If you are worried about whether you or someone you know may have bipolar disorder, or exhibit bipolar mania symptoms, this article may be for you.

Bipolar disorder is a serious mental health condition characterized by intense mood swings between the two opposite poles of extreme highs (mania) and extreme lows (depression). These mood swings are accompanied by serious and uncharacteristic shifts in energy, need for sleep, and activity levels that can disrupt your ability to function normally in your day-to-day life.

Bipolar mania is the linchpin of bipolar disorder. You cannot receive a diagnosis of bipolar disorder without having had a manic episode. Bipolar I, which is the classic and most common form of bipolar, is characterized by one or more manic episodes. Even though you may have had at least one depressive episode as well, the depressive episode is not required for the diagnosis.

Bipolar Mania Symptoms to Watch For

According to the American Psychiatric Association’s Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-5-TR), to be diagnosed with bipolar disorder you have to have experienced at least one episode of mania that lasted at least one week, was present most of the day for nearly every day during that period, and that included three or more of the following bipolar mania symptoms which are significantly uncharacteristic of your usual behavior.


Feeling unusually high or optimistic.


Being easily irritated and agitated, getting angry over seemingly insignificant things, and lashing out at friends who won’t go along with your schemes.

Increased energy.

Feeling pumped up, creative, productive, bursting with energy, and full of new ideas and plans.

Overextending yourself.

Participating in many activities all at the same time, and starting more projects than you have the time or ability to complete.

Decreased need for sleep.

Not feeling tired and going for days with little or no sleep.

Easily distracted.

Trouble staying focused or concentrating on one thing at a time, and an inability to discern the difference between what is important and what is irrelevant.

Inflated self-esteem and grandiosity.

Having an inflated sense of self-esteem, believing you are invincible and better and smarter than anyone else, and/or grandiose, delusional beliefs such as that you have special abilities or superpowers.

Rapid speech.

Talking non-stop and speaking so quickly your words get jumbled together.

Flight of ideas and racing thoughts.

Racing thoughts come faster than you can express them, and ideas flit so quickly from one topic to another that it may make what you say difficult to follow or seem disordered or irrational.

Engaging in risky behaviors.

Engaging in uncharacteristic risky or inappropriate behaviors such as heavy drinking, drug use, unprotected sex, or reckless driving.

Impaired judgment and impulsivity.

Impulsively engaging in activities that can lead to harmful consequences such as spending large sums of money on unaffordable items; risky investments; lavishing gifts on friends, acquaintances, or even strangers; or gambling all your money away.

Tips for managing a bipolar manic episode.

Track your moods.

Tracking your moods can help you recognize triggers and patterns, and empower you to be more in control when you feel the first signs of mania coming on.

Reach out.

Reach out to someone on your treatment team and/or to a trusted family member or friend as soon as you notice a manic episode coming on. Addressing impending bipolar mania symptoms early can help prevent an episode from getting worse.

Have an emergency action plan.

Have a list of resources and coping strategies to use in a crisis.

Avoid alcohol or caffeine.

Substances like alcohol and caffeine can overstimulate your brain and make your symptoms worse.

Do something calming or soothing.

Avoid noisy, busy environments, and do something you find soothing or calming. Try to avoid stress as much as possible.

Establish a regular sleep routine.

Make yourself go to bed at an established time even if you don’t feel tired. Having a quiet, dark sleep environment and a regular sleep routine can help ensure better sleep.

Benefits of counseling for bipolar mania.

A trained, mental health professional can help you understand bipolar disorder, recognize the triggers and warning signs of an oncoming manic episode, and equip you with coping strategies as well as a preventive self-care plan.

If you have questions about this article on bipolar mania symptoms or would like to set up an appointment to meet with one of the faith-based counselors in our online directory, please give us a call.


James W, Murrough and Linda Hubbard. “Bipolar Mania.” HealthCentral. Updated February 3, 2020. healthcentral.com/condition/bipolar-mania.

Lauren Smith. “What Does a Bipolar Manic Episode Actually Look Like.” GoodRx Health. Updated April 30, 2023. goodrx.com/conditions/bipolar-disorder/bipolar-manic-disorder-signs.

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By Published On: February 6th, 20244.2 min read


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