Hypomania and mania are both conditions where a person suffers from intense periods of high energy or over active mental and physical behaviour. It’s not the same as being excited or in a really good mood, as the feelings are very intense and can last continuously over a period of time.
The conditions are the same but hypomania is a milder form and the symptoms don’t last as long, usually only for a few days. Mania is a more severe form and can last for a week or even longer without medical intervention.
Both hypomania and mania can be experienced on their own, or as part of other mental health conditions such as, bipolar disorder, schizoaffective disorder or postpartum psychosis. People can experience hypomania and mania in different ways, some can find it a pleasant experience, whilst others can find it upsetting and unpleasant.
Whilst people may notice when you are having episodes of hypomania or mania, it is unlikely that your symptoms will be extreme enough to need to be hospitalised with hypomania, but in certain cases of mania they might.
Other than suffering from hypomania or mania as part of another mental health condition, it’s believed that sleep deprivation, certain medication, and alcohol or drug use could cause episodes. If you have already had an episode there is more likelihood that you will have a repeat episode.
Symptoms of Hypomania and Mania
Symptoms of hypomania and mania will vary in length and intensity but will both generally include:
· Being more vocal and talkative
· Feeling restless and struggling to relax
· Having increased energy levels
· Having less inhibitions
· An increase in your sex drive
· Engaging in risky behaviour like over spending, having unprotected sex or gambling
· Needing less sleep than normal
· Feeling more confident
· Finding your mind is racing and full of ideas
The only symptoms of mania that don’t appear in hypomania, are feelings of being invincible or being detached from reality. If mania causes you to have a break with reality it can cause psychotic symptoms which can include delusions, paranoid thoughts or visual or auditory hallucinations. These symptoms can make it very difficult to manage your day to day life unlike hypomania which is more manageable.
If you believe that you may be suffering from hypomania or mania you should initially see your doctor, once they have ruled out any other cause for your symptoms they can refer you to a mental health professional. They will be able to make a diagnosis based on your symptoms, their severity and length. Dependant on this, they will then be able to prescribe medication to treat your symptoms and therapy to help you cope with them. This can include self-help like maintaining a healthy diet and exercising daily as well as ensuring you have sufficient sleep. They may also suggest that you keep a diary of your symptoms to see any patterns that occur.
A therapist can help you with CBT (cognitive behavioural therapy) that gets you to look at your thoughts and behaviours around certain events and situations and helps you to recognise and change negative thoughts. Written by Jan, Jeana and Wendy at Barnsley Hypnosis and Counselling (UK). For more free Information click above link.