Bipolar Mania and the Impact of Manic Symptoms
Bipolar mania is the elevated mood, or the highs, associated with bipolar disorder. Manic symptoms are some of the most devastating in bipolar disorder and often land patients in the hospital.
What is Bipolar Mania?
Bipolar mania is associated with bipolar I, where the person experiences both the highs and depressed lows. The diagnosis of a manic episode is defined in the latest version of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-IV-TR) as being at least one week long, and severely impacting someone's daily life. Bipolar manic symptoms include:
- extreme elation
- expansiveness (acting in a larger-than-life manner)
Other manic symptoms required for diagnosis include at least three of the following:1
- A large sense of self; overwhelming and unrealistic self-esteem
- Reduced need for sleep
- Rapid, incessant, excessive talking
- Rapid and rapidly changing thoughts
- Being easily distracted
- Excessively engaging in pleasurable activities like sex, spending sprees, gambling; often with negative consequences
- Increasein goal-focused activity at home, at work, or sexually
In order to be diagnosed with bipolar disorder mania, these symptoms cannot otherwise be explained by substance abuse or another illness.
Impact of Manic Symptoms
Some manic symptoms sound pleasurable and can even be perceived that way by the person with bipolar disorder. However, the problem with bipolar disorder mania is that the behaviors and thoughts are taken too far to the extreme and result in dangerous consequences.
It is common for bipolar manic symptoms to include the feeling of god-like power. The person feels that they can control everything around them or have a direct line to god. The person may start preaching his perceived powers or do things to prove his powers such as attempt to fly by jumping from a roof. Gambling and spending sprees, as a result of bipolar mania, often leave a person with huge bills and no way to pay them. Bipolar mania is often intercepted by police when the patient's behavior becomes so risky as to endanger others, such as driving while intoxicated. It's at this time, the person with bipolar disorder is often taken to the hospital for emergency bipolar treatment.
Last Updated: 11 July 2017
Reviewed by Harry Croft, MD