Long time no post. I haven’t been doing very well and haven’t really had a clue on what to address on this blog, so I’ve been silent here. However, as I just recently crashed from a hypomanic episode, I decided to talk about mania and hypomania.
You may have heard the term “mania” before, or heard someone described as “manic”. Mania is a symptom of bipolar disorder, but other mental health issues can result in a manic episode as well.
Mania is an emotional state that can be described as a sort of “high”. It’s more than simply being happy, and a defining characteristic of mania is the resulting dangerous behaviors that occur. These can include things like excessive gambling, over-spending, drug use, irresponsible sexual promiscuity, or otherwise risky and impulsive behaviors.
Hypomania is similar to mania in that it is characterized by an emotional “high” and is accompanied by risky behaviors, though they may be less pronounced. Hypomania typically lasts for less time than mania – a minimum of a few days versus a minimum of a week for duration. However, they can last much longer time than that, sometimes up to over a year.
Both mania and hypomania are typical in bipolar I and bipolar II, respectively. I believe I’ve talked about the two types of bipolar before, but I’ll clarify again. Bipolar I typically involves more elevated emotional states – a higher high point (mania) and a higher low point. Bipolar II, however, has a relatively lower high point (hypomania) that is still above the normal emotional happy state, and a lower depressive point. An example of these emotional states can be seen in the graph below depicting bipolar I, bipolar II, and “unipolar major depression”, more commonly referred to simply as major depression. It is referred to as unipolar due to the lack of high points, as it doesn’t reach hypomania or mania, sticking instead to exclusively depressive states.
(Someone PLEASE tell me if I didn’t cite that correctly so I can try to fix it, I really don’t want people yelling at me about copyright stuff!)
In the next post, I’ll go into detail on how my recent hypomanic episode affected me personally as an example. In the meantime, if anyone has questions or comments, feel free to leave them here or @ me on any of my social media accounts – the handles can be found at the top or bottom of my website. I’m open to suggestions and willing to discuss anything, at least for as much as I know about it.