What is Hypomania/Mania?
Hypomania is a ‘mild form of mania, marked by elation or hyperactivity.’ The symptoms of hypomania and mania are similar, but those of mania are more intense. Essentially, mania is a condition that affects your mood and makes them abnormally energized, both physically and mentally.
It is not uncommon for an individual to be unaware that they are experiencing a manic or hypomanic phase. Many individuals who experience episodes of hypomania/mania are often suffering with bipolar disorder.
Experiencing higher than normal energy levels
Decreased need for sleep
Increased self-esteem or confidence
Being extremely talkative
Having a racing mind
More extreme symptoms of mania include:
Visual or auditory hallucinations
Did you know?
Supporting those with Hypomania/Mania
Use your words carefully
An individual going through a manic episode is unlikely to be aware of what they are experiencing, so it’s advisable to use your words carefully and don’t make assumptions. It’s recommended that you avoid being patronising or using combative words as this could trigger the episode further. Instead, consider a calm approach that may help them to soften their mood and help them control their impulsive actions.
Observe and give space
Within reason, you should give the individual experiencing a manic episode space. Make sure they’re safe and away from anything that could bring them harm physically, mentally or emotionally. If possible, observe their actions to ensure they are not be tempted by impulsive or rash acts that could be detriment to them or surrounding people, e.g. gambling, overspending etc. Let them know you are there to support them and ask what you can do to help them. You’ll find this varies from person to person.
Assess and act if required
While giving space is advisable initially, it is important to keep an eye on anyone experiencing mania, as they may need professional help should their symptoms fail to abate naturally. If you feel that help from a doctor or psychiatrist is necessary, we suggest talking this through with them in a safe place, so they can come to terms with the idea of seeking help before taking action.
Supporting yourself how to cope with Hypomania/Mania
There can be many triggers for individuals experiencing mania and they are likely to vary from person to person. Common triggers include alcohol, illegal drugs, mood-altering prescription drugs, too much caffeine or sugar. All of the above can both trigger an episode and affect your ability to recover. So, it’s best to avoid such triggers to keep your emotions in balance.
Add structure to your daily life
Having structure in your daily life can help balance your mood and lessen your chances of experiencing a manic episode. A simple way to add structure to your routine includes going to sleep and waking up at set times to avoid over/under sleeping; this will ensure that you get a good night of sleep. Following a healthy diet and taking exercise can also help balance your mood.
Create a wellness plan
A wellness plan is a series of actions you can take to prevent your symptoms from escalating into an episode. Some actions can include contacting a trusted member of your family or friend, contacting your GP, paying attention to your finances, getting enough sleep, staying healthy, postponing big decisions until you feel better etc. Having a wellness plan to hand can keep you on track when you may otherwise feel overwhelmed.
If your mania is interfering with your daily life to a debilitating degree, you may wish to contact your GP for professional support.
If you need assistance coping with mania, our one-to-one assistants are here to help. We understand how the condition can prevent you from leading a normal life, and we can provide different levels of support to get you back to normality. There are many ways that Independent Living West Country can help. You can find out more here.