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Bipolar Disorder: Hypomanic Episodes - Topic Overview

Hypomanic episodes can occur in people who have mood disorders. Hypomanic episodes are less severe than manic episodes, although a hypomanic episode can still interfere with your ability to function properly.

Hypomania may be diagnosed if:

  • A distinct period of elevated or irritable mood occurs in which the mood is clearly different from a regular nondepressed mood.
  • Three or more of the following symptoms last for a significant period of time:
    • Inflated self-esteem or unrealistic feelings of importance
    • Decreased need for sleep (feels rested after only a few hours of sleep)
    • Talkativeness
    • Racing thoughts or flight of ideas
    • Being easily distracted
    • An increase in goal-directed activity (work or personal)
    • Irresponsible behaviors that may have serious consequences, such as going on shopping sprees, engaging in increased sexual activity, or making foolish business investments
  • The mood or behavior change is noticeable to others.
  • The episode is not severe enough to cause impairment in social or job functioning and does not require hospitalization.
  • The symptoms are not caused by substance abuse.

If you feel that you or someone you care about may be experiencing a hypomanic episode, contact your doctor to discuss the possible causes and the treatment options.

    This information is produced and provided by the National Cancer Institute (NCI). The information in this topic may have changed since it was written. For the most current information, contact the National Cancer Institute via the Internet web site at http:// cancer .gov or call 1-800-4-CANCER.

    WebMD Medical Reference from Healthwise

    Last Updated: March 01, 2012
    This information is not intended to replace the advice of a doctor. Healthwise disclaims any liability for the decisions you make based on this information.
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