than full-on mania ... and harder to detect.   Most of us won't spring out of nowhere with full-blown mania, so being able to identify the signs early can help you get help before the symptoms take over your life.

Dr. Wagner used the word "FLIGHTY" as a way to remember the signs:

F- Flights of ideas, talking before you think

L- Lacking attention, distracted, trouble reading a book, preoccupied with unimportant things

I- Insomnia, high energy with little sleep

G- Grandiosity ... feeling more important, smarter, or creative than others

H- Hyperactive, agitated, starting a lot of projects and finishing few

T- Talkative, tongue-tied, pressured speech

Y- Yearnings ... excessive involvement in pleasurable or risky behavior

You might find this helpful to note in your wellness tool kit as a way to help identify when you're moving into hypomania. If you're showing these signs, you also need to work on a plan of action to get assistance before full-blown mania hits. Mary Ellen Copeland's WRAP Plan and an advance directive might be good tools to help you with that action plan.

What other tips or tools do you have that could help you or a loved one "catch" hypomania?