Mania vs. Hypomania

  • Medical Author:
    Roxanne Dryden-Edwards, MD

    Dr. Roxanne Dryden-Edwards is an adult, child, and adolescent psychiatrist. She is a former Chair of the Committee on Developmental Disabilities for the American Psychiatric Association, Assistant Professor of Psychiatry at Johns Hopkins Hospital in Baltimore, Maryland, and Medical Director of the National Center for Children and Families in Bethesda, Maryland.

  • Medical Editor: Melissa Conrad Stöppler, MD
    Melissa Conrad Stöppler, MD

    Melissa Conrad Stöppler, MD

    Melissa Conrad Stöppler, MD, is a U.S. board-certified Anatomic Pathologist with subspecialty training in the fields of Experimental and Molecular Pathology. Dr. Stöppler's educational background includes a BA with Highest Distinction from the University of Virginia and an MD from the University of North Carolina. She completed residency training in Anatomic Pathology at Georgetown University followed by subspecialty fellowship training in molecular diagnostics and experimental pathology.

Euphoria is a symptom of mania and is considered a sense of intense happiness.

Symptom of Mania and Hypomania


Euphoria can be described as a heightened, exaggerated, or extremely positive sense of happiness or well-being. It is considered to represent an abnormally extreme degree of happiness or contentment beyond that which occurs in normal emotional responses. It can be described as a sense of intense joy or happiness that is beyond what would be expected under the normal circumstances. Euphoria may be experienced by those who suffer from bipolar depression (manic depression) in the manic phase. It may occasionally be seen in other psychiatric disorders, such as schizophrenia, in which emotional responses and perceptions of reality are abnormal.

Mania vs. hypomania facts

  • Mania is a set of mood symptoms that includes euphoria or irritability lasting at least a week and is required to qualify for the diagnosis of bipolar disorder.
  • Hypomania is considered to be a less severe version of mania.
  • The suicide rate for people who have had a manic episode is 60 times higher than that of the general public.
  • As with most other mental health symptoms, mania or hypomania are not directly inherited from one generation to another genetically but are thought to be due to a complex group of genetic, psychological, and environmental risk factors.
  • There is no one test that definitively determines that someone is experiencing mania or hypomania, so health care professionals diagnose these sets of symptoms by gathering comprehensive medical, family, and mental health information in addition to performing physical and mental health assessments.
  • Treatment of mania or hypomania with medications tends to relieve already existing symptoms and prevent them from returning.
  • Talk therapy (psychotherapy) is an important part of helping people with mania or hypomania achieve the highest level of functioning possible.

What is mania and what is hypomania?

  • Mania is a severe episode of elevated/euphoric or irritable mood and increased energy that usually lasts at least a week and severely interferes with the sufferer's ability to function.
  • Hypomania is a less severe version of mania, in that it is characterized by somewhat elevated or irritable mood that may more mildly interfere with a person's functioning to a less debilitating degree than mania.

What are causes and risk factors for mania and hypomania?

As with most other mental health issues, mania or hypomania are not directly passed from one generation to another genetically. Rather, each is the result of a complex group of genetic, psychological, and environmental vulnerabilities. People with these symptoms or with schizophrenia and schizoaffective disorder often have risk factors in common, including a family history of any of these disorders, loss of a parent or other trauma, as well as being born prematurely.

Medically Reviewed by a Doctor on 6/13/2017

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