Mania is a state of abnormally elevated or irritable mood, arousal, and/or energy levels.[1] In a sense, it is the opposite of depression. Mania is a criterion for certain psychiatric diagnoses. The word derives from the Greek "μανία" (mania), "madness, frenzy"[2] and that from the verb "μαίνομαι" (mainomai), "to be mad, to rage, to be furious".[3]

In addition to mood disorders, persons may exhibit manic behavior because of drug intoxication (notably stimulants, such as cocaine and methamphetamine), medication side effects (notably steroids and SSRIs), and malignancy. But mania is most often associated with bipolar disorder, where episodes of mania may alternate with episodes of major depression. Gelder, Mayou, and Geddes (2005) suggest that it is vital that mania be predicted in the early stages because otherwise the patient becomes reluctant to comply to the treatment. The criteria for bipolar disorder do not include depressive episodes, and the presence of mania in the absence of depressive episodes is sufficient for a diagnosis. Regardless, those who never experience depression also experience cyclical changes in mood. These cycles are often affected by changes in sleep cycle (too much or too little),diurnal rhythms, and environmental stressors.

Mania varies in intensity, from mild mania (hypomania) to full-blown mania with psychotic features, including hallucinations, delusion of grandeur, suspiciousness, catatonic behavior, aggression, and a preoccupation with thoughts and schemes that may lead to self-neglect.[4] Standardized tools such as Altman Self-Rating Mania Scale[5] and Young Mania Rating Scale[6] can be used to measure severity of manic episode. Because mania and hypomania have also been associated with creativity and artistic talent,[7] it is not always the case that the clearly manic bipolar person needs or wants medical help; such persons often either retain sufficient self-control to function normally or are unaware that they have "gone manic" severely enough to be committed or to commit themselves. Manic persons often can be mistaken for being on drugs or other mind-altering substances.

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