Manic Episode

By Psych Central Staff

A manic episode is not a disorder in and of itself, but rather is a part of a type of bipolar disorder.

A manic episode is characterized by period of at least 1 week where an elevated, expansive or unusually irritable mood, as well as notably persistent goal-directed activity is present. The mood disturbance associated with manic symptoms should be observable by others (e.g., friends or relatives of the individual) and must be uncharacteristic of the individual’s usual state/behavior. These feelings must be sufficiently severe to cause difficulty or impairment in occupational, social, educational or other important functioning. Symptoms also cannot be the result of substance use or abuse (e.g., alcohol, drugs, medications) or caused by a general medical condition. Three or more of the following symptoms must be present:

  • Inflated self-esteem or grandiosity
  • Decreased need for sleep (e.g., one feels rested after only 3 hours of sleep)
  • More talkative than usual or pressure to keep talking
  • Flight of ideas or subjective experience that thoughts are racing
  • Attention is easily drawn to unimportant or irrelevant items
  • Increase in goal-directed activity (either socially, at work or school, or sexually) or psychomotor agitation
  • Excessive involvement in pleasurable activities that have a high potential for painful consequences (e.g., engaging in unrestrained buying sprees, sexual indiscretions, or foolish business investments)

People who experience a manic episode are often diagnosed with a type of bipolar disorder.

 
 This post has been updated according to DSM-5.

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APA Reference
Psych Central. (2014). Manic Episode. Psych Central. Retrieved on December 21, 2014, from http://psychcentral.com/disorders/manic-episode/

Symptom criteria summarized from:
American Psychiatric Association. (2013). Diagnostic and statistical manual of mental disorders, fifth edition. Washington, DC: American Psychiatric Association.
        or
American Psychiatric Association. (1994). Diagnostic and statistical manual of mental disorders, fourth edition. Washington, DC: American Psychiatric Association.

Scientifically Reviewed
    Last reviewed: By John M. Grohol, Psy.D. on 10 Apr 2014
    Published on PsychCentral.com. All rights reserved.