Understanding mania in bipolar disorder
Bipolar disorder, sometimes called manic depression, affects nearly 6 million American adults, or about 2.5% of the adult population. Most people with this disorder swing from depression to manic states.
Mania symptom: increased energy and mental activity
And who wouldn't like to experience this effect? One of the reasons some people with bipolar disorder don't like the mood-flattening medication is that they miss this perk, which almost always ends with a corresponding depression.
Mania symptom: exaggerated self-confidence
We're not saying this guy has mania, but some people with bipolar disorder do experience a heightened mood and super self-confidence during their "highs."
Mania symptom: aggressive behavior
Road rage can happen to anyone. However, sufferers of bipolar disorder will almost certainly experience excessive irritability or aggressive behavior during manic phases.
Mania symptom: sleeplessness
We're not talking garden variety insomnia here. People with bipolar disorder sometimes experience a decreased need for sleep without fatigue during their manic phases, and feel much more productive.
Mania symptom: grandiosity
It's fine to have high self-esteem, but during a manic phase people with bipolar disorder sometimes experience grandiose thoughts and an inflated sense of self-importance.
Mania symptom: racing speech and thoughts
You know how some people talk and think so fast you can hardly follow what they are saying? During a manic phase, people with bipolar disorder sometimes experience racing speech, racing thoughts, and a flight of ideas.
Mania symptom: dangerous behavior
Experts who deal with people with bipolar disorder tell incredible tales of risk-taking during the manic phase, from inappropriate sexual behavior to stealing cars. Impulsiveness, poor judgment, and distractibility are all hallmarks of mania.
Mania symptom: displaying reckless behavior
We're not implying here that this streaker is bipolar, but people with bipolar disorder can display reckless behavior during a manic phase. They lack the internal censor that tells healthy people how to curb their actions.
Photo: Getty Images
Mania symptom: hallucinations
In the most severe cases, people with bipolar disorder can experience delusions and hallucinations.
Source: Depression and Bipolar Support Alliance