Bipolar Affective Disorder, Manic Depressive Disorder, Cyclothymia, Depression

English: Mood Disorders, Dysthymia, rapid cycling


Like depression, mania is a mood disorder. This is usually very upscale ("sky high jubilant") or in the rarer case annoyed (dysphoric). A distinction is made between the hypomanic episode, the psychotic mania and the mixed manic-depressive episodes.

Mania most commonly occurs as part of bipolar disorder. Find out more at: Bipolar Disorder - A life between high spirits and depression


Mania as a single (unipolar) mood disorder is very, very rare. Much more often, it is associated with a depressive disorder.

In about 20% of patients who suffer from a recurring (recurrent) depressive disorder, manic or hypomanic episodes occur in the course of the illness. This illness thus has 2 “poles”, one manic and one depressive. It is called a bipolar affective ("2-pole disorder of mood") disease. These diseases start earlier than unipolar depression. The first illness can occur here as early as the 18th year of life. A second so-called disease peak is around the age of 30. Men and women get sick equally. The life time risk is approx. 1.5%. Every 10th person affected develops a so-called “rapid cycling”, ie a very rapid change between mania and depression. About half of all patients develop psychotic symptoms (see chapter on schizophrenia).

Find out more about this topic at: Bipolar Disorder - A life between high spirits and depression


Typical symptoms of a mania are:

  • Size ideas and increased self-assessment
  • Increased urge to talk
  • formal thought disorders
  • Irritability
  • increased physical restlessness
  • significantly reduced need for sleep
  • increased libido and sexual activity

Size ideas and increased self-assessment:

Manic patients consider themselves significantly more qualified and intelligent than they actually are. This can convey a whole new attitude towards life, especially in otherwise shy and inhibited patients.

This overconfidence can lead to megalomania.

Example: megalomania

A previously shy accountant appears self-confident and brisk after a vacation at work. Suddenly he dares to speak to women and give the boss his opinion. He tells friends that he is a good friend of David Beckham's and that he goes in and out of the Windsors.

Increased urge to talk

A clearly increased need to talk is a very common symptom of mania. (“Talking without periods and commas”). This urge to talk is usually presented at an inappropriate volume and with great enthusiasm. Others do not have their say and often feel run over. This symptom is also called logorrhea.

Formal thinking disorders

Formal thinking does not describe what we think, but rather how we think. In contrast to the normal course of thought, which is usually straight, i.e. linear, the manic patient thinks of 1000 things at once. The thoughts force themselves upon him (thought-pressing). This can become a very big problem in the severe stage of mania, because the thoughts rush on and disappear again so quickly that the patient can no longer be reached from the outside world in some cases.


Even slight stimuli from the outside world or sudden ideas can cause the patient suffering from mania to lose the “central theme”. It comes from “Höckstken auf Stöckstken”.

Increased physical restlessness:

The patient can no longer sit still, he can no longer find peace. He is constantly driven. This further leads (in combination with other symptoms) to the inability to pursue regulated and concentrated work

Significantly reduced need for sleep:

Often one sees the decreased need for sleep as a harbinger of the manic episode. The need shrinks to around 3-4 hours per night. These short sleep phases are normally experienced by the patient as extremely relaxing. In individual cases, the need for sleep can also be completely extinguished, so that the patient can get by for many days without sleep.

Increased libido and sexual activity:

A mania usually leads to the fact that the sick person has a significantly increased sexual drive. This can create many problems. Often there is increased sexual contact with a large number of people. Of course, this is particularly a physical threat (HIV etc.), but also a real threat to the social situation.

These symptoms can also be found in bipolar disorder. To be confused about whether or not it is a bipolar disorder, read also: What are the symptoms of bipolar disorder?
For general information about this disease, we recommend our website: Bipolar Disorder - A life between high spirits and depression