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How do I tell if someone has mania?

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Doctor’s Answer (2)

"Psychiatrist with over 20 years of experience"

Mania is a form of mood disorder. The main feature of mania is the elevation of mood, where the individual is noted to be high or irritable. The features of mania are best captured in the mnemonic: DIGFAST.

  • D stands for Distractability, where the person is poorly focused, multi-tasking
  • I stands for Indiscretion (excessive pleasure-seeking). This can be something sexual, financial (e.g., going on a spending spree), travel, driving (speeding, driving without a license)
  • G for Grandiosity, where there is inflated self-esteem
  • F for Flight of ideas, due to racing thoughts
  • A for Activities, increased goal-directed behaviour
  • S for Sleep deficits, decreased need for sleep
  • T for Talkativeness, pressured speech, which is hard to interrupt

The person with mania would appear to have an elevated mood, talk fast and non-stop, and would jump from topic to topic. He may have beliefs of grandiosity, like thinking that he is somebody special or important. Sometimes, they will do strange things like directing traffic or giving away their money.

They need to have the symptoms for at least 1 week to fulfil the duration criterion for a manic episode. The symptoms are usually severe enough to cause a disturbance in their lives and affect their functioning (school, family or work).

Drug use needs to be excluded before a diagnosis of Bipolar Disorder Type 1 is established. In terms of treatment, the mainstay of treatment will be medications (mood stabilisers).

"Family Physician with special interest in Mental Health"

Mania, known as manic syndrome, is a syndrome whereby the person will have abnormal elevated arousal, affect and exceptionally boundless energy. It can also include various times of great excitement, delusion and euphoria. Mania is a symptom that has various mental health conditions e.g. bipolar disorder, schizoaffective disorder and so on. 
Imagine someone who talks fast, walks fast, cannot sit still and doesn't require any sleep. At regular times, it can come together with crazy spending habits or sexual habits.

This condition can be quite serious and should be seen by a GP with special interest in mental health or psychiatrist early.

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