This is the 2007 version. Click here for the 2017 chapter 12 table of contents.


What are symptoms of mania?

Mania, the opposite of depression, features frantic activity and wild plans. Although a person experiencing a manic episode is sometimes euphoric (filled with joy) this does not always happen. The manic person's emotions are intense but not always joyful. For example, such a person may be very irritable. A "flight of ideas" is common in mania: the thought process wanders or takes off on wild tangents.

On a public internet forum, a writer describes how a hypermanic state can be set off by social anxiety:

If someone phones up to come round and then cancels for example i just go out of control. Bouncing up and down, babbling manically to anyone who will listen that they're coming round and then ruthlessly over-analysing all the possible reasons why they cancelled: they hate me, I said something wrong etc etc and just generally tearing myself apart. Usually it's just one word or even a song that gets me thinking too much and bang, I'm gone. ("Hypomania has struck me today," August 13, 2007)

The same forum discusses the pros and cons regulating mood states with drugs like lithium. Psychiatric drugs work to dampen the excessive emotionality of a manic state, but they also reduce the "creative edge" that many people value during a manic state. Historical figures like Alexander Hamilton did productive work during manic states...but Hamilton also did many impulsive and self-dstructive things in his political and social life, so he is an ambiguous role-model.

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