Mania

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Mania, the presence of which is a criterion for certain psychiatric diagnoses, is a state of abnormally elevated or irritable mood, arousal, and/ or energy levels.[1] In a sense, it is the opposite of depression. The word derives from the Greek "μανία" (mania), "madness, frenzy"[2] and that from the verb "μαίνομαι" (mainomai), "to be mad, to rage, to be furious".[3]

In addition to mood disorders, individuals may exhibit manic behavior as a result of drug intoxication (notably stimulants such as cocaine or methamphetamine), medication side effects (notably steroids), or malignancy. However, mania is most often associated with bipolar disorder, where episodes of mania may alternate with episodes of major depression. Gelder, Mayou and Geddes (2005) suggests that it is vital that mania is predicted in the early stages because the patient becomes reluctant to comply to the treatment. The criteria for bipolar do not include depressive episodes and the presence of mania in the absence of depressive episodes is sufficient for a diagnosis. Regardless, even those who never experience depression experience cyclical changes in mood. These cycles are often affected by changes in sleep cycle (too much or too little), diurnal rhythms and environmental stressors.

Mania varies in intensity, from mild mania (known as hypomania) to full-blown mania with psychotic features including hallucinations, delusion of grandeur, suspiciousness, catatonic behavior, aggression, and a preoccupation with thought and schemes that may lead to self neglect.[4] . The frequency of manic episodes varies, but on average, manic episodes occur every 2-4 years. Accelerated mood cycles on the other hand can occur annually or even more frequently, depending on the case. [5] Naturally, since mania and hypomania have also been associated with creativity and artistic talent[6], it is not always the case that the clearly manic bipolar person will need or want medical assistance; such people will often either retain sufficient amount of control to function normally or be unaware that they have "gone manic" severely enough to be committed or to commit themselves ('commitment' is a euphemism for admission to a psychiatric facility). Manic individuals can often be mistaken for being on drugs or other mind-altering substances.

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