Anxiety and depression may be more talked about, but bipolar is also prevalent among college students. There are two types of bipolar disorders. Bipolar I involves a manic episode, while bipolar II consists of a hypomanic episode and depressive episode. Last week we covered what depression can look like – but what makes up a manic or hypomanic episode?
The main difference between mania and hypomania is severity and duration. More severe symptoms lasting a week or longer, or ending in hospitalization, may suggest a manic episode. The symptoms of mania and hypomania include:
- Elevated mood (feeling like you’re on top of the world) or feeling irritable
- Wanting to do a bunch of new things or activities all at once
- Having an inflated self-esteem or feeling overly confident
- Needing significantly less sleep (like going from 8 hours to 4 hours of sleep)
- Experiencing racing thoughts, being unable to hold on to ideas, or talking really fast
- Being easily distracted
- Impulsive behavior or taking risks with high consequences (like having a one-night stand, drinking in excess, going on a big shopping spree)
It’s important to be informed and to know about mental health to better help yourself and others but do not diagnosis yourself – just be aware of what you are experiencing and if your mental health is interfering with your ability to be successful.