Updated: Dec 14, 2021
Mania, also known as manic syndrome, is a state of abnormally elevated arousal, affect, and energy level, or "a state of heightened overall activation with enhanced affective expression together with lability of effect."
Although mania is often conceived as a "mirror image" to depression, the heightened mood can be either euphoric or irritable; indeed, as the mania intensifies, irritability can be more pronounced and result in violence, or anxiety. The symptoms of mania include heightened mood (either euphoric or irritable); flight of ideas and pressure of speech; and increased energy, decreased need for sleep, and hyperactivity. They are most plainly evident in fully developed hypomanic states; in full-blown mania, however, they undergo progressively severe exacerbations and become more and more obscured by other signs and symptoms, such as delusions and fragmentation of behavior. Mania is a syndrome with multiple causes. Although the vast majority of cases occur in the context of bipolar disorder, it is a key component of other psychiatric disorders (such as schizoaffective disorder, bipolar type) and may also occur secondary to various general medical conditions, such as multiple sclerosis; certain medications may perpetuate a manic state, for example, prednisone; or substances of abuse, such as caffeine, cocaine or anabolic steroids. In the current DSM-5, hypomanic episodes are separated from the more severe full manic episodes, which, in turn, are characterized as either mild, moderate, or severe, with specifiers in regard to certain symptomatic features (e.g. catatonia, psychosis). Mania is divided into three stages: hypomania, or stage I; acute mania, or stage II; and delirious mania (delirium), or stage III. This "staging" of a manic episode is very useful from a descriptive and differential diagnostic point of view.
The signs of mania in bipolar disorder include:
Disconnected and very fast (racing) thoughts, Grandiose beliefs, Inappropriate elation or euphoria, Inappropriate irritability, Inappropriate social behavior, Increased sexual desire, Increased talking speed or volume, Markedly increased energy.
What causes mania?
Possible causes of hypomania or mania include high levels of stress, changes in sleep patterns or lack of sleep, use of stimulants such as drugs or alcohol.
Is mania a mental illness?
Bipolar disorder is a mental illness that causes dramatic shifts in a person's mood, energy, and ability to think clearly. People with bipolar experience high and low moods known as mania and depression which differ from the typical ups-and-downs most people experience.
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