What is Mania? How Does it Occur?

An Annapolis Psychiatrist Offers a Comprehensive Guide on Manic Behavior

The term “mania” can refer to a couple of different things. Some people use it when referring to someone with an obsession or excessive enthusiasm toward something. For example, someone could have a “mania” for superhero films. Other times, “mania” refers to temporary periods of euphoria and delusions. In the second case, these manic episodes are often associated with bipolar disorder.

Bipolar disorder is a serious mental health disorder that includes episodes of extreme euphoria as well as periods of extreme depression. People with bipolar disorder might have trouble maintaining relationships or managing a stable work life. But it is possible to manage these symptoms and lead a normal life. An Annapolis psychiatrist from the Psych Associates of Maryland explores this mental health disorder in our latest blog post. 

Mania and Bipolar Disorder

Annapolis psychiatrist explains the connection between manic episodes and bipolar disorder

model figurine symbolizing symptoms of bipolar disorder
Bipolar disorder is characterized by extreme mood shifts. But these manic and depressive episodes are different from acting “temperamental” or “moody.” 

When people think of bipolar disorder, common symptoms of mania and depression often come to mind. Unfortunately, this disorder is often misunderstood by people. They might believe that having bipolar disorder involves being moody or temperamental. If a friend is having a bad day and is acting ornery, someone might be inclined to say, “Ugh, they’re so bipolar!”  

But the disorder goes much deeper than that. Both manic and depressive episodes can last for weeks and have devastating effects on one’s life. Let’s explore the complexities and challenges of this disorder together. 

Overview of Mania and Bipolar Disorder

As we mentioned before, bipolar disorder is characterized by extreme mood shifts. The frequency of these mood swings varies among patients. Some people rarely experience mood swings while others deal with them several times a year. 

Symptoms of a manic episode include: 

  • Experiencing a decreased need for sleep — you can sleep for three hours and still feel energized
  • Wanting to engage in numerous activities at once after experiencing a burst in productivity
  • Talking loudly and rapidly
  • Engaging in risky behaviors like gambling or going on shopping sprees
  • Having delusions of grandeur

Unfortunately, this manic period doesn’t last forever. At some point, you will come down and experience a depressive episode. While the number of episodes you experience may vary, you’ll experience a depressive episode at some point if you have bipolar disorder. Symptoms of a depressive episode include: 

  • Having little to no energy
  • Feeling depressed and unable to enjoy anything
  • Inability to focus or concentrate
  • Thoughts of suicide or self-harm

Preventing Manic Episodes

Some people wonder if it is possible to prevent manic episodes altogether. While there’s no magical medicine or tried and true practice that comes with a 100% guarantee for prevention, there are numerous steps you can take to identify the early warning signs of a manic episode and try to prevent it. This includes:

  • Avoiding triggers like caffeine, alcohol, or drugs
  • Keeping track of their moods and symptoms on a daily basis
  • Remembering to take medication
  • Following a regular exercise and sleep schedule 
  • Learning the early warning signs of a manic episode such as needing less sleep or becoming easily distracted
  • Sticking to a regular routing 
  • Creating an action plan for your loved ones to follow if you do fall into a manic episode

Dealing with the Aftermath of a Manic Episode

Dealing with the effects of a manic episode can be difficult. You might have hurt your loved ones, taken unwise financial risks, and compromised your career. Having a strong support system will be crucial during the aftermath of your episode. If you have a mental health therapist, they will also play a large role in your recovery. 

Treatment Options for Patients with Bipolar Disorder

Patients with bipolar disorder typically take medication and attend counseling sessions to help manage their symptoms

bipolar disorder medication
If you think you have bipolar disorder, it’s crucial that you seek help as soon as possible. Most patients start to get better after going on medication and attending psychotherapy sessions. You don’t have to struggle with these symptoms alone. 

When it comes to managing your bipolar disorder, you can’t do it alone. That’s why it’s crucial for you to seek medical attention if you believe you might have the disorder. Your primary care physician can refer you to a mental health specialist who can craft a treatment plan for you. They might also prescribe medication for you. As your treatment progresses, your psychiatric care provider might make some changes or adjustments to it. Therefore, checking in with them on a regular basis will be important. 

If you or someone you know is struggling with symptoms of bipolar disorder, know that there is help out there. Our team of Annapolis psychiatrists at the Psych Associates of Maryland is ready to help you or your loved one. Our services include psychotherapy, medication management, telehealth services, TMS, ABA, and psychological testing. Start taking back control of your mental health and contact the team today for more information.


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