Hypomania is an abnormally increased activity, mood, and behaviour. When compared with mania, the symptoms of this disorder are milder and last shorter.

Hypomania Recognize Causes and Symptoms
Photo created by tirachardz

People with hypomania tend to be cheerful, very excited, and require little sleep. However, this condition can actually interfere with the sufferer in assessing or making decisions.

Hypomania may seem like normal feelings of happiness. Even so, this condition can be a sign of bipolar disorder or another mental disorder. Therefore, hypomania needs to be diagnosed.

In some cases, untreated hypomania can progress to mania or major depression.

Causes of Hypomania

It is not known exactly what causes hypomania. However, there are several factors that are thought to increase the risk of developing this disorder, namely:

  • Disorders of brain chemicals (neurotransmitters)
  • Certain events in life, such as divorce or the death of a loved one
  • Problems in life, such as experiencing psychological trauma, abuse, financial problems, or loneliness
  • High stress level and inability to manage it
  • Side effects of drugs (such as antidepressants, antiepileptic drugs, digoxin, or interferon drugs)
  • Side effects of alcohol and drugs
  • Lack of sleep or changes in sleep patterns
  • Mental health disorders, such as cyclothymia, seasonal affective disorder, postpartum psychosis (symptoms of psychosis after childbirth), or schizoaffective disorder (a combination of schizophrenia and a mood disorder)

– Other health problems, such as brain injury, brain tumour, stroke, lupus, encephalitis (inflammation of the brain), or dementia

Symptoms of Hypomania

In most cases, the sufferer does not realize that he has this disorder. This condition is usually more aware of the patient’s family or close friends.

Symptoms of hypomania are generally the same as mania. However, the intensity of the symptoms is milder. Therefore, this disorder does not interfere with the work, school, or social life of sufferers.

Symptoms of hypomania usually last for a few days or at least 4 days. Each person with this disorder can experience different symptoms.

The following are some of the symptoms or behaviours that can be experienced by people with hypomania:

  • Feeling very energetic and excited
  • Talks a lot more than usual
  • Doing activities that are out of the ordinary
  • Take riskier decisions
  • Feeling excessively happy
  • Have a forked mind
  • Have high self-confidence
  • Perform aimless actions and movements
  • Exhibits impulsive behavior, such as shopping rashly and investing recklessly
  • Have a high sexual desire

After the hypomania phase subsides, sufferers may experience the following conditions:

  • Shame and unhappy when aware of his behavior in the this disorder phase
  • Feeling burdened by the commitment and responsibility it carries
  • Little or no clearly remember what happened while in the hypomania phase
  • Feeling very tired and need to sleep a lot
  • Depressed

When to go to the doctor

Hypomania generally does not cause significant changes in activity, mood, or behaviour. However, if you suspect you are experiencing any of the above symptoms, ask your family or friends to help identify them, as they may be able to see mood swings more clearly than you can.

Check with your doctor if family or friends detect signs of this disorder in you. Early treatment can reduce the risk of complications due to hypomania.

Diagnosis of Hypomania

The doctor will start the diagnosis by conducting a question and answer session regarding the patient’s and family’s medical history, as well as the drugs and supplements that the patient is currently taking.

After that, the patient will undergo a physical examination and blood tests. These tests can help doctors differentiate symptoms of hypomania from other conditions, such as hyperthyroidism.

If the patient is confirmed to have this disorder, the doctor will refer the patient to a psychiatrist. Next, the psychiatrist will perform a psychiatric examination to diagnose hypomania.

Treatment of Hypomania

Hypomania can be treated with psychotherapy, medication (antipsychotics and mood stabilizers), and lifestyle changes. Here is the explanation:

Psychotherapy

Psychotherapy aims to help patients identify the symptoms and triggers of hypomania, as well as learn ways to manage or relieve the effects of this condition.

Medicines

The types of drugs that can be prescribed by doctors to treat this disorder are antipsychotic drugs, such as:

  • Aripiprazole
  • Lurasidone
  • Olanzapine
  • Quetiapine
  • Risperidone
  • Haloperidol

In addition to the drugs above, your doctor may also prescribe medications that can stabilize your moods, such as lithium, valproate, or carbamazepine.

Lifestyle changes

In mild hypomania, the doctor will advise the patient to focus on changing lifestyle, for example by:

  • Implement a regular sleep pattern with sufficient time (6–9 hours)
  • Avoid trigger factors, such as a noisy and crowded environment, or consumption of coffee, tea, soda, and sugar
  • Consuming a healthy and balanced diet
  • Exercise regularly for at least 30 minutes every day
  • Avoiding the consumption of alcoholic beverages and the use illegal drugs
  • Adopt habits that relax you, such as yoga, meditation or listening to music
  • Take medicine according to the rules of use and recommended by the doctor

In addition to the steps above, patients can also join a group of people with hypomania (support system group). The goal is for patients to provide mutual support and share experiences with another this disorder.

Complications of Hypomania

Hypomania generally subsides over time. However, in some cases, this disorder that is not treated properly can develop into mania and cause symptoms of psychosis, such as:

Mania can last for weeks or months. This can make it difficult for sufferers to carry out daily activities. In some cases, people with mania even have to undergo hospitalization.

Prevention of Hypomania

Hypomania is not always preventable. However, you can take the steps below to manage the symptoms and prevent them from getting worse:

  • Write down your daily activities, moods and behaviors in a diary, to help you know how much you’ve changed
  • Make lifestyle changes, as described above
  • Maintain your support system group
  • Take medication as prescribed and consult a doctor regularly