Bipolar disorder is a mental health condition characterized by periods of heightened energy, activity, and mood followed by periods of depression. Some of the most prominent symptoms of bipolar disorder are mania and hypomania, two distinct forms of elevated mood and energy. Understanding mania vs. hypomania is key to identifying and treating bipolar disorder.
For those who are struggling with bipolar disorder, differentiating between mania and hypomania can be difficult. However, it is important to understand the differences between them in order to seek appropriate treatment. Honey Lake Clinic’s mood disorder treatment program in Florida provides effective faith-based treatment that can help patients reclaim their lives.
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What Is Mania?
Mania is a mood disturbance that is characterized by extreme energy, activity, and euphoria. It can last for days, weeks, or even months and is often accompanied by an inflated sense of self-importance. Those who are in the manic phase often make grandiose plans that they may not follow through on and engage in risky behaviors.
Mania can be difficult to distinguish from hypomania, especially in the early stages. Some of the key differences between mania and hypomania include the severity of symptoms, how long they last, and the level of impairment they cause. While mania can be dangerous and even life-threatening if left untreated, it is treatable with proper medical care.
What Is Hypomania?
Hypomania, on the other hand, is a milder form of mania that is characterized by elevated mood and energy. Unlike full-fledged mania, hypomania does not typically cause significant impairment or require hospitalization. It is often more manageable and can even be seen as positive since it can lead to increased creativity and productivity. Hypomania episodes don’t typically impact a person’s daily function, working or relating to others as powerfully as manic episodes do. Hypomania never includes psychotic symptoms, which can be present as part of mania.
However, if left untreated, hypomania can eventually progress to full-blown mania. This is why it’s important to seek treatment as soon as any signs of bipolar disorder are present.
Symptoms of Mania and Hypomania
The symptoms of mania and hypomania can vary from person to person, but common signs include:
- Increased energy and activity
- Racing thoughts
- Poor judgment
- Grandiose thinking
- Impulsivity or recklessness
- Difficulty sleeping
- Excessive talking
- Increased sex drive
Some symptoms are exclusive to mania, such as hallucinations and delusions. It is important to recognize the signs of both conditions in order to seek appropriate treatment.
Both manic or hypomanic episodes represent a significant change in a person’s energy level and behavior that can be noticeable to family and friends. During a manic or hypomanic phase, you may not recognize these changes in your own behavior. It may be that loved ones are the first to suggest that you’re not acting like yourself.
How Treatment for Mania and Hypomania Can Help
Are you or is someone you love exhibiting three or more of these symptoms? How often? For most of the day? Over consecutive days? How severely? Are the symptoms interfering with or causing difficulty with your everyday life, work or in social settings?
While both mania and hypomania can occur with bipolar disorder, they can also occur in people who do not have bipolar disorder. Some of these symptoms can be due to substance use or caused by general medical conditions. Having qualified and experienced medical and mental health professionals to help with diagnosis and treatment can be life-altering—and possibly even life-saving.
Treatment might include mood stabilizers, antipsychotic medications, and psychotherapy. A mood disorder treatment program can provide faith-based treatment that helps patients relearn healthy coping skills and understand their disorder. With the right combination of therapy, medication, and support, individuals with bipolar disorder can learn to manage their symptoms and live a balanced life.
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At Honey Lake Clinic, our experienced staff, licensed therapists, psychologists, and psychiatric specialists believe a faith-based approach, addressing all three spheres of your being—body, mind, and spirit—is key to life transformation.