Hypomania is abnormally increased activity, mood, and behavior. Compared to mania, the symptoms of hypomania are milder and shorter in duration.
Hypomanic sufferers tend to show cheerful behavior, are very enthusiastic, and only need a little time to sleep. However, the condition can actually interfere with the sufferer in evaluating or making decisions.
Hypomania or hypomania may look like a normal feeling of happiness. Even so, this condition can be a sign of bipolar disorder or other mental disorders. Therefore, hypomania needs to be diagnosed.
In some cases, untreated hypomania can develop into mania or severe depression .
Causes of Hypomania
It is not known exactly what causes hypomania. However, there are several factors that are thought to increase the risk of hypomania, namely:
- Disorders of brain chemicals ( neurotransmitters )
- Certain events in life, such as divorce or the death of a loved one
- Problems in life, for example experiencing psychological trauma, abuse, financial problems, or loneliness
- High level of stress and inability to manage it
- Side effects of medications (such as antidepressants, antiepileptics, digoxin, or interferon drugs)
- Side effects of alcohol and drugs
- Lack of sleep or changes in sleep patterns
- Mental health disorders, such as cyclothymia, seasonal affective disorder, postpartum psychosis (psychosis symptoms after giving birth), or schizoaffective disorder (combination of schizophrenia and mood disorders )
- Other health disorders, such as brain injury, brain tumor, stroke , lupus, encephalitis (inflammation of the brain), or dementia
Symptoms of Hypomania
In most cases, the sufferer does not realize that he is suffering from hypomania. This condition is usually more aware of the family or close friends of the sufferer.
Symptoms of hypomania are generally the same as mania. However, the intensity of the symptoms is milder. Because of this, hypomania does not interfere with work, school, or the sufferer's social life.
Symptoms of hypomania usually last for several days or at least for 4 days. Each sufferer of hypomania can experience different symptoms.
The following are some symptoms or behaviors that can be experienced by hypomania sufferers:
- Feeling very energetic and enthusiastic
- Talked a lot more than usual
- Do activities that are out of the ordinary
- Take riskier decisions
- Have a branching mind
- Have a high sense of self-confidence
- Doing actions and movements without purpose
- Showing impulsive behavior, such as reckless spending and careless investing
- Having a high sexual desire
After the hypomania phase subsides, sufferers may experience some of the following conditions:
- Embarrassed and unhappy when realizing his behavior in the hypomania phase
- Feeling burdened by the commitment and responsibility he carries
- Little or no clear recollection of what happened while in the hypomania phase
- Feeling very tired and need a lot of sleep
- Depressed or depressed
When should you go to the doctor?
Hypomania or hypomania generally does not cause significant changes in activity, mood , or behavior. However, if you suspect that you are experiencing the symptoms above, ask your family or friends for help in identifying them, as they may be able to see the mood changes more clearly than you.
Check with a doctor if family or friends detect signs of hypomania in you. Early treatment can reduce the risk of complications due to hypomania.
Diagnosis of Hypomania
The doctor will start the diagnosis by conducting a question and answer session about the health history of the patient and his family, as well as the drugs and supplements that the patient is taking.
After that, the patient will undergo a physical examination and a blood test. The test can help doctors distinguish the symptoms of hypomania from other conditions, such as hyperthyroidism .
If the patient is confirmed to be suffering from hypomania, the doctor will refer the patient to a psychiatrist. Next, the psychiatrist will perform a psychiatric examination to diagnose hypomania.
Treatment of Hypomania
Hypomania can be overcome with psychotherapy, medication (antipsychotics and mood stabilizers ), and lifestyle changes. Here is the explanation:
Psychotherapy aims to help patients identify the symptoms and triggers of hypomania, as well as learn ways to overcome or alleviate the effects of this condition.
The types of drugs that can be prescribed by doctors to deal with hypomania are antipsychotic drugs, such as:
In addition to the drugs above, doctors can also prescribe drugs that can stabilize mood , such as lithium, valproate, or carbamazepine.
In mild hypomania, the doctor will advise the patient to focus on changing lifestyle, for example by:
- Implement a regular sleep pattern with enough time (6–9 hours)
- Avoiding trigger factors, such as noisy and crowded environments, or consumption of coffee, tea, soda, and sugar
- Consume healthy and balanced nutritious food
- Exercise regularly for at least 30 minutes every day
- Avoiding the consumption of alcoholic beverages and the use of illegal drugs
- Practice habits that make you relax, such as yoga, meditation, or listening to music
- Consuming medicine according to the rules of use and recommendations from the doctor
In addition to the steps above, patients can also join a group of hypomania sufferers ( support system group ). The purpose is so that patients can give each other support and share experiences with other hypomania sufferers.
Complications of Hypomania
Hypomania generally subsides over time. However, in some cases, hypomania that is not dealt with correctly can develop into mania and cause symptoms of psychosis , such as:
Mania can last up to several weeks or months. This can make it difficult for the sufferer to perform daily activities. In some cases, mania sufferers even have to undergo hospitalization.
Prevention of Hypomania
Hypomania is not always preventable. However, you can take the steps below to manage the symptoms and prevent them from getting worse:
- Write down all your activities, moods, and behavior every day in a diary, to help you know how much change you have experienced
- Make lifestyle changes, as described above
- Defend your support system group
- Consume medication as prescribed and consult a doctor regularly