Manic episodes generally indicate a person is mentally ill, but these phases are difficult to spot. The reason is simple – many people can’t differentiate when a person’s energy mood is high or normal. Even if the change from one’s usual self is noticeable, people tend to think the person is thrilled because they are in the mood or reacting to good news. That’s not always the case. A person experiencing a manic episode will exhibit various symptoms that indicate an abnormality. In this post, we will discuss these symptoms, causes, treatments, and what to do when someone is having a manic episode.
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What are Mania and Manic Episodes?
Mania is a mental health condition in which the person has a period of extreme and persistent happiness, mood changes, euphoria, and high energy levels. The energized levels and extreme behavioral changes are different from the usual self. Mania is usually a symptom of several mental disorders, such as bipolar disorder, postpartum psychosis, schizoaffective disorder, and substance-induced mood disorder. According to NIMH, 4.4% of United States adults have experienced bipolar disorder and manic episodes. So if you have a manic episode, you have a mental health condition.
While mania is the condition, a manic episode is a distinct period where the individual experiences an abnormal and persistent excitement or irritable mood, along with increased energy or activity that lasts longer than a day. During a manic episode, an individual may experience grandiosity, reduced need for sleep, increased talkativeness, racing thoughts, distractibility, and may engage in risky behaviors, such as overspending, reckless driving, or drug abuse. In severe cases, the individual may experience hallucinations.
Mania is serious and disruptive, affecting an individual’s ability to function. A person suffering from mania requires prompt medical attention.
Signs of a Manic Episode
Mania signs include:
- Extreme excitement or irritable mood
- Increased energy and restlessness
- Insomnia or difficulty in sleeping
- Racing thoughts and rapid talkativeness
- Difficulty in concentration or focusing on one thing at a time
- Grandiosity or increased self-importance
- Risky or impulsive behavior, such as reckless driving or promiscuous sexual behavior
- Poor judgment or decisions that could be harmful
Note that not all mental health conditions exhibit the same manic episodes. If you or someone you know is experiencing a manic episode, encourage the person to seek medical help.
Causes of Manic Episodes
The precise cause of manic episodes is not fully comprehended and is still being studied. However, medical experts attribute their development to genetics, biological, and environmental factors.
Genetic factors: Mental conditions like bipolar disorder tend to run in families. Research suggests that there may be a genetic component to the condition.
Neurological chemistry: Imbalances in brain chemicals like dopamine may contribute to the development of manic episodes. High levels of dopamine and norepinephrine chemicals are often associated with manic episodes.
Stress and trauma: Traumatic or stressful life events, such as the death of a loved one, a divorce or breakup, or financial difficulties, can trigger manic episodes in some individuals.
Substance abuse: Drug or alcohol abuse can increase the risk of mania, particularly in those already prone to bipolar disorder.
Medications: Specific medications, such as antidepressants, can trigger manic episodes in some individuals with mood and bipolar disorders.
Treatment of Manic Episodes
Treating manic episodes involves the use of pharmacological and non-pharmacological methods.
The pharmacological method involves the use of the following;
- Mood stabilizers, such as lithium, valproate, and carbamazepine. These stabilizers reduce the severity and frequency of manic episodes.
- Antipsychotics, such as risperidone, quetiapine, ziprasidone, and olanzapine
- Benzodiazepines. Benzodiazepine can help manage anxiety symptoms and others that accompany manic episodes. They are usually used in combination with mood stabilizers or antipsychotics.
Non-pharmacological involves the use of:
CBT: Cognitive-behavioral therapy has been shown to treat bipolar disorder effectively. This therapy can identify and change negative thought patterns and improve the person’s well-being.
Counseling involves talking with a mental health expert to help you identify mania triggers and work you through possible solutions.
ECT: Electroconvulsive therapy is rarely used but may be considered in severe manic episodes. ECT entails applying electric current to the brain.
Other non-pharmacological solutions include;
Psychoeducation: Educating people about bipolar disorder and its management is part of treatment. It can help individuals to understand their condition, recognize the early signs of a manic episode, and Develop coping mechanisms.
Lifestyle changes: Exercising regularly, eating a healthy diet, and getting sufficient sleep are essential in managing bipolar disorder.
Abstaining from drug and alcohol use: Shying away from drugs and alcohol is crucial, as they can trigger or worsen manic episodes. Treating manic episodes differ from individual to individual and may require different approaches to identify the best medication and therapy. At Satori Health, we closely monitor our patients and ensure effective treatment. Contact us today to learn more about our mental health treatment in Los Angeles.