Bipolar DisorderBipolar Signs & SymptomsMania

Let's Talk About Bipolar Mania

The manic side of bipolar disorder can feel euphoric—but can lead to some really bad decisions. The first step in dealing with a manic episode is learning to identify what's going on.

    Our Pro PanelBipolar Disorder: Mania

    We went to some of the nation's top bipolar disorder experts to bring you the most scientific and up-to-date information possible.

    James W. Murrough, M.D., Ph.D.

    James W. Murrough, M.D., Ph.D.Director of the Depression and Anxiety Center for Discovery and Treatment and Associate Professor of Psychiatry and Neuroscience

    Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai
    New York, NY
    Po Wang, M.D. headshot

    Po Wang, M.D.Psychiatrist and Clinic Chief

    Bipolar Disorders Clinic at Stanford University Department of Psychiatry
    Linda Hubbard, L.M.F.T. headshot

    Linda Hubbard, L.M.F.T.Therapist

    Department of Behavioral Health, Psychiatry & Psychology at the Mayo Clinic
    How Bipolar Messes with Time
    Mental Health

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    Frequently Asked QuestionsBipolar Disorder: Mania

    If mania is enjoyable for the person who’s experiencing it, how do they get help?

    It may sometimes be difficult to share the diagnosis of bipolar with those around you, but it’s important to do so. Friends and family should be aware of the signs and symptoms of the condition, so they can suggest you see your doctor when you need to.

    Does bipolar psychosis only occur during mania?

    Psychosis, whether delusions or hallucinations, can happen while in a manic state or a depressive state, though they’re more common during a manic state; it’s important to be clear that psychosis only occurs with the type of bipolar disorder called bipolar I. During a hypomanic state—which is a milder version of mania and comes with the bipolar II type of the disorder—psychosis does not occur. (If it does, it is, by definition, a full-blown manic state.)

    Can mania be caused by something other than bipolar disorder?

    Yes. If you take certain medications, particularly ones that contain stimulants, (think: diet pills, cocaine, amphetamines), it can sometimes look like you’re in a manic state. The difference between drug-induced mania and bipolar mania is when the medication is out of your system, your mood will go back to its usual state.

    How long does bipolar mania typically last?

    If you are going through a manic state, you will display all or some of the mania signs for at least seven days. You might then go through long periods of time without experiencing bipolar highs and lows, or you could have what’s called “rapid cycling” symptoms, in which episodes of bipolar mania or depression crop up four or more times in a year.

    Leslie Pepper

    Leslie Pepper

    Leslie Pepper is a freelance writer specializing in health, nutrition, fitness, and wellness.