Manic episodes

What is a manic episode?

A manic episode is a period of time when an individual experiences feeling of extreme persistent elevated and irritable mood, in which they also have the desire to complete goals. They may appear more talkative, they may have racing thoughts, and the amount of sleep that they get each night will also decrease. Due to impaired judgement, someone in the middle of a manic episode may also engage in dangerous activities that usually have a negative outcome, such as spending a lot of money, and they may also experience hallucinations and hypersexuality. Sometimes, those experiencing one of these episodes become so much of a danger to themselves or others that they need to be hospitalised for safety (Purse & Block, 2020). The episodes of mania can last up to a week or even longer, and because thoughts of suicide can be present, it's important to learn and be on the lookout for symptoms so that individuals can get the help that they need.

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Who has manic episodes?

Manic episodes occur mostly in those that have bipolar disorder, making up about 1% of the population but have also been reported to occur in those with a diagnosis of depression. Some individuals with bipolar go through four manic episodes a year, which greatly disrupts their ability to function in their day-to-day lives and take part in productive activities such as going to work (Belmaker, 2014). It is suggested that women that are in the postpartum period after giving birth are most at risk for a manic episode if they have bipolar disorder, so treatment here is vital. Many famous artists and musicians with the disorder that experience manic episodes have reported worry about whether treatment would dim the ideas and art that they produce during this period (Belmaker, 2014).


Because of its harmful nature, a manic episode should be treated very seriously. A manic episode could be detrimental to an individual’s relationships with others, for example, their marriage or job, and they are at risk of losing a large amount of their money or even putting themselves at risk of harm. Antipsychotic drugs have been found to be successful in treating mania, and some even reduce motor functions making them useful if someone becomes violent during an episode (Biedermann et al., 1979). Some neuroleptics, used to block dopamine receptors, that are used in schizophrenic patients are also used as a way to treat mania, and both are successful when used alongside therapy.

Purse, M., & Block, D. (2020). What Is a Manic Episode?. Verywell Mind. Retrieved 13 January 2022, from

Belmaker, R. (2014). Bipolar Disorder. The New England Journal Of Medicine. Retrieved 13 January 2022

Biedermann, I., Lerner, Y., & Belmaker, R. H. (1979). Combination of lithium carbonate and haloperidol in schizoaffective disorder. Arch Gen Psychiatry36, 327-333

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