You probably already know that bipolar disorder can bring with it dramatic mood swings. You can go from the depths of depression to the racing thoughts, extreme energy, and wired feelings that doctors call “mania.”
But have you heard of “hypomania”? It’s a less severe form of mania. It actually may feel pretty good because your mood is up and you have more energy than usual, but it’s not out of control.
The problem is that for someone with bipolar disorder, hypomania can evolve into mania. Or it can switch to serious depression. And you can’t tell which one might happen, because the pattern isn’t predictable.
Is It Mania?
- Have lots of energy
- Feel high or wired
- Have racing thoughts
- Talk fast
- Take more risks
- Need less sleep than usual to feel rested
- Have more distractions than usual
- Have intense senses, such as smell and touch
Some people with bipolar disorder become psychotic when manic or depressed -- for example, hearing things that aren't there. They may hold onto false beliefs, too. In some instances, they see themselves as having superhuman skills and powers -- even considering themselves to be god-like. If you have psychotic symptoms then it's mania, not hypomania.
Keep in mind that you may not notice these things in yourself. It might be a friend or family member who notices the patterns. If symptoms last for a week or more and cause problems in your life, it may be mania.