Bipolar Disorder: Manic Episodes

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Bipolar Disorder: Manic Episodes

Topic Overview

Some mood disorders are characterized by manic episodes, periods of abnormally high energy. Behaviour may be diagnosed as a manic episode if:

  • An abnormal and continuously elevated (happy or energetic) mood or an irritable mood occurs and lasts at least 5 days.
  • During this elevated or irritable mood, at least three of the following symptoms are present:
    • Inflated self-esteem or unrealistic feelings of importance
    • Decreased need for sleep (feeling rested after only a few hours of sleep)
    • Talkativeness (more than usual)
    • Racing thoughts
    • Being easily distracted by unimportant things
    • An increased focus on reaching job or personal goals
    • Involvement in irresponsible activities that might have dangerous consequences, such as engaging in increased sexual activity, making foolish business deals, or spending large sums of money
  • The behaviour is severe enough to cause an inability to function properly in a job, in social situations, or in relationships with others. It is possible you may need to seek hospitalization if the behaviours become so severe that you need help to prevent harming yourself or others.
  • The symptoms are not due to substance abuse.
  • Psychosis may be present.

If you or someone you love is experiencing a manic episode, it is important to seek help. Many treatments are available.

Credits

By Healthwise Staff
Primary Medical Reviewer Kathleen Romito, MD - Family Medicine
Primary Medical Reviewer Donald Sproule, MD, CM, CCFP, FCFP - Family Medicine
Specialist Medical Reviewer Lisa S. Weinstock, MD - Psychiatry
Last Revised May 3, 2010

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