Reporting a manic or hypomanic episode to your doctor is critical to receive an accurate diagnosis. Untreated bipolar mania can lead to poor judgment, resulting in behaviors that can be dangerous and damaging.

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Some people with bipolar disorder may experience only 1 episode of mania or hypomania during their entire life. When ill or symptomatic, people with bipolar disorder spend relatively less time in a manic phase than in a depressed phase. That’s why it’s important to recognize the signs of bipolar mania—and to discuss them with your doctor—especially if you’ve been diagnosed with major depressive disorder or some other mental illness. The accuracy of your diagnosis and the success of your treatment plan is impacted by how well you communicate with your doctor.

During a bipolar mania episode, you may…

Feel unusually great

You may feel in possession of special qualities or abilities or of extra power, importance, or knowledge.

Be distracted easily

You may find it difficult to screen out unimportant details.

Talk too much

You may feel pressured to get out thoughts, or to talk faster or more loudly than usual.

Mix up your thoughts

You may have thoughts coming so fast that it’s hard to keep ideas straight.

Sleep a lot less

You may feel that “sleep is a waste of time,” feel rested after a few hours, or just not feel tired at all.

Set new goals

You may launch into several new projects, often all at once.

Take risks and go to extremes

You may do things that are generally considered “risky” or unwise. Examples include running up credit card debt, making gambling bets, giving advice to strangers, and even having casual sex with strangers.

If you suspect you’ve had a bipolar mania episode, be sure to discuss it with your doctor. An accurate history is critical to receiving an accurate diagnosis.