General Practice 2022

Bipolar mania and hypomania: what they are, symptoms and treatment

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Bipolar mania and hypomania: what they are, symptoms and treatment
Bipolar mania and hypomania: what they are, symptoms and treatment

Mania is one of the phases of bipolar disorder, a disorder also known as manic-depressive illness. It is characterized by a state of intense euphoria, with increased energy, agitation, restlessness, mania for grandeur, less need for sleep, and may even cause aggression, delusions and hallucinations.

Hypomania, on the other hand, is a milder condition of mania, with less severe symptoms that interfere less in the person's daily life, and there may be chatter, greater disposition, impatience, more sociability, initiative and energy to perform daily activities.

People with bipolar disorder experience mood swings between mania or hypomania and depression. Generally, when alternating between episodes of mania and depression, the illness is classified as Bipolar disorder type 1When alternating between hypomania and depression, it is classified as Bipolar Disorder Type 2 Understand what bipolar disorder is and its characteristics.

It is important to remember that not all mood swings indicate mania or bipolar disorder, as it is common for everyone to have small mood swings throughout the day or week. To detect bipolar mania, it is necessary for the psychiatrist to carry out an assessment of the signs and symptoms and identify whether these are characteristic of the disease.

Main symptoms

Bipolar mania and hypomania provoke feelings of euphoria that are very disproportionate to any positive event. The main symptoms include:

1. Bipolar Mania

The manic episode has symptoms that include:

  • Excessive euphoria;
  • Inflated self-esteem or delusions of grandeur;
  • Talking excessively;
  • Accelerated thinking, with flight of ideas;
  • Too much distraction;
  • More agitation or energy to perform activities;
  • Loss of control over your attitudes;
  • Involvement in risky activities that normally require caution, such as unwise financial investments, making unrestrained purchases or greatly increased sexual appetite, for example;
  • There may be irritability or aggression;
  • There may be delusions or hallucinations.

For the event to be characterized as mania, there must be at least 3 symptoms, which must last at least 4 days and persist most of the day, or in cases where they are so severe as to require hospitalization hospital.

These symptoms are so intense that they tend to disrupt the social and professional relationships of the person with the disease, being considered a medical and social emergency, which should be treated as soon as possible.

2. Hypomania

The signs and symptoms of a hypomanic episode are similar to those of mania, however, they are milder. Major ones include:

  • Euphoria or heightened mood;
  • More creativity;
  • Reduced need for sleep, already being rested after sleeping about 3 hours, for example;
  • Talking more than usual or chattering;
  • Accelerated thinking;
  • Easy distraction;
  • Agitation or increased energy to perform activities;
  • Easily perform activities that would require greater caution, such as unrestrained purchases, risky financial investments, and increased sexual appetite.

Symptoms of hypomania do not usually cause damage to social and professional relationships, nor do they cause symptoms such as delusions or hallucinations, in addition to usually lasting a short time, about 1 week.

Furthermore, they are not serious enough to require hospitalization, and in some cases, they may even go unnoticed. In these cases, many patients end up being treated as having only depression, as the mood swings may not be detected.

How to confirm

The manic or hypomanic episode is identified by the psychiatrist, who will evaluate the symptoms reported by the patient or by people close to him.

It is also important that the doctor perform evaluations and tests that can rule out other diseases or situations that cause similar symptoms, such as thyroid dysregulation, medication side effects such as steroids, use of illicit drugs or other psychiatric diseases, such as schizophrenia or personality disorders, for example.

Check out which are the main mental disorders and how to identify each one.

How to treat

Treatment of bipolar disorder is guided by a psychiatrist, using medications that stabilize mood, such as Lithium or Valproate, for example. Antipsychotics such as Haloperidol, Quetiapine or Olanzapine may also be indicated to calm behavior and decrease psychotic symptoms.

Psychotherapy provided by the psychologist is very useful in helping the patient and family to deal with mood changes. Anxiolytics can also be indicated in cases of great agitation and, in addition, in severe cases or resistant to treatment, electroconvulsive therapy may be indicated.

Learn more details about treatment options for bipolar disorder.

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