How is mania in bipolar affective disorder (manic-depressive illness) characterized?

Updated: May 30, 2019
  • Author: Stephen Soreff, MD; Chief Editor: Glen L Xiong, MD  more...
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Answer

Bipolar disorder is characterized by periods of deep, prolonged, and profound depression that alternate with periods of an excessively elevated or irritable mood known as mania.

Manic episodes are feature at least 1 week of profound mood disturbance, characterized by elation, irritability, or expansiveness (referred to as gateway criteria). At least 3 of the following symptoms must also be present [2] :

  • Grandiosity

  • Diminished need for sleep

  • Excessive talking or pressured speech

  • Racing thoughts or flight of ideas

  • Clear evidence of distractibility

  • Increased level of goal-focused activity at home, at work, or sexually

  • Excessive pleasurable activities, often with painful consequences


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