What is hypomania?
Hypomania is a state of mind characterized by abnormally high spirits, and it is a potential symptom of bipolar disorder, specifically bipolar II disorder.
The primary symptoms of hypomania are heightened giddiness, excitement, flamboyance or irritability, as well as tension, restlessness, vigilance, distractibility and intense focus.
Hypomania is sometimes a symptom of bipolar disorder, but it may also result from other factors, such as:
Hypomanic symptoms and signs vary from person to person. Here are some examples of hypomanic behaviors:
- Taking advantage of a dinner party by making crude comments
- Behaving or dressing in a flamboyant manner
- Those who struggle with hypersexual tendencies may demand excessive amounts from their partners, initiate inappropriate demands
- Changing topics while speaking
- Sleeping less
- Purchasing a car you cannot afford recklessly
- “Feeling lucky” leads you to take risks you would normally avoid
- It is hard for others to follow you when you speak so fast
- Intense irritability, aggression or excitement
Read: Catatonic Schizophrenia
Hypomania can be diagnosed based on common symptoms and signs. The patient should have a persistently elevated, expansive, or irritable mood for the majority of the day, accompanied by unusually increased energy and activity for at least four days.
Hypomania is marked by different moods, habits, and behaviors than one’s everyday state, and can be easily observed by those around them. It is important to distinguish hypomania from a variety of moods by noticing no mood fluctuations.
It is by definition impossible to diagnose hypomania with some features and instead need to look for a manic episode. A hypomanic episode cannot be explained by symptoms of psychosis, such as hallucinations or delusions.
Hypomania is also ruled out by symptoms so severe that they substantially interfere with your day-to-day functioning or necessitate hospitalization. Be sure to rule out the possibility of medications or recreational drug use as a cause before you make a diagnosis.
Read: Paranoid Schizophrenia
It is generally required that a person who suffers from both depressive episodes and manic or hypomanic episodes be diagnosed with bipolar disorder. Bipolar II disorder is associated with symptoms of depression, hypomania and mania. Other factors may lead to a different diagnosis, such as cyclothymia.
Bipolar hypomania is diagnosed when three or more of the following symptoms are present with a persistently elevated mood or a persistently irritable mood:
- Easily distracted
- Engaging in excessively risky activity, such as spending sprees, gambling or engaging in sexual indiscretions
- Intensely motivated toward achieving a specific goal
- Psychomotor agitation is characterized by fidgetiness, pacing or restlessness
- You feel that your thoughts are flitting around or that they are racing
- Imagine yourself as powerful, talented, or amazing in a way that is too grandiose
- Feeling tired less often without requiring more sleep
- Feeling compelled to talk constantly or unusual talkativeness
Read: Types of Schizophrenia
It is not mandatory to also be diagnosed with bipolar disorder if you receive a diagnosis of hypomania.
Hypomania can have serious long-term consequences even if no psychosis or exaggerated moods are present. Sexually transmitted infections (STIs) can ruin relationships as a result of hypersexuality. You may suffer severe financial hardship if you spend irresponsibly, and you may lose your job if you behave inappropriately.
Hypomania is most commonly treated with medications called mood stabilizers; your doctor may prescribe one or more of the following:
- Lithium and Valproic Acid (can relieve hypomania symptoms until antipsychotics fully take effect).
- Benzodiazepines (anti-anxiety drugs)
- Mood stabilizer lithium (with antidepressant properties)
- Valproic acid (an anticonvulsant)
Additionally, lifestyle changes and holistic approaches can help, including the following:
- Avoid stimulants like caffeine, sugar, and loud, crowded social situations that can trigger anxiety
- Exercise every day
- Sleeping seven to eight hours each night
- Meals on a regular basis
Read: Schizoaffective Disorder
Make an appointment with your psychiatrist if you have been experiencing symptoms of hypomania. They will determine if hypomania is a symptom of bipolar disorder and if it’s accurate.
Here are some suggestions for dealing with hypomania until then:
- Educate yourself: It will be easier for you to manage your condition if you learn more about hypomania and your symptoms and triggers.
- Keep a mood diary: You and your doctor can work together to keep your hypomanic episodes under control by keeping a journal or using an app to track your moods.
- Stay the treatment course: Hypomania can be managed only if you follow your treatment plan if you have bipolar disorder.
- Ask for support: It’s important to get support, whether from a supportive family and friends or a specialist support group.