Hypomania and mania

What is it?

Mania is an extreme sense of wellbeing, energy and optimism. It can be so intense that it affects a person's thought and judgement. Individuals may believe strange things about themselves, make bad decisions and behave in embarrassing, harmful and occasionally dangerous ways.

Like depression, it can make it difficult or impossible to deal with life in an effective way. A period of mania can affect both relationships and work. When it isn't so extreme, it is called 'hypomania'.

How do we know it's happening?

If in the middle of a manic episode for the first time, a person may not realise that there is anything wrong although friends, family or colleagues will. A person may even feel offended if someone tries to point this out. Increasingly the individual will lose touch with day-to-day issues and with other people's feelings.

If a person becomes manic, they may notice that they are:

  • Very happy and excited
  • Irritated with other people who don't share their optimistic outlook
  • Feeling more important than usual
  • Full of new and exciting ideas
  • Moving quickly from one idea to another
  • Hearing voices that other people can't hear
  • Full of energy
  • Unable or unwilling to sleep
  • More interested in sex
  • Making plans that are grandiose and unrealistic
  • Very active, moving around very quickly
  • Behaving unusually
  • Talking very quickly - other people may find it hard to understand what a person is talking about
  • Making odd decisions on the spur of the moment, sometimes with disastrous consequences
  • Recklessly spending of money
  • Over-familiar or recklessly critical with other people
  • Less inhibited in general.

What we offer

We give expert diagnostic advice and treatment usually in close collaboration with GPs.

Treatments usually involve medication to help regain more balance and control, backed up by a range of psychological therapies. Each occurrence is treated and that can take some months. We would usually want to stay involved with the individual to ensure full recovery and also to help them understand early warning signs for the future.

Contact

GPs can put people in touch with our specialist teams who can assist with diagnosis and treatment.

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