The largest treatment study of bipolar disorder conducted to date found that more than half the study participants with bipolar disorder also had a comorbid anxiety disorder.*
I have been experiencing what I thought were hypomanic symptoms – decreased need for sleep, restlessness, increased productivity/creativity, project-oriented tasks, irritability, OCD behaviors, agitation, and distractibility.
However, since my over all mood was not elated or euphoric but rather anxious, my psychiatrist said I was experiencing anxiety and not mania. I do tend to cope with anxiety by “keeping busy” to distract myself and to work off all of that “nervous energy.” And I get a bit obsessive with cleaning and organizing my environment in an attempt to control my surroundings in some way when I am feeling “out of control” on the inside.
It is frustrating to get confused on what my symptoms mean, however. I guess that is what the doctors are there for – to assess and diagnose. I would like to think I knew myself and my illness a little bit better by now though, but I guess we are always learning, aren’t we? Do your symptoms ever confuse you?