Mania: Cognitive Changes

Mania can come on in differing forms.  Hypomania is to a lesser degree than full on mania.  With hypomania or mania a person can feel very good even euphoric.  Thoughts and ideas can be optimistic, energized and excited.  These positive changes can be quite dramatic.  Sometimes there can be dysphoria which is just as dramatic but more negative energy.  There is a heightened state which can be irritable and agitated in nature.  Or there can be mixed states where the dysphoria can flip flop with euphoria or depression.

When mania takes over several things can happen.  You can get overly positive underestimating consequences of your decisions. You can get confident to the point of over estimating your abilities. Sometimes the self-confidence can get into delusional and grandiose thinking.

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When hypomanic or manic you can have lots of great ideas but are rarely able to carry them through. Often because you are not getting enough sleep or are overactive.  Abundant plans can be hard to distinguish from grandiose delusions.  Also your concentration can be quite diminished as so much comes rushing to mind.  Even the very best plans can fail under these circumstances.

During mania or hypomania it can be easy to dismiss negative consequences to your actions.  There is often the impulse to rush to make a decision without considering the pros and cons.  Taking action when overlooking this step can lead to consequences because you were so optimistic that you dismissed the possibilities anyway.

Sometimes people who are manic or hypomanic think they have special insight or powers.  This is often because they focus on only the events that seem to confirm one belief while ignoring the rest of the evidence to the contrary.

Often when mania or hypomania is happening to a person there are in the early stages sometimes feelings of paranoia.  These feelings may be aimed at some individual who senses the hostility and will therefore be tense or negative back toward the manic person confirming the manic person’s belief of paranoia.

When hypomanic it is so easy to overestimate how many things you can get done in a day.  What’s more it’s very easy to underestimate the time it takes to get a task done.  When you are manic the increased mental activity can really create distraction and take away from getting things done due to endless tangents.  This makes it so much more difficult to complete the goals at hand.

Social judgement is impaired during mania and hypomania.  Due to a lack of self-awareness it is very easy to say offensive or confusing things and act out unusual activities.  This can really put others off and confuse them.  It’s easy to fail noticing the impact these things said and done are having on partners, friends, family, associates, coworkers, etc.

For days or even weeks symptoms can develop for mania, hypomania, or even mixed symptoms.  These symptoms can start for instance as insomnia then progress into crowded or racing thoughts.  These patterns can reoccur with each time you cycle up to mania.  The changes in behavior and thinking can become and indicator that the mania needs to be taken care of before it gets bad.  This can be a very helpful thing to watch for these patterns so you can anticipate getting the needed care.  You can say “I feel it coming on again” or “I sense it starting again.”  This can become a critical step in intervening early to prevent a full blown manic, hypomanic, or mixed states episode.  This can be so very helpful in regulating your mood swings.  Anticipating the highs and lows before they are full blown allows you to have a smoother time of things, to keep more even keeled.

Mania_ Cognitive Changes


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