Hypomania

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What is Hypomania?

Hypomania is a state of behavior, mind and mood which is similar to mania however it is a much less severe kind. Hypomania is a kind of mood which people normally do not consider to be a problem since they tend to feel good about themselves. This form of elevated moods tends to last for 4-5 days consecutively. People in this state of mind believe that they can accomplish anything they wish and tend to be more productive.

However other feelings which may be experienced within hypomania is that of excitement, irritability or an unusual kind of joyfulness. People may talk non-stop, feel restless and may not need long hours of sleep when experiencing this condition. There are different kinds of hypomania which a person can suffer from and hypomania is commonly associated with bipolar disorders. The very first kind which this article will discuss is bipolar hypomania.

Bipolar hypomania

Bipolar hypomania can be divided into subtypes and each of these has a variety of symptoms and patterns of moods and behavior. The first subtype of bipolar hypomania is:

Bipolar I: the manic episodes which occur in Bipolar I can be quite dangerous to the patient as well as to those around him. A change in mood tends to cause problems for the patient within relationships, at the work place and/or at school.
Bipolar II: this type is relatively less severe than Bipolar I. The moods and behavior within this type are elevated which do affect the daily functioning of the person however compared to Bipolar I, it is generally easier to go about doing daily work.
Cyclothymic disorder: this is a third kind of bipolar hypomania and is generally the mildest form of bipolar disorder. Certainly hypomania is disruptive and affects the daily routine of the individual but the highs and lows which are associated with bipolar disorder are generally less severe.

It is with the help of manic and hypomania episodes with which it can be determined as to which type of bipolar disorder an individual has. If symptoms show for example that the patient has experienced hypomania along with depression, it is likely that he/she suffers from Bipolar II disorder.

Unipolar hypomania

Unipolar hypomania is another kind of hypomania which is often found within individuals. Unipolar hypomania is a form of major depression which can be diagnosed clinically. This medical condition affects an individual’s emotional, mental and physical state and causes a variety of problems pertaining to these aspects of the human being. Depression comes easily to people who suffer from unipolar hypomania. It is absolutely vital for a person who feels low most of the time during the day and/or experiences changes in his/her mood to get help. With the help of support from friends and family, this illness can be dealt with easily.

Dysphoric hypomania

The third kind of hypomania is dysphoric hypomania. An individual who suffers from this kind of hypomania generally feels happy and excited but also experiences moods which are associated with depression. It is a mixed form of moods and is commonly found within the subcategory of Bipolar I disorder however instances have been found in Bipolar II as well.

Dysphoric hypomania includes individuals who may be very energetic and active but at the same time be having negative and perhaps even suicidal thoughts. If these feelings progress, patients tend to become delusional and begin to see and hear things.

Hypomania Symptoms

Every illness has symptoms which are what help in determining the prevalence of an illness. Episodes of hypomania occur in people who experience bipolar disorders or any other kind of mood disorder. Some of the symptoms which relate to hypomania are:

  • Feeling unrealistically important about oneself
  • Not requiring the regular amount of sleep
  • Talking excessively
  • Becoming distracted with ease
  • Behaviors having serious consequences being performed without realizing the depth of their actions

Hypomania Causes

Hypomania is amongst those illnesses which do not seem to be having any specific list of causes. Many of these causes remain unknown however the few which are certain to be reasons leading to hypomania consist of:

  • Genetic factors/hereditary
  • The sex of the person; hypomania is more commonly found in males
  • The age of the person; hypomania is more commonly found in individuals between the ages of 20-55
  • Occupation: the higher the stress an individual’s occupation provides him with, the greater the likelihood of hypomania

Hypomania Diagnosis

Hypomania can be quite difficult to diagnose at times. This is because people may simply mistake it for genuine happiness. For a person to be diagnosed appropriately for hypomania there needs to be the presence of at least 3 symptoms of mania which include the elevation of one’s mood, an irritable mood and an increase in activity for the day which lasts for almost four days. The elevation of the mood and the excess of activity throughout the day need to be such that it can be observed by other individuals and it should also be behavior different from the way you are when you are not depressed.

Mania vs Hypomania

Mania is associated with bipolar disorder. It is one of the extremes which are felt by patients of this illness; the other extreme being depression. Hypomania is quite similar and may even have similar symptoms but the symptoms are experienced to a lesser degree. In mania, patients have an elevated mood along with symptoms such as veracious behavior, extra energy, hallucinations and fast speech. Within hypomania, not only is the mood be elevated and observable, it is not associated with any specific activity going on in a person’s life. While hypomania may be associated with happiness and excitement to a lesser level, mania is of a much higher level of happiness.

Treatment of Hypomania

Mania and hypomania can vary in terms of severity along with the elevation of energy as well as one’s mood. Apart from an elevation of energy and mood, a patient suffering from hypomania also suffers from impairment in insight and judgment. Mania and hypomania is generally treated by going to a licensed counselor. Hypomania is also treated with the same medications that are used in treating mania. These include mood stabilizers such as Neurontin, Depakote, Tegretol, Lithium, Lamictil and Topamax.

Ways other than medication also exist which can be used to treat hypomania. These include engaging oneself in activities which do not make the person stressful. Participating in activities which help you stay calm and relaxed should be opted for. Having a healthy and balanced diet has also proven to help. Excess consumption of alcohol, sugar and caffeine should also be avoided.

References:

http://www.diseasesatoz.com/hypomania.htm

http://bipolar.about.com/od/maniahypomani1/a/what_is_hypomania.htm

http://www.tripdatabase.com/doc/314158-Mania-and-hypomania—definitions-and-diagnosis#content

http://bipolar.about.com/od/maniahypomani1/a/what_is_mania.htm

http://nih.gov/

http://www.webmd.com/

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