What Is the Young Mania Rating Scale?

The Young Mania Rating Scale (YMRS) is one of the most common diagnostic criteria for identifying and assessing mania in patients with bipolar disorder. It was originally developed in 1978 to diagnose the disorder in adults, but since then it has been altered to diagnose anxiety and other issues that affect children.

How the YMRS Works

The YMRS uses the following eleven criteria to evaluate a young person’s need for treatment for bipolar disorder:

  • Elevated mood
  • Increased energy
  • Heightened sexual response
  • Changes in sleep patterns
  • Irritability
  • Amount and speed of speaking patterns
  • Language/thought disorders
  • Religious extremism or other new interests
  • Disruptive/aggressive behavior
  • Appearance
  • Insight

The scale examines each area in depth and attaches a number value to each one. The cumulative value provides the mental health expert with a sort of index as to how advanced the patient’s disorder is. Throughout treatment the doctors may refer back to this test to determine if treatment seems to be working.

How Bipolar Disorder Works

Bipolar disorder is a serious mental condition that involves wild swings from episodes of mania (aggressive, selfish, high-energy, euphoric and irritability) to times of major depression. While depressed, patients may exude the following symptoms:

  • Loss of interest in previously important activities
  • Emotional numbness
  • Marked changes in eating or sleeping patterns and habits
  • Substance abuse
  • Suicidal thoughts or actions

Bipolar disorder can be especially challenging to treat, as patients who are in the depressed phase tend to avoid treatment, because they believe that recovery is impossible and hopeless.

On the other hand, manic individuals tend to believe that they are fine, that they have never felt better and that the last thing they need is mental healthcare. In some cases, these people must face a kind of rock bottom, or be forced to face their bipolar disorder by loved ones. While there is no known cure for bipolar disorder, there are several treatment techniques that can greatly relieve the symptoms.