What is a Manic Episode? Symptoms, Causes, Treatment 

You would have heard about the changing mood in bipolar disorder, and it’s something that is out of your control. Today, we’ll discuss what is manic episode; its symptoms, causes, and treatment.

What is a Manic Episode/Mania? 

A manic episode or mania is a state when you’ve exaggerated extreme behavior, racing thoughts, intense energy, and irritable or elevated mood. People also experience separation from reality states like delusion, hallucination, and psychosis.

The signs of mania could prolong for a few weeks and its episodes could integrate with the depression period and cause you to experience hopelessness, sadness, and fatigue. The episodes of mania are common among BPD patients, and it could also cause an extreme level of change in mood and behavior.

Symptoms of Manic Episode 

The symptoms of mania aren’t just academic. They could result in the form of medical emergencies like bleeding, chest pain, or shortness of breathing. When it comes to recognizing the episodes of mania, then you study the behavior of the concerned person that it changes from you and other people.

Some of the common behavioral symptoms of mania episodes that you should keep in mind are as follows;

Limited Sleep

Sleep deficiency is a very common symptom of mania, and trouble sleeping could feed off each in the BPD condition. Both of them cause sleep issues and complement each other in this regard.

Involved in Various Activities

Since you’ve elevated mood and energy during the episodes of mania, the person keeps on working on various projects to consume that energy. Experts call it “multitasking on steroids.” Their productivity would increase exponentially and they achieve things than their normal routine.

Rapid/Loud/Pressured Speech

If the speech has become rapid, loud, and quick, then it’s a sign of mania or a hypomanic episode. In order to categorize rapid speech, you should compare it with the person’s usual speech. It’s because the speech of some people is faster than others, that’s why you should make the comparison. However, if a person’s speech has become rapid all of a sudden, then you should be aware of it.

Easy Distraction

If a person gets distracted easily by cream cones, xylophones, microphones, and the rhythm of words, the person makes clang association. The clang association is like poetry, but it’s out of character and context for mania symptoms.

High Sexual Desire

Hypersexuality is a very common sign of mania, and the person has a risky sexual behavior uncharacterized like finding liaisons, online interactions, pornographic websites, sex workers, or more.  

Risky Behavior

When a person is experiencing mania, then his behavior becomes risky especially in terms of monetary matters like gambling, spending sprees, or overspending.

Thinking Rapidly

If a person complains about having uncontrollable and racing thoughts, it may seem pleasant and fluid on the surface. But the thoughts are repetitive and unquieted from inside. You should ask them about their thoughts.

Ideas Flight

It’s very difficult to follow the flight of ideas in the mania phase of the BPD. You can’t make logical sense out of their discussion. The flights of ideas are like “I didn’t feed the dog, the meaning and purpose of life, what’s the weather tomorrow?” We all have ideas, and they could be in a logical or illogical sequence. The important thing is the presentation of your ideas.

Grandiosity

Grandiosity is a state when a person perceives oneself to be a very important and great person. For instance, a certain celebrity and a superstar are sending me love letters, or a particular organization is going to make a president. It’s a very common symptom of mania or hypomania episodes of BPD.

Hypomania doesn’t have a delusion of grandeur, but thinking like grandiose like “I’ll be leaving my business, and starting a new book.” The context is significant here, if a writer talks about a new writing project or book, then it’s acceptable. However, if an ordinary reader without training or record speaks about writing, then it’s suspicious to be a phase of mania.

Irritability

If you observe hostility and irritability, then you should be cautious about this behavior. You shouldn’t try to deal with such behavior and situation on your own.

Suicidal Thoughts

In severe cases, a person would be feeling worthlessness, hopelessness, or suicidal thoughts.

Religious Dedication

A person would have a deep religious involvement and you see it, then it could be a sign of mania.

Bright Clothes

A person in a phase of mania would put on flamboyant and bright colors. The people who casually wear bright colors won’t exhibit the signs of mania. It could be a symptom of the change in color preferences or clothing being sudden, and putting on revealing clothes to show sexuality.

Mania Symptoms in Children

Some people have experienced the symptoms among children. Kids with BPD are rare, but these are taught behavior. However, if your child is exhibiting symptoms, then you should take him/her to the psychologist. You should talk to him/her politely about his friends’ circles and how they’re behaving. It’s better if you consult with the psychologist that how you should deal with this situation.

Causes of Manic Episode 

Mania is common BPD type-I patients, and it happens because of the following causes;

  • Abuse or trauma
  • Stroke
  • Sleep deprivation
  • Misuse or overuse of alcohol or other recreational drugs
  • Side effects of medication
  • Lupus
  • High stress and anxiety
  • Encephalitis
  • Dementia
  • Brain tumor
  • Brain injury
  • Postpartum psychosis or childbirth

Diagnosis of Manic Episode 

In order to diagnose mania from BPD, a person must be exhibiting symptoms of irritability, expansive, and abnormally elevated mood for roundabout a week. He should be experiencing at least 3 of the following signs;

  • Fast racing thoughts
  • Limited sleep
  • Inflated or grandiose sense of self
  • Loud, rapid, or repetitive speech
  • Involve in unprotected sex, gambling, and other risky behavior
  • Performing multitask and accomplishing them in a day
  • Distracted very easily

Treatment of Manic Episode 

The treatment of mania that your therapist would suggest, could be medication, therapy, changes in life, or a combination of them. They’re as follows;

Medication

Antipsychotic drugs could treat minor symptoms of mania and they would stabilize your mood and protect you from future episodes. Some of the antipsychotic drugs are as follows;

  • Olanzapine (Zyprexa)
  • Cariprazine (Vraylar)
  • Quetiapine (Seroquel)
  • Risperidone (Risperdal)
  • Lurasidone (Latuda)
  • Aripiprazole (Abiliy)

Some of the main mood stabilizer drugs are as follows;

  • Carbamazapine (Tegretol)
  • Lithium
  • Divalproex Sodium (Depakote)

Therapeutic Treatment

A trained therapist would help you to recognize your triggering points of mania episodes, and teach you how to deal with them. If you combine medication with therapy, then it would amplify the quality of treatment. However, some of the main therapeutic approaches are as follows;

  • Family therapy
  • DBT (dialectical behavioral therapy)
  • CBT (cognitive behavioral therapy)

Social support network plays a significant role in mania, and you should consider joining such a support network in your area. If you have limited resources, then you should reach out to family and friends and ask for their help.

Changes in Lifestyle

Along with therapeutic treatment and medication, you can manage the symptoms of mania by making small changes in your lifestyle. Some of the complementary life changes that you should consider practicing in your routine life are as follows;

  • Following the medication and making the appointment on time
  • Writing the symptoms of mania when you experience them, pay heed to the trigger points like vacation, new project, loud music, getting late, moving on, break up, or job change
  • Be consistent with your routine life of going to sleep on time, waking up on time, and your hygiene
  • Don’t skip your meal
  • Performing exercise daily  

Conclusion: What is a Manic Episode? Symptoms, Causes, Treatment 

After an in-depth study of what is a manic episode or mania; its symptoms, causes, diagnosis, and treatment; we’ve realized that mania could badly ruin your life. If you experience any of the symptoms of mania, then you should consult the nearest psychologist in your area.

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