Bipolar Jacket

What is the difference between mania and hypomania?

Mania (seen in bipolar 1) and hypomania (seen in both bipolar 1 and bipolar 2) are both elevated mood states that are part of bipolar disorder. However, there are some key differences between the two:

  1. Intensity: Mania is a more severe mood state than hypomania. Mania involves more intense symptoms, such as delusions or hallucinations, and can be more disruptive to a person’s life than hypomania.
  2. Duration: Mania lasts for at least a week, while hypomania lasts for at least four days but no longer than a week.
  3. Impairment: Mania can lead to significant impairment in a person’s life, including problems with work, relationships, and personal functioning. Hypomania, on the other hand, may not cause significant problems in a person’s life, and may even be associated with increased creativity and productivity.
  4. Psychotic symptoms: Mania may involve psychotic symptoms, such as delusions and hallucinations, while hypomania does not.
  5. Hospitalization: People experiencing mania may require hospitalization for their safety, while people experiencing hypomania can usually be managed on an outpatient basis.

It’s important to note that both mania and hypomania can be associated with increased risk-taking behaviors, such as reckless spending or drug use, and can lead to negative consequences in a person’s life. If you or someone you know is experiencing symptoms of mania or hypomania, it’s important to seek professional help from a mental health provider.

The DSM-5 Criteria for Mania

According to the DSM-5 (Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, 5th edition), a manic episode (or hypomanic episode) is characterized by a distinct period of abnormally and persistently elevated, expansive, or irritable mood, lasting at least one week (or 4 days for hypomania), or any duration if hospitalization is necessary. The episode must be accompanied by three or more of the following symptoms (four if the mood is only irritable) and represent a noticeable change from the person’s usual behavior:

  1. Inflated self-esteem or grandiosity
  2. Decreased need for sleep
  3. More talkative than usual or pressure to keep talking
  4. Flight of ideas or subjective experience that thoughts are racing
  5. Distractibility
  6. Increase in goal-directed activity or psychomotor agitation
  7. Excessive involvement in pleasurable activities that have a high potential for painful consequences (e.g., buying sprees, sexual indiscretions, foolish business investments)

These symptoms must cause clinically significant distress or impairment in social, occupational, or other areas of functioning, and cannot be due to a medical condition or substance use.

Hypomania is a less severe form of mania, lasting at least four consecutive days, and characterized by the same symptoms as mania but less severe in intensity and less disruptive to the person’s functioning.