Mania in bipolar disorder is characterized by increased energy and elevated mood for at least a week in duration. Hypomania needs only to occur for four consecutive days for it to be diagnosed. It also features elevated mood and increased energy, but to a lesser degree and duration. Knowing how mania and hypomania are different and the same can help you distinguish what kind of episode you are having.

The Differences Between Mania and Hypomania

For an experience to be called mania, it must be severe enough to interfere with your daily activities. In the most severe cases, it can even require hospitalization.

However, people with hypomania are usually able to meet commitments to work and family, and maybe only those closest to them would notice the change in their behavior. Additionally, mania can sometimes have psychotic features that are absent in hypomania.

A person with bipolar disorder in the middle of a manic episode may have delusions of grandeur or even hallucinations. However, even if your symptoms of hypomania are not as severe, it is still best to seek help from a doctor to prevent your symptoms from getting worse.

The Similarities Between Mania and Hypomania

What mania and hypomania have in common is that both episodes bring you high energy and make you feel elevated, expansive, and creative. Both can also give you a mixed features episode experience where you could be feeling energized while also depressed.

Specific triggers can also lead to mania or hypomania, such as falling in love, using recreational drugs, listening to loud music, and more. Stress, lack of sleep, and antidepressant medications can also lead to mania or hypomania symptoms.

Coping With Mania or Hypomania

In order to better manage your bipolar disorder episodes, it is imperative that you take your prescribed medication as your doctor instructs you to. Try to go to sleep and wake up at the same time every day for an improved mood. The same can be said for when you eat your meals, when you exercise, and when you go to work to manage an episode better. Staying away from drugs and alcohol can also lessen your symptoms of mania.

Even if you are doing all the “right things” that your doctor tells you, you may still experience episodes. This does not mean that you are at fault. You just need to be realistic about your goals and what to do when a setback occurs. Knowing if you are having a manic or hypomanic episode makes a difference in your treatment.

Hypomania and mania are two characteristics of bipolar disorder that differ because of their levels of intensity. However, both bring symptoms of elevation with mixes of depression. By taking your medication and coming up with a routinized treatment plan, you can better manage your symptoms. At Alta Loma, we are equipped to deal with mental health disorders like bipolar disorder, and we are here to help you. Our transformative treatment center in Georgetown, Texas, can provide you with individualized therapy, medication management, a long-term continuum of care, and more. Call us at (866) 457-3843 for more information.


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