How Do You Define Mania, And What Are The Symptoms?

Updated July 02, 2020

Medically Reviewed By: Laura Angers

While you may have heard of the term mania, you may not know what it means. This article will discuss what mania is and how it can be treated.

What Is Mania?

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Mania involves feelings of an elevated mood, where someone feels happy and upbeat for at least a week at a time. It is considered to be the other side of the spectrum of depression in terms of bipolar disorder. The only way to know for sure if you are suffering from mania or something more serious is by seeking medical advice diagnosis or treatment.

It is important to understand that it is considered mania only if these happy feelings and other symptoms are far different from what anyone might feel in happy moments (for example, if the feelings are interfering with your daily life).

What Are The Symptoms?

Multiple symptoms may be noticed if someone is suffering from mania.

Not Being Able To Sleep

When someone is suffering from mania, they usually don’t sleep very much. They may stay up for days at a time or feel like they need very little sleep.

Overconfidence In Abilities

Another noteworthy symptom is thinking that they are skilled at things that they are not. Someone may be overconfident about many things in their life when they normally wouldn’t be.

Obsessive Behaviors

Some may start to pick up obsessive behaviors, like cleaning all the time or focusing on tiny details and not being able to move on from them. This can include racing thoughts that do not go away.

Ignoring Hygiene

They will likely take very little time to themselves to do simple tasks, like brushing their teeth, changing clothes, or eating. This is not always the case, but it is possible.

Not Listening To Anyone

When experiencing mania, some will just start talking and won’t listen to what anyone has to say, even if they are giving them good advice.

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Doing Risky Things

They may also begin to start doing risky things. Perhaps they start to pick fights when they go out or want to drive their car fast in traffic. Other times, they may pick up bad spending habits, where they start to buy things they can’t afford. This is made even easier through the use of online shopping. These risky behaviors can cause higher risks of other illnesses, such as heart disease too, which is why it is so necessary to take control as soon as you can.

Causes

There are a few possible causes for mania.

  • Someone else in a family may suffer from mania, which can up your chances of experiencing it.
  • Neurological problems. Certain neurological issues in the brain might cause a person to be unable to make normal rational thoughts, leading to mania.
  • If there are other mental health issues present, they can be the root cause of mania.
  • Toxins in the body. Toxins or drugs that are already in the body are possibly contributing to manic symptoms.
  • Bipolar Disorder. A person’s mania may be a sign that they have this disorder.

Mania And Bipolar Disorder

Bipolar disorder is characterized by periods of low, which is depression, and periods of high, which is mania. People that have this illness will have several symptoms like the ones mentioned above, but they will have symptoms of depression as well.

There are a few different types of this disorder to be aware of.

Bipolar I

If someone has this type, it means that they have had a mix of mania and depression for at least two weeks. Mania tends to be more prevalent than depression for this type. Bipolar I is the least severe out of all types of bipolar disorder.

Bipolar II

In this type of bipolar disorder, the depression episodes are more prevalent than the manic times.

Cyclothymic Disorder

This disorder occurs when a person has symptoms of bipolar that last over two years. The symptoms may be less severe than types I and II, however, where the depression and mania may or may not be severe. The mania aspect of cyclothymic disorder is known as hypomania, which means that it is less intense than traditional mania, or has less severe symptoms.

Treatments

Just like with many other disorders out there, there are treatment options available to help you feel better.

Medical Help/Psychotherapy

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It is crucial to pay attention to mental health at all times. When someone needs help, they should always seek it out as soon as they can. This includes seeing your doctor, a therapist, or any other health care professional, so you can get relief from your symptoms.

An effective first step to do is to talk to someone that cares about what you’re going through. Keep in mind that friends and family are important aspects of a person’s support system; however, they cannot replace professional medical advice.

If you’re experiencing any symptoms mentioned in this article, it is recommended that you speak with a licensed counselor (either face-to-face or online). One online counseling platform is BetterHelp. BetterHelp offers online therapy services, which are available to you from the comfort and privacy of your own home.

If you prefer face-to-face counseling, make sure that the local counselor you’re working with has past experience treating mania. You may look at the counselor’s information online, or call the counselor’s office to ask before scheduling your appointment.

Medication

Certain prescriptions may help you cope with the symptoms of mania as well. However, results are different for every person with every drug. It may take a long time to get the one you need to begin to feel better, so be patient and be honest with your doctor or therapist.

You may have to take a physical test and a written test to determine how to specialize in your treatment. This is normal, and it can be a positive step to get your mania under control. Research suggests that the combination of cognitive-behavioral therapy (or family therapy) and medication may improve treatment outcomes.

Other Things You Can Do

Of course, other things can be changed in someone’s lifestyle, which may limit mania symptoms, or benefit overall mental health.

  • Start writing in a journal. Your doctor may suggest that you start writing your moods and thoughts in a journal. This is a good way to notice when changes occur and can help you figure out possible triggers.
  • Avoid triggers. Once you know what triggers you, these are things you should avoid. This can be anything from alcohol to certain social situations, such as being in a casino.
  • Get a support system. If you have friends and family members that care about you, but you don’t always lean on them for support, it is time to do so. Chances are they want to help you and have been waiting for you to reach out.
  • Start eating well. Take the time to eat better and eat the proper number of calories a day. This is a good thing for your wellbeing and can help you get the nutrients you need.
  • Sleep at night. Sleep the right amount at night and at the proper times. Since mania causes people to lose sleep, you may have to put yourself on a strict sleeping schedule to get the sleep you require.
  • It may be hard to start to sleep at night, so consider starting to exercise to sleep better. You can start with just a few minutes, multiple times a week, and work your way up from there.
  • Setting alarms for yourself. Medicine can only work if you remember to take it. Place sticky notes or set up alarms on your phone to remind you to take your medication as prescribed by your doctor or psychiatrist.
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Prognosis

There is no “cure” for mania, but there are many effective ways to treat it. When you can concentrate on staying away from your triggers and pay more attention to your health and actions, there is a greater chance that you can manage your symptoms.

Getting the help you need from a doctor is something that will go a long way too. This is a condition that needs to be monitored, so with therapy and the proper medicine, you may be able to look forward to fewer or less severe symptoms. You might even stop noticing certain symptoms completely, which is the ultimate goal.

Make mental health a priority and don’t ignore the signs, because when they are left untreated, it can lead to additional problems. Reach out for help today if you need it, and talk to someone to get advice diagnosis or treatment. It’s important to note that you should never feel ashamed about your symptoms, nor should you blame yourself. However, it is your responsibility to take the first step to healing. Learn the symptoms of mania and be aware of them if they start to happen to you, so you’ll know when you should seek help.


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