Mania is a mood episode that includes feelings of euphoria or heightened energy, irritability, and grandiose plans. These episodes can lead to reckless behaviors, like spending money on things you cannot afford or getting involved in dangerous sexual activities.
These symptoms can lead to thoughts of harming yourself or others, a risky behavior that can cause serious complications. You may also feel hopeless and helpless. You might think you have no future and that nothing will ever change.
You might have a hard time making decisions and concentrating. You might have trouble sleeping or keep waking up. You might lose interest in things you once enjoyed.
Your doctor can help you manage these symptoms. He or she can prescribe medications and counseling to treat your condition.
Medications can help reduce symptoms of mania, but they may take weeks to months to work fully. Your healthcare provider will monitor the amount of lithium in your blood to make sure the medication isn’t causing any problems with your thyroid gland or kidneys.
Electroconvulsive therapy (ECT) is another treatment option. It’s used for medication-resistant depression and mania.
In ECT, your healthcare provider applies a brief electric current to the scalp. This causes a seizure, which can be life-threatening in some people with severe mania or depression.
Some of the side effects of ECT can include headaches, nausea, and dizziness. You might need to stop taking the medication if these side effects occur.
Seasonal changes can trigger manic and depressive episodes. For example, people with manic episodes are more likely to be active during the summer. On the other hand, depressive episodes are more common during the fall and winter.
The onset of symptoms can be as early as childhood or as late as in your 40s or 50s. It can happen in anyone, but it’s most common in women.
If you’re diagnosed with bipolar disorder, your healthcare provider will talk to you about how it affects your daily life and how you can get help. He or she can also help you find a therapist who can support your recovery.
In some people, the onset of symptoms of bipolar disorder happens in adolescence. It can start as young as ten years old, although it’s more common in adults.
You might be able to treat your symptoms with medication, counseling, and stress management techniques. You might also need to learn how to recognize and manage your moods.
Symptoms can last for days or weeks and can be very difficult to control. You might not be able to sleep, eat, or do normal activities during an episode of manic depression.
It’s important to be honest and detailed when talking with your healthcare provider about how you’re feeling. Be sure to tell him or her all of your symptoms so that he or she can properly diagnose you and recommend the right treatments.
Some of the most common medications for bipolar disorder are lithium and antipsychotics. These medications are effective at controlling symptoms and preventing relapses. They’re safe for pregnant women and can be used to treat mania or depression that doesn’t respond to other treatments.