Find Information About:

Drugs & Supplements

Get information and reviews on prescription drugs, over-the-counter medications, vitamins, and supplements. Search by name or medical condition.

Pill Identifier

Pill Identifier

Having trouble identifying your pills?

Enter the shape, color, or imprint of your prescription or OTC drug. Our pill identification tool will display pictures that you can compare to your pill.

Get Started

My Medicine

Save your medicine, check interactions, sign up for FDA alerts, create family profiles and more.

Get Started

WebMD Health Experts and Community

Talk to health experts and other people like you in WebMD's Communities. It's a safe forum where you can create or participate in support groups and discussions about health topics that interest you.

  • Second Opinion

    Second Opinion

    Read expert perspectives on popular health topics.

  • Community


    Connect with people like you, and get expert guidance on living a healthy life.

Got a health question? Get answers provided by leading organizations, doctors, and experts.

Get Answers

Sign up to receive WebMD's award-winning content delivered to your inbox.

Sign Up

Bipolar Disorder: Managing Mania

Font Size

Hypomania and Mania in Bipolar Disorder

    Bipolar mania, hypomania, and depression are symptoms of bipolar disorder. The dramatic mood episodes of bipolar disorder do not follow a set pattern -- depression does not always follow mania. A person may experience the same mood state several times -- for weeks, months, even years at a time -- before suddenly having the opposite mood. Also, the severity of mood phases can differ from person to person.

    Hypomania is a less severe form of mania. Hypomania is a mood that many don't perceive as a problem. It actually may feel pretty good. You have a greater sense of well-being and productivity. However, for someone with bipolar disorder, hypomania can evolve into mania -- or can switch into serious depression.

    Recommended Related to Bipolar Disorder

    Warning Signs and Symptoms of Bipolar Disorder

    People with bipolar disorder often have cycles of elevated and depressed mood that fit the description of "manic depression." When a person's illness follows this classic pattern, diagnosing bipolar disorder is relatively easy. But bipolar disorder can be sneaky. Symptoms can defy the expected manic-depressive sequence. Infrequent episodes of mild mania or hypomania can go undetected. Depression can overshadow other aspects of the illness. And substance abuse can cloud the picture. Taken together,...

    Read the Warning Signs and Symptoms of Bipolar Disorder article > >

    The experience of these manic stages has been described this way:

    Hypomania:At first when I'm high, it's tremendous ... ideas are fast ... like shooting stars you follow until brighter ones appear... All shyness disappears, the right words and gestures are suddenly there ... uninteresting people, things, become intensely interesting. Sensuality is pervasive, the desire to seduce and be seduced is irresistible. Your marrow is infused with unbelievable feelings of ease, power, well-being, omnipotence, euphoria ... you can do anything ... but somewhere this changes.

    Mania:The fast ideas start coming too fast and there are far too many ... overwhelming confusion replaces clarity ... you stop keeping up with it … memory goes. Infectious humor ceases to amuse. Your friends become frightened ... everything is now against the grain ... you are irritable, angry, frightened, uncontrollable, and trapped.

    If you have periods of unusually high energy and high mood along with three or more of the following mania symptoms most of the day -- nearly every day -- for one week or longer, you may be having a manic episode of bipolar disorder:

    • Needing less sleep in order to feel rested
    • Talking very rapidly or excessively
    • Distractibility
    • Fast thoughts
    • Tendency to show poor judgment, such as impulsively deciding to quit a job
    • Inflated self-esteem or grandiosity -- unrealistic beliefs in one's ability, intelligence, and powers; may be delusional
    • Reckless behaviors (such as lavish spending sprees, impulsive sexual indiscretions, abuse of alcohol or drugs, or ill-advised business decisions)

    Some people with bipolar disorder become psychotic when manic or depressed, hearing things that aren't there. They may hold onto false beliefs, and cannot be swayed from them. In some instances, they see themselves as having superhuman skills and powers -- even considering themselves to be god-like.

    WebMD Medical Reference

    Reviewed by Joseph Goldberg, MD on October 27, 2014
    Next Article:

    I can tell I'm becoming manic when: