What Is A Manic Episode?

A manic episode is a period of abnormally high energy, mood, and activity. People experiencing a manic episode may feel like they can do anything and are invincible. They may also behave recklessly, impulsively, and in ways that are out of character.

What Causes A Manic Episode? 

Bipolar disorder is the most common cause of manic episodes. People with bipolar disorder experience extreme mood swings that include both high (manic) and low (depressive) phases. Apart from bipolar disorder, manic episodes can be brought on by drug abuse or certain medical conditions.

There are also certain factors that can trigger the onset of a manic episode in people with bipolar disorder, such as:

  • Sleep deprivation
  • Stressful life events
  • Changes in medication
  • Major life changes

A manic episode can last for up to a week or longer. Without treatment, a person may spiral out of control and into a state of psychosis. 

Signs And Symptoms Of A Manic Episode

If you think you or someone you love may be having a manic episode, look out for the following signs and symptoms: 

Elevated Mood: The person may seem overly happy or energetic. They may talk faster than usual, and their thoughts may jump from one thing to the next rapidly. 

Increased Activity Levels: The person may be more active than usual and have difficulty sitting still. They may also partake in risky behavior like spending sprees, impulsive or reckless behaviors, or excessive substance use.

Decreased Need for Sleep: People with bipolar disorders have been known to go days without sleep during a manic episode and still feel energetic.

Grandiose Thinking: The person may have an inflated sense of self-importance and believe they can do anything. They may also have grandiose or unrealistic plans.

Extreme Irritability: The person may be easily agitated and quick to anger. They may also be more impulsive than usual.

Poor Judgment: The person’s judgment is impaired during a manic episode, which can lead to poor decision-making. For example, they may quit their job or max out their credit cards without necessarily thinking about the consequences.

Hallucinations: It is not uncommon for people with bipolar disorder to experience visual or auditory hallucinations during a manic episode. This means seeing or hearing things that are not there.

How to Prevent Manic Episodes

There is no surefire way to prevent manic episodes, but there are certain things that can help. If you have bipolar disorder, it’s important to stick to your treatment plan. This may include taking medication as prescribed and attending therapy sessions.

It’s also vital to get regular sleep, eat a balanced diet, exercise regularly, and avoid alcohol and substance use. These things can help to stabilize your mood and energy levels. If you think you or someone you love may be having a manic episode, seek professional help immediately. Early intervention is key to preventing serious complications.

The Takeaway

A manic episode is an episode where a person experiences an abnormally elevated mood. This can be accompanied by risky behavior, recklessness, and a decreased need for sleep. If you or someone you know is displaying these signs, it’s crucial to seek professional help, as manic episodes can lead to risky or life-threatening behaviors.