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Mania - Causes, Symptoms, Diagnosis, and Treatment

Published on Jul 19, 2022 and last reviewed on Nov 29, 2022   -  5 min read


Mania is a psychological disorder that makes the person live through delusions and euphoria, which affects their ability to function in daily life.

Mania - Causes, Symptoms, Diagnosis, and Treatment

What Is Mania?

Mania, also known as manic syndrome, is a behavioral disorder that falls under the condition or disorder wherein an individual experiences unexplained delusion, intense mood swings, rapidly changing emotions, hyperactivity, hallucinations, illusions, and euphoria. The individual suffering has periods or episodes of atypical emotions and energy levels. These atypical levels are often high and uncommon concerning the usual level of self. Mania is a life-threatening condition as people suffering from mania develop sleeping and eating disorders, which may have long-lasting complications and hence can be fatal.

The individual might even develop self-harming behaviors. Manic episodes are a common symptom of bipolar disorder. An individual suffering from mania has a higher chance of experiencing hallucinations and perceptual disturbances. Often, mania is perceived as a mirror image of depression. The heightened mood swings are either classified as euphoric or dysphoric episodes. As the severity of the episodes intensifies, it can either result in anxiety or anger.

What Is the Difference Between Hypomania And Mania?

Hypomania is defined as a mellow version of mania. Symptoms of hypomania are similar but less intense than that of mania. Symptoms of hypomania last for fewer days (almost four days) in comparison to mania which lasts for almost a week. Hypomania affects people with bipolar disorder II or cyclothymia.

Symptoms of hypomania include:

  • Euphoria or increased feelings of happiness (also called positive euphoria).

  • Rapid speech.

  • Irritable mood.

  • Often agitated.

  • Increased sexual energy or arousal.

  • Difficulty concentrating.

  • Easily distracted.

  • Increased activity or hyperactivity.

  • Sleeping disorder (sleep deprivation or insomnia).

What Are the Causes of Mania?

The substantial cause of mania is yet to be discovered; however, some probable causes of mania are:

1. Positive familial history.

2. Substance misuse or abuse (alcohol or drugs).

3. Side effects due to medications.

4. Stress.

5. Insufficient sleep or sleeping disorders (insomnia, sleep deprivation, or night terrors).

6. Mental illnesses (such as anxiety, depression, schizophrenia, or psychosis).

7. Neurological conditions (such as brain injury or tumors, stroke, or dementia).

8. Major life changes (events such as accidents or near-death accidents).

9. History of sexual abuse or trauma.

10. Medical conditions (like lupus, encephalitis, or bipolar disorder).

What Are the Symptoms of Mania?

Mania symptoms include episodes of mania and other symptoms disrupting routine life. Some of the common symptoms of mania include:

  • Fluctuation in energy level (usually high level of energy).

  • A constant level of euphoria (extreme happy or excited mood).

  • Sleep deprivation (less need for sleep, yet feel rested).

  • High self-esteem (or inflated ego).

  • Overthinking or extreme depth of thinking level.

  • Often accompanied by obsessive-compulsive disorder.

  • An individual might suffer from restless leg syndrome.

  • Impulse behavior.

  • Speaking more and fast (unreasonably).

  • Intense level of anxiety.

  • Episodes of psychosis and paranoia.

  • Higher chances of taking reckless or impulsive actions.

  • Substance abuse.

  • Increased episodes of hallucinations.

After a manic episode, an individual may experience the following symptoms or after-effects:

  • Shame or embarrassment following their said episode.

  • Unmanageable or ill-defined commitment causes issues.

  • No remembrance or memory of the manic episode.

  • Fatigue or exhaustion.

  • Extreme or intense desire to sleep or rest.

How to Diagnose Someone With Mania?

To diagnose mania or individuals suffering from a manic episode, healthcare professionals should rule out other possible conditions to create and make a formal and true diagnosis. Following are other medical conditions that need to be ruled out to diagnose the underlying cause or to make an adjusted diagnosis. Tests may include:

  • Hormone Test - To identify any fluctuation in the level of the hormones.

  • Complete Blood Count - To evaluate blood cells level and identify any infections or medical conditions.

  • Complete Thyroid Panel - Fluctuation in the thyroid hormone level may lead to certain medical illnesses.

  • Urine Analysis - To suspect misuse of any substance or side effects of any medication.

  • Imaging Tests - Brain imagining such as computed tomography (CT) or magnetic resonance imaging (MRI).

In a case where other medical conditions and mental disorders are ruled out, the healthcare professional, with the help of a licensed psychologist or psychiatrist, must form an official diagnosis. Based on the diagnostic and statistical manual of mental disorders (DSM), the patient must have an episode of mania for a week or less than a week (in case of hospitalization). In addition to the episode, the individual must show at least three of the following symptoms:

  • Difficulty concentrating or easily distracted.

  • Intense desire to indulge in risky behavior (such as spending sprees, atypical sexual behaviors, or uneven investments).

  • Impulsive thought process or racing thoughts.

  • Reduced sleeping hours (or need to sleep or rest).

  • Might have obsessive-compulsive thoughts.

What Is the Treatment of Mania?

An average manic episode may last for weeks to months. Early signs and symptoms of manic episodes are called prodromal symptoms. If the appropriate treatment for the mania is not received, the symptoms may worsen, and the episodes may last for months (between three to six months). With treatment effectiveness of the medicine and therapy, the duration of manic episodes decreases, and the symptoms improve. Different treatment options include;

1. Medications:

Medicinal therapy is the primary treatment given for treatment for mania. Medicines prescribed to alleviate symptoms of manic episodes are:

  • Lithium and Valproate.
  • Antipsychotics (to calm the hallucinations, delusions, and illusions the patient might suffer).
  • Anticonvulsants (in case an individual suffers from seizures or fits).
  • Benzodiazepines (such as Diazepam, Alprazolam, Clonazepam, or Lorazepam).

2. Psychotherapy:

Psychotherapy sessions are helpful in avoiding triggers and managing the symptoms. Therapy suggested for treating mania or episodes of mania include-

  • Talk Therapy or Psychotherapy: This form of therapy helps an individual talk about the trigger factors with the mental health professional. In addition, talk therapy helps to unveil the cause of depression and anxiety behind an episode of mania. Talking about depression might give the patient a sense of relief and provide them with an effective line of treatment for the said cause.
  • Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy: Cognitive-behavioral therapy, or CBT, is used to change the perception of a patient about the symptoms and the illness. Mental health professionals, while describing the illness, also border on different causes and symptoms of mania, making it easier for the patient to understand, learn, and manage the symptoms.
  • Family Therapy: An essential cog of the treatment is family therapy, as it makes the patient’s family more comfortable and understanding about the said illness and its causes and symptoms.

3. Electroconvulsive Therapy:

In cases that threaten life or episodes that might be fatal, electroconvulsive therapy (ECT) is used. People suffering from bipolar disorder or mania might get ECT as a treatment option. ECT encompasses controlled currents of electricity through the brain or parts of the brain to cause a seizure (brief or short-lasting) to fluctuate or influence chemical levels of the brain and the neurons.


If the appropriate treatment for mania is not received, the symptoms may worsen, and the episodes may last for months (between three to six months). With treatment effectiveness of the medicine and therapy, the duration of manic episodes decreases, and the symptoms improve. Many manic episodes require hospitalization to stabilize the patient (mood) and prevent self-harm.

Taking care of the physical and mental health, learning and trying to avoid trigger factors, and putting self-care and coping mechanisms in place help an individual live a manageable and comfortable life with mania.

Last reviewed at:
29 Nov 2022  -  5 min read




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