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585414 tn?1288941302

How To Spot Hypomania in Yourself? Signs?

I know its easy to tell someone they are hypomanic. But what about yourself? And that full blow mania is frightening. But hypomania can seem like "fun" but it quickly spirals into full blown mania. We've all experienced it. Including myself. And aren't always self aware. But how can we stop it before it gets worse?
For myself signs of hypomania (remember its complex because I have schizoaffective)
include:
contacting people I hardly know, feelings that "I love everyone" (elation), hypersexuality, overspending, feelings of paranoia (people who are annoying become "threatening"), doing passive aggressive or hostile pranks (in the past), self medicating with natural remedies (in the past), drinking large amounts of caffeinated beverages (in the past), overstating my important/thinking I could "change the world", unable to concentrate on tasks but becoming obssessed with something unimportant.
Right now I am to the point where I can spot this and catch it before it gets worse. Can you? What happens with you?
Can you stop it? And could you learn?
80 Responses
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723497 tn?1363370840
I am BP2, so never go into full-blown mania. But my hypomania symptoms flux between anger/irritation/rage, anxiety over simple things [paranoia that I'm about to get fired at work, though I'm far from it, etc], a jittery feeling beneath my skin, jumpiness, generalized paranoia [can't stand people behind me or touching me, although I never have the feeling they work for the government or anything]. Sudden inspiration, bounding friendliness, abrupt joining of a million different causes [volunteer].

Sometimes I can side-swipe it by focusing it on a creative project I get obsessed with until it's over. Lately I haven't been able to. And if it's worse than just a minor bout of hypomania, there hasn't been any way I can actually stop it. I can forestall it, calm it down with a nice, hot bath or an early rest at night, but not get rid of it until it's over. I'm also an ultra-rapid cycler, which makes it all the harder to control.
Helpful - 1
1 Comments
Sounds very familiar
574118 tn?1305135284
sorry i thought this is a new post, it has been a long time since i last posted. The page interface has changed completely, in the past usually you see before getting into reading the post the no of persons who answered it
Ezz
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574118 tn?1305135284
Hi Iladvocate

How are you ?

It's been a long time since I last wrote here. Usually when you are OK you don't read the posts of others.

For me I start to become very restless and walk in the house like crazy. Directly I increase my antipsychotic so that it kills it right away. It;s very easy to to tell I am becoming hypomanic. I can't afford a full blown mania.
Ezz

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Avatar universal
Hi, I am new to the possible bipolar 2 diagnosis. I just started taking lamictal after trying literally every other antidepressant and tricyclics and atypical and crazy concoction known to mankind and either having crazy reactions or no benefit and just side effects. I guess it's been tough for me to understand because I also was severely abused and have terrible PTSD symptoms and am a VERY rigid rule bound human.... so I've become skilled at hiding things. With this being said, I am easily triggered, I go in stages of extreme paranoia, agitation where things that have nothing to do with me set me off and I lock myself in a room so I don't take it out on others, I often feel such intense agitation that I want to rip my hair out and sprint head first into a wall, I use excessive exercise to control it (I've been an elite athlete all my life)... there are times I spend money I don't really have and feel guilty about, but not enough to be in trouble. I have terrible anxiety and waves of horrible insomnia. It's hard because PTSD can have all these symptoms. I struggled a lot in my teen years especially with self-harm, and impulse control where I'd take random overdoses. I have periods of time where I am extremely productive- organizing all the cupboards and closets in the house, making months and months of menus, making months of workout calendars, goals, applying for a ton of jobs bc it feels like I could do anything. Then my mood quickly shifts and I'm having weeks of sobbing, only can get out of bed if I force myself, do the bare minimum. I can't work. I guess I'm wondering if anyone with the diagnosis is similar to me? Am I describing bipolar 2?
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Avatar universal
When it comes to these disorders, self-assessment will never give you complete answers. Try contacting for professional help which is the best option.
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1 Comments
I think I may have bipolar 1 and 2, but usually just hypomanic. The longest one was 3 months but it varies. I've been to see a psychiatrist who dismissed the whole bloody thing, which made me very angry. Not even my therapist believes me. I feel more alone now than when I started my therapy. The psychiatrist is saying it's autistic traits but it doesn't ring true for me. I get very giddy and hyper and feel elated sometimes, following a sudden drop in mood. I'll impulsively spend money and last week I spent loads. What should I do? No one believes me regarding the extreme moods but my friend. I haven't had mania when in therapy so they never see me when I'm all crazy. I also experience a lot of rage and irritability, especially towards those I care about during a manic phase.
Avatar universal
I still don't have a formal diagnosis of Bipolar. Though in psychometric testing it has been shown that I score for clinical levels of Bipolar. But prior to this nobody has ever seen me in any kind of manic state so my psychiatrist refused to diagnose it. Instead he focused on the EUPD (Borderline) diagnosis I have. Which is fair, its a debilitating illness that does affect most every aspect of my life. But theres bits that aren't explained. Such as the yearly mood cycle I experience, with crashes between September/December for the past 10 years.

In my quest for understanding what the hell is going on in my brain I've been  trying to become more aware of when I'm symptomatic and when I'm stable. So far its hard to realise I'm stable, this is because I'm never sure if my productivity and creativity is me at baseline or whether its me on a mild hypomanic episode.

Discussing the symptoms I notice when I feel notable "weird" one of the main symptoms I experience I think is rapid thought, they work in layers. You have organised thought which is when I try to force myself to think in a constructive way (For example during a therapeutic session) and then theres the underlying thoughts which are racing past so fast you can't actually catch anything they're about. And this distracts you from the organised thought.

In these states I often trail off in the middle of a sentence, or find myself actively having to think to get words out that are in my brain but can't quite reach my tongue. Its frustrating. I also find myself making silly noises, repeating words and laughing at inappropriate times with little or no external stimulus, its almost as if my levels of fun are amped up to mega high levels. Which I must admit isn't one of the worst parts.

I also present physically as if I'm anxious. I move a lot, do repetitive movements, bouncing legs, moving fingers, just constant energy. As I write this long winded post I've been bouncing my legs for the past 2 hours. I literally can't sit still. I've tested my heart rate during these episodes but though it feels like its racing it hardly ever is anything above normal resting heart rate. Recently I ran for an hour and had so much energy afterwards that I went for another mile run, which I completed in my fastest time.

Other things I've noticed is dissociation. I zone out a lot during these periods. My eyesight goes blurry and I thought I'm aware of whats going on around me its as if my brain is working so hard it has to shut down certain parts to prevent overstimulation. I'm used to dissociating when I'm on a down but I'd not noticed it when I'm up until recently.

Things seem to have become more pronounced since starting Seroquel (100mg) before this I was cycled on a day to day basis, BPD and Ultradian cycling Bipolar working around eachother to create a daily rollercoaster.  Though I must admit being medicated has helped to slow down the cycles, which is helpful because at least I know what to expect on a day to day basis.

The Moodtracker app is very useful, its shown my that if I miss sleep (anything less than 8 hours) it triggers hypomania, which I've been in, on varying levels, for the past 2 weeks. Yesterday it intensified so much my therapist had to send me out of session to go do some grounding techniques.

I guess I'd like to have that formal diagnosis. But I think with the symptoms I experience (even though they're faster than "normal") I would assume I'm somewhere on the spectrum.

The battle continues.
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Avatar universal
My Daughter is also Bi-Polar, but in denial, and she triggers my episodes. When she is manic, She is very verbally abusive to me.
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1551327 tn?1514045867
COMMUNITY LEADER
I was only on Depakote for a short while so I cannot tell you much about it but I would suggest starting a new thread on the forum so that you can get more responses.  Just title it with your main question and go from there.  Also you can search Medhelp in the mean time for Depakote and you will find some information that way.  Good luck with your inquiry.
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Avatar universal
I have seen a pdoc for 14 years.  She went through a terrible divorce, lost custody of her children, etc., and since then I have felt she is not focused on my treatment. I am compassionate and understand this but can't pay $275 for 45 minutes of mumbling and guessing, with different meds suggested each time and different explanations of what's going on or might be going on.  I took my partner in to my last session and asked the pdoc to tell him "If D___ asked you, what would you tell him was my diagnosis?"  Pdoc responded "atypical BP" and wants me to take Depakote.  She took me off Lamictal because she felt it was implicated in my developing small fiber peripheral neuropathy.  The problem is, I've completely lost trust in this medical professional.  I am seeking a second opinion, which I should have done months ago.  In the meantime, at Pdoc's suggestion, I am taking SAM-e, which I believe has triggered hypomania, which for me manifests itself in constant irritability.  I have to monitor my behavior and my tone of voice constantly because I feel like flying off the handle at everyone.  Admittedly, I drink too much caffeine, but the irritability really kicked in when I stopped drinking 3 years ago.  In any case, I would be interested in hearing people's experience with Depakote - I'm afraid of it, especially the weight gain, but am utterly tired of this constant irritability.  Thanks for any responses.
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Avatar universal
Hey everyone. I'm not officially diagnosed w BP but I'm beginning to suspect that I have it because it runs in the family and most of the symptoms ring true for me. I think recently I've been hypomanic: I can't sleep, I'm very jittery, can't sit still, increased sex drive, and also very talkative and hyper. Could this be hypomania? I'd say I'm 2 days - 1 week in. Thanks!
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Avatar universal
Hello.  I used to have a diagnoses of bipolar many years ago.  Now I have a diagnoses of schizoaffective, bipolar, which has many similar symptoms.
I used to get that crawling sensation in my legs and even in my body and especially my hips.  That is from the antipsychotic medication we take.  That crawling sensation is called:  "akithesia", and it is pure hell for those who have it.  Talk to your pdoc about it.  Maybe he or she can do a med adjustment or something with you.  Maybe this will help.
Do you get the symptom of irritability that takes the form of being real verbally abusive to your loved ones?  I was either manic or hypomanic for 10 years and I was very verbally, emotionally abusive to my girlfriend and I lashed out and got angry at strangers if they crossed me in the slightest way.  And I was extremely argumentative.  I took every opportunity to argue about everything.  Are you this way when you are manic, or hypomanic?  To this day, I don't know if I was manic or hypomanic.  I had nurses coming to my home all of those years and I would ask them if I was manic or hypomanic and they would always either stare at me or deny it.  So, I don't know if they were telling me the truth or not.  I presently think I was something.  Just what, I don't know.
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4067477 tn?1450124336
I experience low energy levels with my hypomania--- but I also have Fibromyalgia, so low energy levels and pain on a daily basis are normal, if I should use that word, for me. I do get to feeling restless, sleepless, questioning my meds, asking myself "could this be a hypomanic stage?' as well as feeling irritable and anxious.My mind races and will not shut down. I'm on edge with the obsessions, I wanna do things feel compelled to do them-- like clean, create, etc. but decide I don't have the energy nor the real patience it takes to set down and do these things- so I blow them off. I'm starting, just starting to see some of my symptoms prior to and at the beginning of hypomania-- but as for what triggers them-- I have no idea. Could be anything. Struggling tho, trying to keep my eyes open and journal what i can, when my brain will let me.
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Avatar universal
I'm am really glad I joined this site. I now don't feel so alone about what is happening to me. I have many similar symptoms that alot of you all have lately I think I am having many mixed episodes as in a matter of hours I can go from extremely irritabiliy and agitated with not wanting to be touch or having someone around me looking over my shoulder to being so not motivated or able to focus on any task. I have no concentration and secretly wish I was dead because everyone would be so better off. I don't have any plans or suicidal thoughts just ones able not being around because life would be easier. Since I am only new to this diagnosis I am still learning how to recognize my hypomania episodes and what triggers them. As to my depression there is absolutely no way I can talk myself out of one. My Psychiatrist and I are working on finding the right mix. Due to my paranoia that my private LTD company is out to get me and is spying on me with any available spyware I have become house bound and unsociable with everyone but my family and the stress of all this just starts the whole cycle over and over.
Will I ever find my normal or am I going to just cycle like this forever. My stress and cycling are tiring for me and my spouse and children. I sometimes wish I was no longer a burden.
The other major stresser for me is that my 3 wonderful children can try my patience as the Three of them have ADHD. I am very lucky I have the most patient spouse who rides this mental health roller coaster with us and remain calm supportive and is my rock.
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Avatar universal
I thought I was suffering from depression for the last 20 years (it was actually a mild BP II, hence the antidepressants didn't work & every time they prescribed me them, it made it worse! This last time, I got a rude awakening, when I was prescribed Bupropion. It sent me sky high into an immediate hallucination, psychotic break, I was delusional, had grand ideas... I was having panic attacks 48 hours straight, it was horrible, spiked to extremes daily, sometimes hourly. I am so glad I didn't commit suicide during that time, the thoughts were so rampant. I was paranoid that my doctor was trying to hunt me down. Luckily, I had the delusion that I was writing a "book" that would "change the world and save the universe" --I wrote 2,000 pages of crazy nonsense, while texting all my phone contacts crazy ****, I think I texted ~80,000 words to random folks on my phone. OMG!! I'm on a mood stabilizer now, after a friend finally convinced me to go see my doctor... I was psychotic for 6 months, lost complete touch with reality, I didn't know who I was. Worst experience of my life!

I never want to repeat that EVER and I keep a daily mood journal especially if I start to notice any sign of a swing. on a 0-10 scale, 0 = Total suicidal (I'm not myself when I hit 0 & that's f'ing scary), 1= fighting the suicidal thoughts, 2= worthless/hopeless/crying, 3= sad | 4,5,6,7, = baseline, happy/calm | 8 = excited, overly confident, start becoming impulsive w/ goals/tasks 9= overly confident/irritated/angry/jerk/*******/hypersexual<-- holy cow 10 =full blown mania= psychotic.

Unfortunately, it's all chemical imbalance, that bupropion must've killed all my neurotransmitters. I can't do anything to prevent it, only mood stabilizers. It's a total nightmare, without the meds - I am never getting off these meds! No fricken way!!!    
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Avatar universal
Hi Bob,

I'm glad you wrote in. It sounds like it's time to see your doctor.
Let us know how things work out.
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4885071 tn?1360514584
I'm 68 years old and don't know if the mental problems I've been experiencing over the past several weeks are related to prescription drugs I'm been taking for a while (such as a statin medication I take for blood pressure) or something else.  I find myself very irritable and angry over minor things. At the same time, I feel a slight buzz, like a mild drug high. I'm almost afraid to go out and be among other people for fear of snapping a few heads off.
Helpful - 0
Avatar universal
Gotta agree about the crawling sensation. I also feel that everything needs stretching and will often hold my body in a stretch at night to feel comfortable.Ironically reading posts on here makes me feel saner, I don't know if that makes any sense at all, it helps me to rationalise the odd behaviour I spend my life stifling!
Helpful - 0
Avatar universal
Hi, your descriptions and those of others on this site are very helpful. I've felt I am manic since my teens although after further thought I consider myself hypomanic. It's becoming easier to figure out if my feelings are down to hypomania and thus modify my behaviour. My emotions really do begin to make much more sense now. I really do feel for those with BP1. My mother has suffered this over the years so I am very familiar with the symptoms. It may sound risky (and therefore symptomatic!) but I'm trying to figure out how to make the most of those manic times.
As an aside my favourite song is Freebird; here's hoping you're not concentrating on the first line! Maybe this bird you cannot change
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Avatar universal
Hi,
I just found out that I may be mildly bipolar.  I went and talked to a phsycologist last week and she scared me to death!  The one good thing was that she told me she had heard all of the crazy symptoms I shared with her before and was actually able to put a diagnosis to it.  Now that I have had a chance to let the diagnosis sink in, I am soooo scared.  I totally understand what you were writing.  I tend to feel like I am outside of reality doing things that i shouldn't or wouldn't normally be doing....now that I have read up on hypomania, I guess this is what I have.  I am very worried about this.  My doctor is going to start me on Abilify this week(the lowest dosage)...and we will see how that works.  I am concerned because my episodes tend to occur during or around my cycle.  Do you know if it will stop once the cycle stops?   I to hardly ever leave my house.  I find more pleasure inside alone than I do with pple.  I would simply rather be alone most of the time.  When I do go out, I end up doing things I should not do.  I spend too much money, my sex drive is crazy high and lately I have been forgetting things.  That is what prompted me to go see a professional and share with them my symptoms.  I can not afford to be out doing stuff and not remembering.  its like i have been sleep walking.....
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585414 tn?1288941302
  Some mood stabilizers are more helpful on rapid cycling than others and it would be worthwhile to discuss what options might be of help with your psychiatrist.
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Avatar universal
Hi I'm 22 years old female I'm reading this page and thinking to my self these are all the symptoms I have but I have been to a psychiatrist and they told me I have sommitization disorder but i thought it may be a type of bi polar and I do believe I may have had hypomania I go through stages where I get really motivated where I feel like I can do anything I don't sleep at night I come up with all crazy ideas like cleaning out my wardrobe and stuff I feel jittery and to excited to sleep or even when I'm awake I'll go through a really extremely excited period and have lots of energey friends have noticed it my boyfriend has to I feel like the love world I'm happy full of life I'll come up with unrealistic adventures and then I come crashing right down i almost of mood swings I'll be really down I member always  crying on my birthday or at happy events also when I'm really down I get angry after it but almost like I'm in a rage I also have racing thoughts through m mind this happens over months though I'll be good for a month or two and then it starts agian I have strange obsessions to I won't wear certain tops or clothes I fear there bad luck I also have the same fear that someone's following me as some else did through my whole life I knew something was different I always felt sad as a kid but it's only the last few years I have noticed I'll be the total opposite if there's anyone that can give me some advice it would be helpful I'm also affraid of the dark to sleep And only get a 1 hour a night I'm so full of energy at night with ideas.
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Avatar universal
Hey, I have to be quick because I'm sick as a dog right now. But, I wanted to let you know that if I gave the impression that I regularly clean then I definitely misspoke. Our place is usually very messy and often downright filthy. If I decide to obsessively clean, well it might be one teeny tiny area. Around a faucet, for example. For an hour. With a toothbrush. Maybe I'll clean the whole sink area. But, I won't touch the counters or do anything meaningful or noticeable. Generally, I'm sad to say that I don't manage to keep up with things at all. Maybe once or twice a year I will get absolutely frenzied about cleaning and that could last for days, but it's never anything that makes a lasting change. So, no good feng shui around here. More like, 'try not to trip on that dog crate'.

I hope you find out what the full body restless leg-type thing is called. I'd be very interested in knowng. I figured it was part of bipolar. Maybe it's some weird neuro thing. I have wondered about that. It's funny you freaked out the nurse. It's no wonder, though. I was watching a show yesterday about a man with bipolar and gender dysphoria who murdered a woman whose life he wanted to take over after stalking her for like a decade. Well, just so happens I have a friend with bipolar and gender dysphoria. Of course I should know better, but I swear it kinda gives me the willies thinking about it now. Hmmm, I wonder if "willies" was a Freudian slip, given the subject matter.  

I love design. I'd love to change all kinds of things, but mostly I'm interested in buildings. I wanted to take CAD classes but they weren't offered at the little community college down the road. I don't know about committing to anything requiring a commute because I know I won't feel like driving that far if I get depressed. I am not keen on driving anyway and especially not this time of year. We had a snowstorm this morning. Not a huge one, but big enough to mess up the roads, delay/close schools. Fun stuff like that. I really admire that you could design and build skimboards. That is too cool. Do you still have all those boards from that summer? I was always so weak in math. I failed chemistry - twice. I did get a little more of a grip on things later. I think all along part of the problem has been concentration and patience. Oh - have you seen the people surfing in Alaska? We watched a show about it. Talk about cold water! When we have gone up there on cruises, sometimes they will offer snorkeling or SCUBA or something. I can't remember which. It seems like madness to get into water that cold even with the big wet suits.

I asked my husband about the inappropriate laughter. He played it for laughs, of course, and told me I was almost always inappropriate. I should have known better than to ask. I did tell him that I didn't trust my moods and I was suspicious if I felt cheerful because I didn't know how long I'd be that way. I was saying a lot of really inappropriate things yesterday, but he thought I was funny. I think if we waited for something to be appropriate that we'd either never laugh or end up watching the Disney channel. Oh well, there's always Spongebob...

Yes, this is me being brief. For most people, I think they'd feel verbose. Me, I almost feel curt. Thanks again for appreciating the silly things I say. I have to move to a room that is further north and closer to facilities. Hope you've had a good day.  
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585414 tn?1288941302
I apologize if I seem confrontational. The independent living perspective is slightly different from the medical model but it is by no means anti-treatment. At all. When I worked at these places if someone was not in treatment and needed it we actively encouraged them to seek help. And everyone has the right to their viewpoints. I do actively encourage people to know all about their psychiatric disability, their medications, what its for, the good effects as well as the side effects. When I hear "they put me on medication" which I hear a lot when I speak to consumers wherever I go, it makes me feel as if the person feels disempowered and they should think of medication, treatment and recovery as a positive issue. I agree I had to tone down my stance on long term side effects but I do believe people should be aware of what they are for any medication so they can work with their psychiatrist to monitor for them, such as knowing why regular bloodtests for certain medications are neccessary. I also know that sometimes people need medication when they are not aware of it. Including myself in the past. And some of the information I've brought is new to medical science but I've confirmed its factual. Any community moderator who has concerns I've updated with pm's. I just can't post the names of the providers on a public thread. You can speak to me about this by pm yourself any time you want.
   I think most psychiatrists would agree an educated consumer would get the best response. I think you are highly educated and have some more knowledge on issues regarding bipolar than I do. I was interested in the form of therapy you were talking about. I just said on another thread I tried a form of cognitive behavioral therapy called "flooding" and it didn't work for me. But that was a specific form of CBT and there are others and as well my friend who referred me stopped taking 4 hour showers from ocd and that was before there was even medication for it. It worked for him and many other people. I've never put down any form of therapy or self help group unless it was some useless natural remedy or form of magical thinking that went against all known medical science (and that was out of concern) but I haven't seen any posts like that here. If you have any concerns with a particular post of mine let me know by pm. Seriously. We all travel our own path and as long as it leads to recovery who am I to say its wrong.
  
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Avatar universal
Your idea of me being an idealist, hmmm.  I beg to differ. I am a realist. I know my situation, BUT I refuse to let get the best of me. What you think is pop or fashionable therapy, so be it. It works for me and others. I refuse to let this dis-ease and other medical issues get the best of me. The therapy model I an working with is a new model of thinking and retraining one's brain comes. Is it a lesser therapy because it's new? I don't think so.

Like you I have had some brushes with death. I've stopped breathing twice from a reflux induced asthma attack, I've had two serious motor vehicle accidents, one where I had a pretty damaging spinal injury. I've also OD twice, once on illicit drugs the other an intentional wish to die.  That being said, many times in your posts you seem confrontational. Just because someone hasn't been through what you've experienced, doesn't make their experience lesser then yours.  I just want to remind you of that.
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