Understanding the Difference Between Mania and Hypomania

May 01, 2023
Understanding the Difference Between Mania and Hypomania
Mania and hypomania are both on the spectrum of bipolar disorder, but they can “look” and “feel” very different. Here’s how these two symptoms compare.

Mention bipolar disorder, and most people think of the extreme highs or manic episodes that are characteristic of the disorder. But what many people don’t know is that this “manic phase” of bipolar disorder can actually cause more subtle symptoms, called hypomania, that may be harder to detect. 

A leading ketamine infusion clinic in Fitchburg, Wisconsin, Revival Infusion Madison offers custom ketamine infusion therapy to help patients with treatment-resistant bipolar disorder manage their symptoms and improve their quality of life. 

In this post, Sarah Wilczewski, CRNA, APNP offers a brief overview of hypomania and mania to help you learn the differences between these two important “signs” of bipolar disorder.

Mania vs. hypomania

Mania and hypomania share most of the same symptoms. The primary differences between the two involve the “severity” of the symptoms and how long they last. Mania involves an extreme “heightening” of mood that often lasts for a week or more, with symptoms that can interfere with normal daily functioning at work, at school, and at home. 

On the other hand, hypomania involves a more elevated mood, but without the extreme symptoms involved in mania. People with hypomania may have shorter bouts of mood elevation, and these mood changes don’t interfere with daily living.

Some of the most common symptoms associated with both mania and hypomania include:

  • Feelings of euphoria (extreme happiness, pleasure, or excitement)
  • Increased level of activity
  • Decreased sleep
  • Racing thoughts
  • Rapid speech
  • Jumping from one idea to another
  • High level of distractibility
  • Low appetite
  • Impulsivity
  • Unrealistic ideas about personal abilities
  • Reckless behavior or dangerous risk-taking
  • Irritability
  • Aggressive behavior

Again, mania involves more exacerbated or “extreme” behaviors or symptoms, while hypomania typically involves more mild symptoms.

Ketamine infusion for bipolar disorder

Many people with bipolar disorder find they can manage their symptoms with a combination of medication and psychotherapy (or “talk” therapy). Unfortunately, a surprising number of people find these options don’t provide them with the relief they need to lead happy, productive lives. 

These individuals have what’s often called “treatment-resistant” bipolar disorder, because the typical treatments — medication and therapy — aren’t effective. Ketamine infusion therapy is often recommended for people with treatment-resistant bipolar disorder because of the way ketamine affects the brain. 

First, ketamine helps optimize glutamate production in your brain. Glutamate is a strong neurotransmitter, a chemical that helps regulate mood and supports normal brain function. Ktamine infusions also promote the development of new nerve pathways that help restore normal communication among the nerves responsible for mood and other thought processes.

Infusions are performed in our office in a relaxed setting where you are continually monitored. Better still, infusions can be repeated as needed to help you manage your symptoms and provide long-term meaningful relief.

Learn more about ketamine infusion therapy

Regardless of the severity of your symptoms, bipolar disorder can have a devastating effect on your life. If you’ve tried conventional therapies, like medication and psychotherapy, without success, ketamine infusion could be a good solution. To learn more, call 608-405-6824 or book an appointment online with the team at Revival Infusion Madison today.