Hypomania

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.

If you’re experiencing any distress or know someone who is please feel free to reach out to the Counseling Center or call the 24-hour Crisis Line at (206) 461-3222 to talk to someone.

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