|Q: Does Having Hypomania mean Bipolar?
I am alittle confused about the dx my daughter has "hypomania"
we have her on a mood stalizer (Depakote) and she was doing well, just recently
starting having migrane like headaches and sick to her stomach, we dropped her
down to 500mgs, headaches are better and no stomach upset (nausea). To be
considered BiPolar do you have to have depression as well, I am assuming that is
correct..but when you only have hypomania, then are you still bipolar or does
this fall into the bipolar dx, does that make sense? Also, we did speak
with her dr about the headaches, she had been on the 750mgs about two weeks
before they started and she didn't feel it was related..but we actually stopped
the med for a few days and the headaches went away, but after the third day, she
became manic again..so I asked if we could try 500mgs and see if the headaches
come back, so far so good. Her level was 107 at 750mgs, I am also assuming
that she is not metabolizing this med quickly, since that seems to be a low dose
(she's 13). I am starting to see alittle of her behaviors come back, but
not sure if that is the dosage or if her level dropped too low
when we had her off and now we need to wait for the level to increase again.
I do have to call the pdoc in a couple days to let her know how we're doing.
I do want to stay with the Depakote as long as possible since she had such a
good response (other than the weight gain) to it.
Dear Anna --
You're doing a good job trying to determine if the Depakote is causing the
headaches. If weight gain is already in the picture, you can try changing
to the new "ER" version that seems to have less of that problem,
particularly at this dose range (but remember that only 85% is absorbed,
so two 500's = only 850mg). Remember there are plenty of alternatives,
although fewer have been well studied at her age (there are still some
psychiatrists worried about causing polycystic ovarian syndrome in young
adolescent girls with Depakote; how much to worry is still controversial; even
those who worry more seem to agree that if weight gain doesn't occur, the
patient is less likely to get this problem. Read the
on my website about this for more info').
As regards the diagnosis issue you raise, there is
strong concensus that having hypomania means "bipolar" all right and
should be treated as such; there are some folks with bipolar I who only have
manic episodes, for example.
Published June, 2001