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What is a Manic Phase?

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  • Written By: G. Wiesen
  • Edited By: Heather Bailey
  • Last Modified Date: 27 October 2016
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A manic phase is one of two phases typically experienced by someone suffering from bipolar disorder. There are a number of different symptoms and indicators of this behavioral phase, commonly including a sense of euphoria or “high,” which can also be accompanied by heightened energy, creativity, and feelings of greater ability or invincibility. Someone experiencing this phase of bipolar disorder may also become more irritable, aggressive, or violent, and it is not uncommon for someone experiencing this sort of mania to have difficulty sitting still, talking at a reasonable pace, and sleeping. A manic phase can be difficult to properly diagnose, as the person experiencing it can feel as though he or she is perfectly fine.

Bipolar disorder, sometimes also called “manic depression,” is a psychological condition in which a person experiences two very distinct and different states of behavior. One phase consists of depression, which is often similar to those suffering from chronic depression and is typically marked with excessive sleeping, feelings of hopelessness, lack of energy, and suicidal thoughts. This can be an extremely destructive phase for a person to go through, and is often noticed by the person suffering through it as well as friends and family. The other phase, however, is the manic phase and can be more difficult to properly identify.

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It is not only that during a manic phase a person feels happy or “high” in comparison to the “low” of depression. Someone experiencing a manic phase is typically so “up” that he or she can have a difficult time controlling his or her actions and behavior. The person may act in ways that are inappropriate, often expressing increased sexual desire and a sense of well-being that may push him or her to act out or even put himself or herself in danger due a sense of invulnerability. In this way, the manic phase can be just as destructive for someone as a depressive phase.

Someone experiencing a manic phase can also feel a sense of heightened irritability and even lash out violently toward others as a way of dealing with the increased energy. He or she may have difficulty sitting still and be unable to sleep due to excessive energy. Someone going through this type of mania may speak very quickly and have difficulty expressing himself or herself clearly due to thoughts and words coming out too quickly to control. This phase often first manifests itself following a period of depression and can occur repeatedly throughout a year, or may occur only once every few years. There are medications that can be used to help someone who is experiencing a manic phase, and accurate diagnosis of bipolar disorder is often crucial to proper treatment of both depression and mania.

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