What does it mean by becoming hypomanic?
Manic depressive disorder, or bipolar disorder, can only be diagnosed if someone has a history of at least one manic (bipolar I) or hypomanic (bipolar II) episode. Sometimes, a person’s first episode of a mood disorder is that of depression; therefore, a possibility exists of a depressed individual really having bipolar disorder. The likelihood of this occurring increases if there is a family history of bipolar disorder. If a person with depression actually has bipolar disorder, an anti-depressant may trigger the onset of a hypomanic or manic mood state. This is why bipolar depressed persons usually require a mood stabilizer when taking an antidepressant.
Becoming hypomanic or even manic on an antidepressant, however, is not diagnostic of bipolar disorder. These reactions can occur in non-bipolar depressed persons. If you have a manic response, your doctor will want to stop the antidepressant. Further inquiry into past personal and family history will be done to be sure that evidence of past hypomanic or manic episodes was not missed.
Once the antidepressant is stopped, your hypomanic or manic symptoms should resolve. If they do not, then bipolar disorder is likely present. If resolved, another antidepressant can be tried, as the manic response will not necessarily occur with another medication. If it does occur again, then a mood stabilizer may be necessary in conjunction with an antidepressant.