Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Lexicon of Madness -- Hypomania

Hypomania: A hypomanic episode is marked by increased energy, decreased need for sleep, enhanced self-esteem ("I can do anything"), distractibility, high levels of physical and mental activity ("My mind is racing and I can't sit still"), and excessive pleasure-seeking. The patient's mood may be elevated, expansive, or irritable. Grandiose delusions (e.g., "I am on a mission from God") or other psychotic symptoms are unlikely to be observed during hypomania. This mood state must persist for at least four days. People with Bipolar II Disorder experience alternating episodes of hypomania and major depression. People with Cyclothymic Disorder experience frequent alternating episodes of hypomania and mild depression. Intoxication with cocaine or other stimulants (including caffeine) can mimic hypomania. High achievement and overcommitment to multiple pursuits might reflect a hypomanic personality pattern, especially in late adolescents or young adults whose parents value them more for what they achieve than for who they are.

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