The term “hypomania” can be confusing for some since the prefix “hypo” means “under” or “less than,” which could lead you to believe it refers to a sluggish or lazy condition. In truth, it refers to an elevated state of mood or energy, greater than average, but not so extreme as to be called manic. A person with hypomania may enter a period when they need less sleep, find themselves easily agitated, are more eager to engage in risky behaviors such as shopping sprees or sexual promiscuity and are more impulsive. Unlike mania, having hypomania does not necessarily mean a person is bipolar. It only lasts for a few days and does not usually end in any form of psychotic break.
The mood, activity, and behaviors that accompany hypomania are clearly different from a person’s normal, daily state, and are obvious to those around them. It’s important to rule out medications or recreational substance use as a possible source of the symptoms before making a diagnosis. Plains Area Mental Health takes pride in treating the whole person by assessing both mental health conditions as well as substance use disorder conditions. Please take our free on-line assessment found on this website to contact one of our offices.
P.S. Mood stabilizers can be used for severe episodes of hypomania, but a healthy lifestyle of regular meals, physical activity, and sleep can help keep episodes at bay.