Hypomania and mania

What are mania and hypomania?

Hypomania and mania are terms used to describe periods of overactive and excited behaviour that have a serious impact on your day-to-day life.

The symptoms of hypomania and mania include:

  • feelings of extreme and intense happiness – feeling excessively ‘high’
  • increased irritability and aggression
  • increased confidence and self-esteem
  • a reduced need for sleep
  • increased talkativeness and talking very fast
  • feeling full of ideas and racing thoughts
  • having a lot of energy
  • an exaggerated sense of your own importance
  • restlessness and difficulty relaxing
  • a lack of concentration and being easily distracted
  • increased social activity
  • risky behaviour, such as going on a spending spree
  • increased sexual desire and decreased inhibitions
  • poor judgement
  • heightened senses – sight, smell or other senses being sharper than usual

These symptoms on their own are things anyone may experience from time to time, but for most people they will not be severe enough to cause problems. Whether you are diagnosed with hypomania or mania, or whether you receive a diagnosis at all, depends on how severe the symptoms are, how long they last and how much they prevent you living your life as you wish.

“It starts out great – I’m full of ideas and plans. I then get frustrated that other people don’t understand how great my ideas are or I think they want to stop me having fun. This generally leads to me being quite angry and that’s when it stops being fun and starts to be overwhelming.”

If you have bipolar disorder (manic depression) you may experience hypomania or mania followed by periods of depression (see Understanding bipolar disorder for more information). However, you can also experience hypomania or mania on its own.


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