Mania and hypomania are integral part of Bipolar disorder that belongs to psychotic disorder category. Mania is the word used to describe “elevated mood” of the person and depression is used for “low mood”. Bipolar disorder, literally speaking occurs in two episodes namely manic phase and depressive phase. But in practice most of the people affected with this disorder will be in “depressive” phase rather than in “manic phase”.
The hypomania can be described by the following signs or symptoms, but not all of these are present in the same person. Hypomania is less severe when compared with mania.
The person will show increased activity and energy level. Flee of thoughts will be racing on his mind and he may not be able to put it in words. He would be seen with high level of confidence and self esteem. The person will be extremely talkative but he will change from one activity to the other thus easily distracted. He will not be able to concentrate in one particular activity. He will not get enough sleep.
One cannot say for sure that the affected person will be in elevated mood for the entire day. Suddenly he may become aggressive showing anger or even violence to others. He will show increased interest for social gathering and might have increased sex drive. He will show interest in pleasurable activities without bothering about the consequences. It is the time when one spends recklessly ignoring the financial commitments or family.
He will lack judgmental skills or balance and he will not accept that his behavior has changed. Most of the time, hypomania will be followed by depressed state of bipolar disorder. Only few of the above symptoms will be displayed by affected person and not all. Some people may not show any symptoms at all.
It is difficult to predict exactly what causes mental problems like change in mood or behavior. Usually combination of factors like genetic, environmental and social factors is involved in any psychotic disorder. Hypomania or depression can be caused due to abusive childhood or facing heavy challenges in life. It can be the death of loved ones or your father or mother or sudden loss of job. Your mind will not be ready to accept the condition though you have physically accepted it.
Domestic violence and other stressful events can lead to mental health problems like hypomania. Prolonged influence of alcohol can bring the same effect on some people. Lack of sleep and using substances for long time can also be a reason. People with family history of mania or hypomania have increased risk of getting this disorder.
It is not that difficult to diagnose hypomania or mania of a person. The psychologist will closely observe the behavior of the person after collecting his history from his family and friends. He might exhibit some of the above symptoms for a week or even more but he will not be ready to accept that he has some problem. His behavior will not cause any problem in his relationship or workplace and he may not be required to be hospitalized.
There are many kinds and categories of bipolar disorder and it is for the psychiatrist to diagnose the right condition of the patient. Some people ignore to report their depression or excited (manic) behavior to doctors fearing that he/she may be ridiculed. Hiding anything from your doctor will confuse him and he may not be able to give appropriate medications for curing depression.
For some individuals excess of thyroxin hormone can also produce the same reaction and depressive symptoms are caused when thyroid gland is not functioning well. So, your doctor will order for blood culture before starting any treatment.
Bipolar disorder can be managed by effective medications and counseling therapy. But you have to remember that treatment cannot be quick since it takes weeks or even months to change one’s behavior. Apart from taking medications suggested by your doctor you need to make certain lifestyle changes.
Cognitive behavior therapy is the best way to identify the underlying problems in mind. For finding out problems of the past the psychiatrist may use hypnotic therapy and psychotherapy so that he can resolve the issues of past experiences in the patient’s mind.
Drugs that are prescribed for treating bipolar disorder (mania and hypomania) are Zyprexa, Seroquel, and Risperdal. Mood stabilizers like lithium, valporate sodium, cabamazepine and lamictal are given for treating recurrent depression and manic phase.
Lifestyle Changes :
To begin with you have to eat healthy nutritious food. Practice regular exercise and go to bed in time. You need to avoid watching television or working for long hours once you have started taking medicines. You must avoid alcohol and quit smoking. You can join a social club for practicing yoga and meditation.
Do not indulge in new sexual life for short time. You can postpone taking major decisions in life for some months. Talk openly with your friends and family and share your thoughts and feelings. Plenty of self help books and support groups are available. On the whole, treatment for hypomania or mania should be in the combined form of medications, counseling and help from support group.