By Támara Hill, MS

What comes to mind when I say “mania?” Do you think of hyperactive behavior, an inability to be still or focus attention, or very euphoric behavior? If so, you are correct. Mania often includes all three of the above characteristics in addition to:

  1. Reckless behavior
  2. irresponsibility (not paying bills on time, ignoring important deadlines, etc)
  3. agitation or frustration
  4. hyperactive behavior that exceeds the persons typical level of energy
  5. lack of sleep (not feeling tired and possibly staying up all night for many nights)
  6. Feeling powerful or “magical” or “supernatural”
  7. Appearing to be on drugs (enthusiastic and extremely nervous or anxious)
  8. restlessness (lack of peace or comfort)
  9. increased sexual indiscretion
  10. homelessness
  11. drug abuse or alcohol use

The symptoms of mania are characteristic of bipolar disorder. There are 3 well known disorders that include mania:

  1. Bipolar I: Mood swings are often up and down, mixed, and varied. Individuals often feel manic or hyperactive and depressed or despondent at different times. For example, a loved one might be very pleasant, humorous, and the life of the party one day and very depressed, discouraged, and tearful the next day.
  2. Bipolar II: This type of bipolar disorder is often less severe than bipolar I. The individual may experience some of the above symptoms, but may also be able to function more normally in their lives.
  3. Cyclothymia: This disorder entails what is known as hypomania, which is a less severe form of mania. An individual may ahve ups and downs, but at a less severe level.

Many people suffer severe cases of bipolar disorder I and often end up homeless, victimized, violent toward others, or incarcerated. As a result, individuals suffering from severe bipolar disorder need the intervention of family and friends. If you know someone suffering from these symptoms, I encourage you to reach out for support. Feel free to post questions or concerns below.

This video provides an example of manic symptoms and what might happen during a psychiatric evaluation:

Mania Video