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Hypomanic phase of Bipolar Disorder and its treatment options

Hypomanic phase of Bipolar Disorder and its treatment options

Racing Thoughts - Could It Be HypoMania?Hypomania can be described as a part of Bipolar II Disorder. The symptoms are similar as that of Manic episodes, but with significant differences.

  • They aren’t severe enough to disrupt or interfere with day-to-day life, or require hospitalisation
  • They do not include psychotic features

Hypomania can leave people feeling euphoric, hyper energetic and productive and they may appear more outgoing, positive, sociable than they usually are. The episode can last at least 4 days, through most of the days. 3 or more of the following symptoms are found during hypomanic mood disturbance.

  • Exaggerated self confidence or self-esteem
  • Racing thoughts and rapid or speech
  • Hyperactivity
  • Decreased sleep
  • Impulsive decision
  • Erratic and risky behaviour like buying sprees, sexual indiscretions etc.

Hypomania often disguises itself under happiness and unabating optimism. Since the   symptoms are not severe, it is often difficult to accurately diagnose the cases early on. If left untreated, hypomania can escalate into a full-blown mania, followed by a major depressive episode. Hence, it is important to encourage patients to speak up for proper diagnosis and seek treatment. Treatments for hypomania include prescribing preventive drugs as well various therapies. The medication includes –

  • Mood stabilizers – Drugs like Lithium, Carbamazepine and Valproate are used to control elated moods. For e.g.
    • Lithium usually takes weeks to have an effect. But long-term use can adversely affect kidney and thyroid functioning
    • Carbamazepine is an antiseizure drug that helps preventing recurring episodes of highs and lows
  • Antipsychotic Drugs – Some antipsychotic drugs are used as a preventive measure depending on severity in certain cases
  • Tranquilizers – They provide a short-term control on symptoms like insomnia and agitation

Therapies for Hypomania treatment

  • Psychotherapy or ‘Talk Therapy’ – It helps in understanding one’s past, to bring necessary changes and avoid the occurrence of hypomanic symptoms. Talk therapy provides continued support to ensure that prescribed medicines are taken properly
  • Cognitive Behavioural Therapy – It is normally a short-term therapy that helps in identifying your thinking pattern and triggers to prevent recurring episodes
  • Mindfulness – It is a holistic approach for maintaining one’s well being. Mindfulness is usually done in groups and involves meditation, breathing exercises and yoga to bring about both physical and mental change. It makes a person more aware of their thoughts and feelings which make it easier to manage them


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