Difference between Mania and Hypomania 

Manic and hypomanic conditions are mood disorders, and they’re relevant to bipolar disorder types 1 and 2. Today, we’ll discuss the difference between mania and hypomania in terms of symptoms, causes, and treatment.

What is Mania/Hypomania? 

Mania is a mood condition comprised of irritable, expansive, and elevated mood persistently and it tends to last for a week or more. If it becomes severe in some cases, then it results in the form of delusional thinking disturbing daily routine activity, personal, and social functioning of your life. However, a manic condition needs hospitalization if a person develops psychosis and imposes danger to himself or to society.

Hypomania, on the other hand, is a milder and lighter state of mania comprising irritable, expansive, and elevated mood episodes, and it tends to last for 4 days up to a week. Its symptoms are the same as the hypomanic episode and they don’t get severe, and they disturb one’s life and the person could perform various activities normally.

Symptoms of Mania/Hypomania 

Some of the main symptoms of mania and hypomania are as follows;

  • Aggression and irritability
  • Optimism and confidence in your capabilities
  • Risky behavior and reckless decisions like out of control driving, sexual activity excessively, gambling, and costly purchase decision without considering the consequences
  • Involving in multiple activities impulsively at once
  • Lose appetite and feels like you don’t have to eat anything
  • Feeling restless and taking a sleep of 3 to 4 hours, and less than 5 hours of sleep every night
  • Paying attention to irrelevant and unimportant things
  • Easily distracted
  • Racing ideas and thoughts, and fast speech and moving from one topic to another without making any sense
  • High activity level
  • Energetic and exciting feelings
  • Silly and happy feelings almost every day  

A person would experience the state of psychosis in the severe case of mania, where one disconnects from reality. It also results in the form of hallucination or delusion like seeing things and hearing voices that aren’t here.

Psychosis is a state of delusion or persecution, and it comprises a delusional belief that your partner is committing adultery, jealousy, and thinking that others are planning against you. You won’t experience the symptoms of psychosis in the hypomanic episode.

Difference between Mania and Hypomania 

Some of the main difference between mania and hypomania in terms of functional impairment, intensity, and duration are as follow;

  • Functional Impairment: manic episode impairs and disturbs key life activities like social relationships and work. A hypomanic episode doesn’t disturb your life.
  • Intensity: the symptoms of manic episodes are intense and severe, and hypomania is a mild and moderate form
  • Duration: symptoms of manic episodes like irritability and mood elevation tend to last at least a week, and the same hypomanic symptoms would last for 4 days

Similarities between Mania and Hypomania

Both manic and hypomanic episodes have links with restlessness, high activity, and energy level. They have got the same symptoms in terms of aggression, irritability, pleasure, sexual arousal, limited sleep, an inflated image of yourself, pressured speech, and distraction. In other words, both of these conditions have got similar symptoms, but they differ in terms of intensity and duration. Mania disturbs the functionality of your life, and hypomania doesn’t.


The diagnosis of bipolar type 1 disorder is through a manic episode, and the diagnosis of bipolar type 2 disorder is through a hypomanic episode. In the diagnosis of BP type 1, a person has experienced the episode of mania at least once. In the diagnosis of BP type 2, one has faced the episode of hypomania.

People with BP type 1 condition experience mixed episodes of depression and mania, and they require hospitality. They’re also at a higher risk of committing suicide and endangering themselves and others. Your doctor would diagnose the condition through a thorough psychiatric evaluation and interview.

Triggers of Mania/Hypomania 

Some of the main factors that would trigger the mania and hypomania episode are as follows;

  • Overloaded sensations like the excessive crowd, noise, and light
  • Overexercise, overplay, and overwork
  • Mental stress caused by an important project or losing a close person
  • Insomnia and limited sleep
  • Medication and drugs that impact norepinephrine like antidepressants, stimulants, antihistamines, and thyroid medication
  • High consumption of caffeine
  • Drugs and alcohol

Treatment of Mania/Hypomania 

Research studies have shown that psychotherapy like CBT (cognitive behavioral therapy) lowers the symptoms of hypomania caused by bipolar II disorder. The therapeutic treatment allows people to recognize the triggering factors and find a healthier way to deal with them. When you become aware of the earlier warning signs, then you can deal with them on time.

If a person is experiencing severe manic episodes, the doctor would recommend both psychotherapy and medication in combination to deal with the symptoms. Some of the main medicines approved by the FDA are as follows;

  • Antipsychotics: Invega, Zyprexa, Abilify, Geodon, Seroquel, Risperdal,  
  • Anticonvulsant: Neurontin, Lamictal,
  • Mood Stabilizers: Lithium

Conclusion: Difference between Mania and Hypomania 

After an in-depth study of the difference between mania and hypomania; we have realized that the symptoms of both conditions are almost similar, but they differ in intensity. After reading the article, you must have got a clear idea about differentiating them. If you need further assistance, then you should consult with the local healthcare provider in your area.