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What Are the Signs of Mania?

Reviewed on 6/29/2020

What Is Mania?

Mania may be caused by bipolar or schizoaffective disorder. It's marked by hyperactivity, impulsiveness and intense emotions, among other symptoms.
Mania may be caused by bipolar or schizoaffective disorder. It's marked by hyperactivity, impulsiveness and intense emotions, among other symptoms.

Mania is a symptom often seen in people who have bipolar disorder, schizoaffective disorder, or who have taken certain medications or illicit drugs. Mania is characterized by elevated energy, mood, and behavior. In some cases, this can result in positive feelings and euphoria, but it can also result in anxiety and irritation. 

Mild mania (hypomania) is more often associated with feelings of optimism and increased productivity. Severe mania may result in violence, delusions, and even suicide.

What Are Symptoms of Mania?

Manic episodes can last from days to months. Symptoms of mania can include:

  • Abnormal and persistent feelings of happiness
  • Abnormal and persistent feelings of anger
  • Hyperactivity
  • Impulsiveness
  • Irrationality
  • Feelings of grandiosity (superiority or having special powers)
  • Decreased need for sleep
  • Restlessness
  • Excessive talking
  • Increased activity
  • Racing thoughts
  • Short attention span
  • Inappropriate laughing or joking
  • Getting into arguments/being quick to anger
  • Inappropriate spending sprees 
  • Hypersexuality
  • Making poor choices
  • Starting things and not finishing them 
  • Difficulty maintaining relationships with friends and family
  • Problems with work or other responsibilities
  • Rapidly changing moods from euphoria to depression 
  • Psychosis (hallucinations or delusions) in severe cases

Hypomania is less severe than mania, episodes are usually shorter but last for at least four days. Hypomania may not affect a person’s ability to work or study, and in some cases, it may increase a person’s ability to complete tasks and function. 

What Causes Mania?

Mania is a symptom often seen in people who have bipolar disorder, schizoaffective disorder, or who have taken certain medications or illicit drugs.

The causes of bipolar disorder and schizoaffective disorder are unknown. They may be caused by a combination of factors such as genetics, and brain structure and function. 

Drugs that may induce mania include:

  • Levodopa
  • Corticosteroids 
  • Anabolic-androgenic steroids
  • Antidepressants of the tricyclic and monoamine oxidase inhibitor classes 

SLIDESHOW

Bipolar Disorder: Symptoms, Testing for Bipolar Depression See Slideshow

How Is Mania Diagnosed?

Mania is diagnosed with a psychiatric evaluation. Laboratory tests may be indicated to rule out other diagnoses.

There are no specific lab tests used to diagnose mania, however, a toxicology screen may be indicated to rule out use/abuse of drugs and alcohol as the cause of the behaviors.

What Is the Treatment for Mania?

Treatment of mania is aimed at managing symptoms and usually involves medications. 

Medications used to treat mania include: 

Other treatments for mania include: 

  • Psychotherapy to help patients learn strategies to cope with their symptoms
  • Electroconvulsive therapy: a brain stimulation procedure that help provide relief from severe symptoms. Usually not a first-line treatment. 
  • Regular exercise helps with depression and anxiety, promotes better sleep

What Are Complications of Mania?

Complications of untreated mania include:

  • Suicide 
  • Problems with relationships
  • Difficulty at work or school
  • Legal or financial problems
  • Other health and psychiatric conditions

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Reviewed on 6/29/2020
References
Medscape Medical Reference

UpToDate.com
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