Mania, also known as manic syndrome, is a state of abnormally elevated arousal, affect, and energy level, or "a state of heightened overall activation with enhanced affective expression together with lability of affect." Although mania is often conceived as a "mirror image" to depression, the heightened mood can be either euphoric or irritable; indeed, as the mania intensifies, irritability can be more pronounced and result in anxiety or violence.
The symptoms of mania include elevated mood, flight of ideas and pressure of speech, increased energy, decreased need and desire for sleep, and hyperactivity. They are most plainly evident in fully developed hypomanic states. However, in full-blown mania, they undergo progressively severe exacerbations and become more and more obscured by other signs and symptoms, such as delusions and fragmentation of behavior.
Mania is divided into three stages: hypomania, or stage I; acute mania, or stage II; and delirious mania (delirium), or stage III. This "staging" of a manic episode is useful from a descriptive and differential diagnostic point of view.
Mania varies in intensity, from mild mania (hypomania) to delirious mania, marked by such symptoms as disorientation, florid psychosis, incoherence, and catatonia. Standardized tools such as Altman Self-Rating Mania Scale and Young Mania Rating Scale can be used to measure severity of manic episodes. Because mania and hypomania have also long been associated with creativity and artistic talent. It is not always the case that the clearly manic/hypomanic bipolar patient needs or wants medical help. Such persons often either retain sufficient self-control to function normally or are unaware that they have "gone manic" severely enough to be committed or to commit themselves. Manic persons often can be mistaken for being under the influence of drugs.
- What makes mania a syndrome?
- How is mania different from depression?
- What happens if a person becomes delusional?
- What is a manic episode?
- Which is likely not true about a manic person?