Mania can be caused by a combination of genetic, chemical, and environmental factors:
- Family history (if anyone in your family have a mental illness characterized by manic episodes, you are more likely to experience mania)
- Chemical imbalance in the brain (adrenaline, serotonin, dopamine, etc.)
- Traumatic life events:
- Physical or sexual abuse
- Death of a loved one
- Breakup or divorce
- Huge financial loss
- Mental health conditions:
- Neurological conditions:
- Alcohol abuse
- Recreational drug abuse
- Side effects of medications such as antidepressants
What are the symptoms of mania?
Mania is typically seen during a manic episode of bipolar disorder. Symptoms may include:
How is mania diagnosed?
While there are no lab or imaging tests that can diagnose mania, your doctor may evaluate your physical condition and ask questions about your symptoms to rule out other conditions. If your doctor finds that there is no physical illness causing the mania, they may refer you to a psychiatrist.
In order to be diagnosed with mania, the following must be true:
- Symptoms are not caused by medical conditions or medications
- Symptoms interfere with daily life
- Manic episodes must last for at least a week or less than a week if the person was hospitalized
How is mania treated?
Medications cannot cure mania, but they may help improve symptoms and bring them under control. These medications need to be taken under strict medical supervision:
- Mood stabilizers or antimanic medications
If your mania is severe, you may require hospitalization, during which your doctor will likely administer electroconvulsive therapy (ECT). ECT involves a brief electrical stimulation of the brain under anesthesia.
- Interpersonal and social rhythm therapy (stabilization of routine activities, such as sleeping, waking, and mealtimes)
- Cognitive-behavioral therapy (identifying thought patterns and behaviors that contribute to mania and trying to change them)
- Psychoeducation (learning about mania)
- Family-focused therapy (involving your family members or friends in your psychotherapy)
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Soreff S. Bipolar Disorder. Medscape. https://emedicine.medscape.com/article/286342-overview
Medscape. The Phenomenology and Diagnosis of Mania. https://www.medscape.org/viewarticle/487928
Stovall J. Bipolar mania and hypomania in adults: Choosing pharmacotherapy. UpToDate. https://www.uptodate.com/contents/bipolar-mania-and-hypomania-in-adults-choosing-pharmacotherapy
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