Hyperthymia is a constant state of mild mania, meaning you have a high-energy, enthusiastic, and overactive personality.
Hyperthymia is a long lasting state of being that could be considered a personality type. As such, it’s also known as having a “hyperthymic temperament.”
Hyperthymia can be thought of as the opposite of dysthymia, which is a continuous depressive mood lasting years. Dysthymia is known clinically as persistent depressive disorder (PDD).
While hyperthymia may have links with bipolar disorder, the connection between temperament and mental health conditions can be complex.
Hyperthymia means you have high-energy, talkative, and overactive personality traits.
Unlike hypomania — a mildly manic state that occurs in episodes lasting less than a week — hyperthymia is stable over time and feels like part of your personality.
According to a 2021 paper, people with hyperthymia have the following symptoms or characteristics:
- cheerful and overly optimistic
- warm and exuberant
- overconfident, self-assured, or grandiose
- sleeps very few hours, such as less than 6 hours per night
- full of plans and activities
- seeks stimulation
- lacks inhibition
Having a hyperthymic temperament comes with some benefits.
“People with hyperthymia tend to have a higher level of self-esteem and self-confidence than those without it,” says Chanel Johnson, LPC-S, CCTP, a counselor based in Michigan. “They believe that they can accomplish anything and can face challenges with a positive attitude.”
People with hyperthymia may also have higher job satisfaction and be more engaged in their work. Hyperthymia tends to give people more energy to engage in multitasking and multiple projects, Johnson adds.
In some cases, hyperthymia can evolve into bipolar II disorder or agitated depression. Agitated depression is a form of depression where you feel restless and angry instead of the typical fatigue and sadness.
Hyperthymia and bipolar disorder are not the same, but they may share a connection. A hyperthymic temperament may be on a continuum of bipolar disorder.
Many people with bipolar disorder experience mania or hypomania, which are euphoric states where you talk fast, make lots of plans, and have less need for sleep. While mania lasts at least 7 days and hypomania lasts less than a week, hyperthymia is a consistent state of being.
Having a hyperthymic temperament isn’t a sign of bipolar disorder, and hyperthymia doesn’t mean you will develop bipolar disorder.
Hyperthymia also differs from bipolar disorder because it doesn’t tend to include periods of low mood or depression, says Dr Raffaello Antonino, counseling psychologist and senior lecturer at London Metropolitan University.
Can you inherit bipolar disorder or hyperthymia?
“People with hyperthymia often have a relative with bipolar disorder, insinuating that there’s a genetic link between the two,” says Dr. Gail Saltz, associate professor of psychiatry at the Weill Cornell School of Medicine and host of the “How Can I Help?” podcast.
There are no treatment protocols for temperaments, and people with hyperthymia may not require medical or mental health support for hyperthymic traits.
If your hyperthymic traits are affecting your ability to function — such as disrupting your relationships, affecting your job, or leading to harmful behaviors — you might consider seeking mental health support as this may indicate mania or hypomania.
There are various treatments for bipolar disorder, including medications and psychotherapy.
Looking for a therapist, but not sure where to start? Psych Central’s How to Find Mental Health Support resource can help.
People with hyperthymic temperaments tend to be overly cheerful, energetic, and enthusiastic. A hyperthymic temperament may be on a continuum of bipolar disorder.
If you notice hyperthymic traits affecting your life for the worse, consider speaking with a mental health professional. They can guide you on the next steps and offer treatment options if useful.