What Is Mania?

Medically Reviewed By Bethany Juby, PsyD
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Mania is a period of excessively high energy that affects your day-to-day functioning. It is most commonly associated with bipolar disorder. This article will discuss what mania is. It will also talk about the symptoms, causes, and treatments.

What is mania?

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Mania is a period of time when you experience overactive and excited behaviors or mood changes that have a significant effect on your daily life. These changes and behaviors often go hand in hand with grandiosity and impaired judgment.

Mania is most commonly associated with bipolar disorder. However, it is also a symptom of other mental health conditions, including:

It is also possible for you to experience mania on its own without it being related to a mental health condition.

It is not uncommon to experience changes in your mood and energy level. However, someone experiencing mania has a change in their mood and energy that is so unlike their typical behavior that it has a dramatic impact on their daily life. These periods of mania can last for weeks or even months.

Vs. hypomania

Hypomania is similar to mania. They share many of the same attributes. However, hypomania symptoms are typically milder than those of mania. Periods of hypomania do not last as long, and they do not have the same impact on daily life.

Manic episodes

“Manic episode” is the term typically used to describe the periods of mania associated with bipolar disorder. These episodes usually last for at least 1 week and are often followed by a depressive episode depending on which type of bipolar disorder you are experiencing.

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What are the symptoms of mania?

Not everyone will experience mania in the same way. However, periods of mania typically include:

  • experiencing feelings of elation — being overly happy or overjoyed
  • talking extremely fast
  • feeling like you are full of energy
  • having a feeling of self-importance
  • feeling as though you are full of wonderful new ideas and have important plans
  • being easily distracted
  • being easily agitated or irritated
  • feeling like you do not need to sleep
  • having a decreased appetite
  • experiencing delusions, hallucinations, and disturbed thinking
  • showing increased risky behavior

If you or someone you love is experiencing symptoms of mania, contact your doctor or mental health professional.

What are the causes of mania?

Mania is often a symptom or side effect of a mental health condition, such as bipolar disorder. However, that is not the only possible cause for mania.

While there is no one cause for mania, possible causes include:

  • stress
  • lack of sleep or drastic changes in your sleep schedule
  • use of drugs or alcohol
  • seasonal changes
  • significant life changes, such as divorce
  • childbirth
  • bereavement
  • trauma or abuse
  • environmental issues, such as money problems and loneliness
  • medication side effect
  • the result of a physical illness or neurological condition
  • family history

What is bipolar disorder?

Bipolar disorder is a psychological disorder that results in shifts in your mood, activity level, energy, concentration, and ability to function in daily life in a way that is not typical.

There are three types of bipolar disorder. Each type includes some level of change in mood, activity, and energy, but the severity may differ.

The three types of bipolar disorder are:

  • Bipolar I: This type is characterized by manic episodes that last at least a week, or are severe enough to require hospitalization. These periods are typically followed by depressive episodes that last at least 2 weeks.
  • Bipolar II: This type involves depressive episodes and episodes of hypomania, but it never reaches the full manic episodes of bipolar I.
  • Cyclothymic disorder: This type is characterized by periods of hypomania as well as periods of depressive symptoms that typically last at least 2 years. However, these symptoms do not meet the requirements to be diagnosed as bipolar I or bipolar II.

The exact cause of bipolar disorder is not known. However, it is possible that brain structure and function, as well as genetics, play a role in the development of bipolar disorder.

Treatment for bipolar disorder typically includes a combination of medication and psychotherapy.

Read more about the differences between bipolar I and bipolar II here.

What are the treatments for mania?

Treatment for mania typically involves medication. Your doctor may recommend antipsychotic medications, mood stabilizers, or a combination of these medications.

Generally, psychotherapy is not used to treat mania. However, if your mania is the result of another mental health condition like bipolar disorder or schizoaffective disorder, then your doctor may recommend some form of psychotherapy be added to your treatment plan. This may include a type of psychotherapy that involves psychoeducation with an emphasis on practical coping skills, like cognitive behavioral therapy.

Summary

Mania is a period of time that involves drastic changes to your mood, energy, and behavior.

It is commonly associated with bipolar disorder. However, you can experience mania on its own or as a part of other mental health conditions.

Mania has a significant impact on your daily life.

Mania is typically treated with medications such as antipsychotics and mood stabilizers.

If you or someone you know is experiencing symptoms of mania, contact your doctor or mental health professional.

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Medical Reviewer: Bethany Juby, PsyD
Last Review Date: 2022 May 12
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