Hypomania is associated with bipolar disorder type two. The hypomania is not as extreme as mania, but the depression in type two is just as bad as in type one. People can function daily with little or no serious interruptions during episodes of hypomania. Increased energy is a common symptom of both mania and hypomania. This energy may lead to a decreased need for sleep, interesting ideas that lead to starting many new projects, as well as racing thoughts. During this time new creative projects will usually begin; such as redecorating a house, writing a novel, and possibly new business ventures. Often hobbies become more accentuated; someone who usually goes to the store and gets two or three things may end up spending a lot more money than they have before, and someone who usually spends an hour a day on school work may become a lot more driven and focused, filled with new ideas and everything just seeming to click together to make the perfect picture. However the opposite is also possible, the thoughts may be racing in too many different directions to be able to concentrate on studying. During states of hypomania people are usually more sexually active than they would be otherwise.

The symptoms of hypomania vary from person to person, and the severity of it can vary, but it is always a lot less than mania. There aren't thoughts of being invincible, having super powers, or other dangerous ideas. Medicine is not always needed to correct hypomania; however taking antidepressants when bipolar can send someone into a full blown manic episode; even if the person has never had one before.

Not particular to any one strain of bipolar disorder, hypomania attacks people with both bipolar I and bipolar II versions equally. While the DSM requires a week long sustained intensive mania for a Bipolar I diagnosis, many Bipolar I and rapid cyclers (those who quickly alternate between manic and depressive states) experience hypomania on a regular basis. For many with bipolar disorder, moods exist on a continuum rather than sharp gradations of emotion and experience.

Lithium and other antimanic medications cannot cancel elated moods completely. To say that hypomanic delusions are less dangerous than full blown manic delusions understates the many ways in which disordered thinking can destroy. An irrational and false romantic attachment fueled by attraction to taboo and risky relationships, though relatively benign compared to suicide, nevertheless severs healthy friendships. Many times, disordered thoughts discovered in the depths of profound mania reappear in hypomania, perhaps attenuated yet potentially just as destructive and rarely less painful than severe mania.

Many times non-bipolar people enjoy the company of the hypomanic. Rattling on about obscure academic topics, the pleasantly buzzed and witty person across from you may perceive his world crumbling. Though an ignorant observer might easily categorize hypomania, the hypomanic knows how far she must step before smashing an observer's tidy definitions.

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