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Bipolar Disorder: Hypomanic Episodes

Topic Overview

Hypomanic episodes can occur in people who have mood disorders. Hypomanic episodes are less severe than manic episodes, although a hypomanic episode can still interfere with your ability to function properly.

Hypomania may be diagnosed if:

  • A distinct period of elevated or irritable mood occurs in which the mood is clearly different from a regular nondepressed mood.
  • Three or more of the following symptoms last for a significant period of time:
    • Inflated self-esteem or unrealistic feelings of importance
    • Decreased need for sleep (feels rested after only a few hours of sleep)
    • Talkativeness
    • Racing thoughts or flight of ideas
    • Being easily distracted
    • An increase in goal-directed activity (work or personal)
    • Irresponsible behaviors that may have serious consequences, such as going on shopping sprees, engaging in increased sexual activity, or making foolish business investments
  • The mood or behavior change is noticeable to others.
  • The episode is not severe enough to cause impairment in social or job functioning and does not require hospitalization.
  • The symptoms are not caused by substance abuse.

If you feel that you or someone you care about may be experiencing a hypomanic episode, contact your doctor to discuss the possible causes and the treatment options.

Related Information

Credits

By Healthwise Staff
Primary Medical Reviewer Patrice Burgess, MD - Family Medicine
Specialist Medical Reviewer Lisa S. Weinstock, MD - Psychiatry
Last Revised March 1, 2012

Last Revised: March 1, 2012

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