What Is Dysphoric Mania?

What Is Dysphoric Mania?

Dysphoric mania refers to a group of symptoms that fall under bipolar disorder. Individuals with these symptoms usually experience depression and mania at the same time, which can trouble patients greatly. The combination of depression and the agitated state of mania can lead to extreme behaviors, such as attempted suicide or violence.

Also known as mixed mania, dysphoric mania can be a common state for individuals with bipolar disorder. Bipolar disorder is characterized by periods of extreme mood swings that create unusually intense highs and lows.

According to a February 2008 article in Neuropsychiatric Disease and Treatment, as many as 50 percent of people with bipolar disorder experience the symptoms of dysphoric mania at some time. This can be troubling for a patient, so get help today for these painful problems.

Symptoms of Dysphoric Mania

The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, fourth edition (DSM-IV) defines dysphoric mania as a period that includes two to four symptoms of depression while someone is in a manic state. Dysphoric mania is often included in a diagnosis of bipolar I disorder, which is the most severe of the three types of bipolar disorder. It can also occur with bipolar II disorder (which includes less intense periods of mania) and cyclothymic disorder (which includes less intense periods of both mania and depression).

According to the Mayo Clinic the following symptoms characterize a depressed phase:

  • Sadness
  • Hopelessness
  • Suicidal thoughts or actions
  • Anxiety
  • Guilt
  • Sleeplessness
  • A lowered or increased appetite
  • Fatigue
  • Loss of interest in activities a patient once considered enjoyable
  • Problems concentrating
  • Irritability
  • Chronic pain without a known cause

The following symptoms indicate a manic phase:

  • Euphoria
  • Inflated self-esteem
  • Poor judgment
  • Rapid speech
  • Racing thoughts
  • Aggressive behavior
  • Agitation or irritation
  • Increased physical activity
  • Risky behavior
  • Changes in sleep patterns

If you recognize many of these issues in someone, dysphoric mania may be the cause.

Treatment of Dysphoric Mania

Dysphoric mania is more difficult to treat than other phases of bipolar disorder. Researchers see some effectiveness with mood stabilizers, which include anticonvulsants. While these medications balance out manic behaviors, they have no real impact on depressive symptoms, according to the article in Neuropsychiatric Disease and Treatment. Patients with dysphoric mania do respond to treatment, but it takes a longer period of trial and error to find an effective combination of drugs.