Related Mental Health Conditions
These mental health disorders can run in families and may have an overlap with bipolar disorders, meaning researchers have linked genes for these disorders with bipolar. So, if someone in a family has bipolar disorder, its common that other family members may have any of the following mental health conditions. A few include:
ADHD, a chronic condition that begins in childhood and can persist into adulthood in which someone has difficulty paying attention, controlling impulses and hyperactivity. Restlessness distracted behavior and constant activity are hallmark signs.
Autism spectrumdisorder is a neurological and developmental condition related to brain development that appears early in childhood and impacts how a person perceives and socializes with others, causing problems in their social interactions and communication.
Related Mental Health Conditions
Generalized Anxiety Disorder is a mental disorder thats characterized by excessive and persistent worry and nervous feelings.
Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder is an anxiety-based mental health disorder where people have recurring unwanted thoughts and ideas that signal them to act repetitively and compulsively like constant cleaning, handwashing, or checking door locks or appliances.
Major Depressive Disorder is a serious mood disorder which causes persistent feelings of sadness and loss of interest in everyday activities. It can interfere with daily life and can include suicidal ideations.
What Triggers A Hypomanic Episode
Each persons triggers may be different. Some common triggers include:
- A highly stimulating situation or environment .
- A major life change .
- Lack of sleep.
- Substance use, such as recreational drugs or alcohol.
Its smart to develop a list of your triggers to know when a hypomanic episode may be starting. Since hypomania doesnt cause severe changes in your activity level, mood or behavior, it may be helpful to ask family and close friends who you trust and have close contact with to help identify your triggers. They may notice changes from your usual self more easily than you do. Share your trigger list with your close, trusted friends so they can tell when you might need help.
Not Everyone With Bipolar Disorder Goes Through Hypomania
Bipolar disorder is based on the mix of episodes a person experiences.
In order to be clinically diagnosed with bipolar I disorder, you have to have at least one manic episode lasting at least seven days , per the National Institute of Mental Health . You may also experience episodes of hypomania. While the minimum is four days, these can last up to several months, Dr. Ghaemi says. Someone with bipolar I may also experience depressive episodes lasting at least two weeks, or mixed episodes with symptoms of depression and mania. Basically, someone with bipolar I may deal with a variety of mood phases that dont necessarily include hypomania.
In order to be diagnosed with bipolar II disorder, you must have at least one hypomanic episode and one depressive episode, but no manic episodes, the NIMH explains. Hypomanic episodes are a non-negotiable part of this diagnosis.
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What Causes Hypomania
Scientists arent completely sure what causes hypomania. However, there are several factors that are thought to contribute. Causes differ from person to person.
Causes may include:
- Family history. If you have a family member with bipolar illness, you have an increased chance of developing mania. This is not definite though. You may never develop mania even if other family members have.
- Chemical imbalance in your brain.
- Side effect of a medication , alcohol or recreational drugs.
- A significant change in your life, such as a divorce, house move or death of a loved one.
- Difficult life situations, such as trauma or abuse, or problems with housing, money or loneliness.
- High stress level and inability to manage it.
- Lack of sleep or changes in sleep pattern.
- As a symptom of mental health problems including cyclothymia, seasonal affective disorder, postpartum psychosis, schizoaffective disorder or other physical or neurologic condition such as brain injury, brain tumors, stroke, dementia, lupus or encephalitis.
What Is Rapid Cycling
Some people with bipolar disorder develop rapid cycling where they experience four or more episodes of mania or depression within a 12-month period. Mood swings can occur very quickly, like a rollercoaster randomly moving from high to low and back again over a period of days or even hours. Rapid cycling can leave you feeling dangerously out of control and most commonly occurs if your bipolar disorder symptoms are not being adequately treated.
The different faces of bipolar disorder
Bipolar I Disorder This is the classic manic-depressive form of the illness, characterized by at least one manic episode or mixed episode. Usuallybut not alwaysBipolar I Disorder also involves at least one episode of depression.
Bipolar II Disorder In Bipolar II disorder, you dont experience full-blown manic episodes. Instead, the illness involves episodes of hypomania and severe depression.
Cyclothymia Cyclothymia is a milder form of bipolar disorder that consists of cyclical mood swings. However, the symptoms are less severe than full-blown mania or depression.
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In Bipolar Disorder Delusions And Hallucinations Are Often Mood
When someones delusions and hallucinations match their mood, their psychotic episodes are called mood-congruent, Dr. Li says.
For example, someone experiencing psychosis during a manic episode may have grandiose delusions about how rich and powerful they are or display levels of confidence that are detached from reality, Dr. Li says.
On the other hand, someone experiencing psychosis during a depressive episode may believe theyve caused the breakout of a terrible illness or are a delinquent criminal and feel horrible about themselves in ways that are are not based in fact.
What Can I Do To Manage My Symptoms
You can learn to manage your symptoms by looking after yourself. Selfcare is how you take care of your diet, sleep, exercise, daily routine, relationships and how you are feeling.
What lifestyle changes can I make?
Making small lifestyle changes can improve your wellbeing and can help your recovery.
Routine helps many people with their mental wellbeing. It will help to give a structure to your day and may give you a sense of purpose. This could be a simple routine such as eating at the same time each day, going to bed at the same time each day and buying food once per week.
Your healthcare professionals should offer you a combined healthy eating, exercise and sleep programme.
You can find more information about wellbeing any physical health at:www.rethink.org/advice-and-information/living-with-mental-illness/wellbeing-physical-health/.
What are support groups?
You could join a support group. A support group is where people come together to share information, experiences and give each other support.
You might be able to find a local group by searching online. The charity Bipolar UK have an online support group. They also have face to face support groups in some areas of the country. Their contact details are in the Useful contacts at the bottom of this page.
What are recovery colleges?
Unfortunately, recovery colleges arent available in all areas. To see if there is a recovery college in your area you can use a search engine such as Google.
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Bipolar Mania Is A Period Of Mood Elevation Thats Generally Characterized By High Energy And Activity Levelsalthough Its Much More Complicated Than That
When a person with bipolar disorder is experiencing a manic episode, they may feel up, or jumpy or wired, the National Institute of Mental Health says.
Mania is a state of high energy, high activity, and less of a need for sleep, Igor Galynker, M.D., associate chairman for research in the department of psychiatry at Mount Sinai Beth Israel, tells SELF. People engage in unusual behavior and may have an inflated opinion of oneself. In severe manic episodes, an individual might hallucinate and experience psychosis. Factors like experiencing a trauma or sleep deprivation can trigger a manic episode, Dr. Galynker adds.
As SELF reported previously, for a person to be diagnosed as manic, they need to have prolonged unusual behavior and high energy, in addition to at least three classic symptoms of mania . If someone has symptoms that result in psychosis or hospitalization, thats also considered a manic episode.
Its worth noting that only people diagnosed with bipolar I will experience full mania. A similar type of mood episode that can present in bipolar disorder is hypomania, which is essentially less severe mania, according to NIMH, and does not necessarily interfere with a persons ability to live their life and function day to day. If you have bipolar II, you have hypomanic episodes as opposed to full manic episodes .
Can You Manage Bipolar Disorder Without Medication
Many people want to know, Can you manage bipolar disorder without medication? The answer to this is both simple and complex. Managing bipolar disorder without medication is possible for a few, but not many. Read below about possible options for managing bipolar without medications .
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Bipolar Disorder In Children And Teens
Bipolar disorders are most common in older adolescents and teens, but children can also be diagnosed with the disorder at a younger age. While not nearly as common in children as it is in adults, research studies have revealed that bipolar disorder affects as many as 3% of all children and up to 7% of children receiving outpatient psychiatric care. Bipolar disorder has been diagnosed in children as young as 5. When young children experience symptoms, this is called early-onset bipolar disorder.
Bipolar disorder is more likely to affect the children of parents who have the disorder. When one parent has bipolar disorder, the risk to each child is l5 to 30%. When both parents have bipolar disorder, the risk increases to 50 to 75%.
Bipolar in kids also causes distinct mood episodes from mania or hypomania to depression. However, because kids and adolescents can act out, have difficulty in school or at home, and display some of the symptoms of bipolar disorders, like restlessness, impulsivity, risky behaviors, and an inflated view of capabilities, even when they dont have the disorder, it can be difficult to diagnose.
What Outcome Can I Expect If Ive Been Diagnosed With Hypomania
If youve been diagnosed with hypomania, you can have a favorable outcome if you learn about your condition, learn to recognize when youre having a hypomanic episode and engage in coping strategies to lessen the severity or prevent events. Always take any prescribed medications as directed by your healthcare provider.
A note from Cleveland Clinic
Being amped up about your life and being in a good mood is usually thought to be a good thing. It can be if thats how you normally are most of the time. This is what makes hypomania a little tricky to diagnose. Key to a diagnosis of hypomania is that your elevated mood, behavior or activity level must last at least four days and must rise to the level thats beyond normal and is noticeable by others. Know that a team of healthcare professionals your primary care provider, psychologists and/or psychiatrist is ready to help you figure this out.
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What Is Bipolar 2 Disorder
Bipolar 2 disorder involves a major depressive episode lasting at least two weeks and at least one hypomanic episode . People with bipolar 2 typically dont experience manic episodes intense enough to require hospitalization.
Bipolar 2 is sometimes misdiagnosed as depression, as depressive symptoms may be the major symptom at the time the person seeks medical attention. When there are no manic episodes to suggest bipolar disorder, the depressive symptoms become the focus.
As mentioned above, bipolar 1 disorder causes mania and may cause depression, while bipolar 2 disorder causes hypomania and depression. Lets learn more about what these symptoms mean.
Is It Possible To Be Hypomanic And Depressed At The Same Time
Certainly! Some studies, the most common mood state in bipolar disorder is a mixture of hypomanic/manic and depressed symptoms. In fact, the classic picture of bipolar disorder having a course alternating between the poles of high and low moods is an over-simplification. The very name, bipolar disorder is probably less accurate than the older term, manic-depressive disorder. How can this be?
Although bipolar disorder has been classified as a mood disorder, ample research shows that the core symptom of hypomania and mania is not high mood, but rather hyperactivation. The mood, as many people have experienced, can either be elevated or irritable. But what always appears in manic or hypomanic episodes is a sense of being sped up physically and/or mentally. Racing thoughts, pressured speech, decreased need for sleep, starting lots of projects, and impulsive decision-making all derive from being overly activated, overly driven. Many times this sense of hyperactivation is pleasantwhen one is feeling particularly on my game the person is self-confident, more likely to act decisively, and often more likely to take risks. However, sometimes being hyperactivated simply is a sense that ones motor cannot be turned off. This can lead to restless irritability, especially if one is confronted by reality or other individuals that do not match expectations. Thus what is common in mania or hypomania is the sense of hyperactivation, or being driven, but the mood can be variable.
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Symptoms Of Mania And Hypomania
While they vary in intensity, most of the symptoms of mania and hypomania are the same. The key symptoms include:
- having higher-than-normal energy levels
- taking on multiple projects with no way of finishing them
- having decreased inhibitions
- having increased sexual desire
- engaging in risky behavior, such as having impulsive sex, gambling with life savings, or going on big spending sprees
During a manic or hypomanic phase, you may not be able to recognize these changes in yourself. If others mention that youre not acting like yourself, youre not likely to think that anythings wrong.
Not Everyone Who Has Bipolar Disorder Experiences Psychosis
Conclusive data on how prevalent psychosis is in bipolar disorder are scarce. One 2007 meta-analysis pooling data on 5,973 people with bipolar disorder from 33 studies conducted between 1922 and 2005 found that 61 percent of them experienced at least one symptom of psychosis at some point in their lives.
What is clear is that while psychosis appears to be relatively common in bipolar disorder, a fair number of people with the condition will never experience it, Dr. Li says.
Similarly, not everyone who experiences psychosis during a mood episode will experience it with every mood episode, Dr. Malaspina says. And just because someone hasnt experienced psychotic symptoms during an episode before doesnt mean they never will.
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Hypomania Involves The Same Symptoms As Mania But On A Less Intense Level
Hypomania differs from mania only by degree of symptom severity and level of impairment, Michael Thase, M.D., professor of psychiatry and director of the Mood and Anxiety Program at the University of Pennsylvania Perelman School of Medicine, tells SELF. As Dr. Thase explains, if the episode is severe enough to damage a persons work, relationships, or home life requires hospitalization or includes psychosis , then it is classified as mania.
Episodes of hypomania, on the other hand, are subtler, the Mayo Clinic says. If youre going through one, it might just feel like youre way more up than usual, but not to a potentially harmful degree.
Symptoms Of A Mixed Episode
A mixed episode of bipolar disorder features symptoms of both mania or hypomania and depression. Common signs of a mixed episode include depression combined with agitation, irritability, anxiety, insomnia, distractibility, and racing thoughts. This combination of high energy and low mood makes for a particularly high risk of suicide.
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Bipolar Disorder Can Be A Challenging Illness To Manage
One way you can help to stay healthy is to learn more about when your symptoms tend to develop and what this looks like for you. This knowledge is invaluable to helping you to plan for future mood changes. You can use problem-solving strategies to determine ways you can help prevent symptoms from becoming full blown. Knowing what triggers or sets off your symptoms and learning to recognize early signs can help to smooth down bumps on the road.
Blowout Arguments With Partners Coworkers Or Friends
Broken relationships are too often the result of untreated bipolar disorder.
But getting into a spat with a loved one could also be a red flag: Your argument could be due to the irritability that often occurs during a manic or depressive episode, or could itself cause stress that becomes a contributing factor for a recurrent episode.
Any type of relationship conflict whether its with your partner, coworker, family member, or friend can trigger stress and send you over the edge. In a study published in May 2015 in the Journal of Affective Disorders, people with bipolar disorder said negative social experiences were among the events that triggered suicidal thinking for them.
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Manic & Hypomanic Episode Symptoms
Both manic and hypomanic episodes include three or more of the below symptoms:
- Talking much more than usual
- Racing thoughts
- Feeling the need for less sleep
- Feeling abnormally upbeat, jumpy or wired
- Increased activity levels, energy or agitation
- Inflated sense of well-being and self-confidence
- Poor decision-making and increased impulsive behavior
Manic Episodes Can Also Make Someone Act Impulsively Or Carelessly Even If They Feel Up Or Euphoric And As A Result Can Lead To Serious Consequences
Its a common experience for people with bipolar disorder to spend a ton of money during manic episodes. Ive had patients waste their fortunes or go into debt, Dr. Galynker says. Mania may also lead someone to become very sexual and behave sexually in ways that may be totally out of character for them. These are classic examples of risky behaviors associated with mania in bipolar disorder, Dr. Marsh adds.
Sarah*, 25, who was diagnosed with bipolar II last year, has felt these types of urges during hypomanic episodes: You feel like you want to spend money and have as much sex as possible, she says. It feels almost as if you have taken Adderall or cocaine. You feel confident, like anything you do is right, and there will be no consequences for your behavior.
Gracie, 30, has experienced these issues firsthand during hypomania. When I was manic I thought I could take on the world. I craved attention from anyone. I was unfaithful to my live-in boyfriend whom I love beyond words and never wanted to hurt. what I was doing would destroy him, but unable to stop myself from doing it, she recalls.
Gracie also says she made poor choices with money, by spending on things I didnt need and could not afford. In the back of her mind she knew she was making poor decisions, she says, but she couldnt get herself to stop.
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