Acute Mania


What Is Acute Mania?

Acute mania is a severe mental health condition characterized by manic episodes— also known as manic episodes with psychotic features. These episodes usually last at least seven days and can cause significant changes in mood, energy, and behavior. During a manic episode, a person may have intense feelings of euphoria and energy or extreme irritability and aggression. They may also have grandiose beliefs, rapid and loud speech, decreased need for sleep, impulsive decision-making, and increased reckless behavior.

Signs and Symptoms of Acute Mania

Acute mania can cause a variety of signs and symptoms, including:

  • Hyperactivity, increased energy, and inflated self-esteem
  • Racing thoughts and speaking quickly
  • Decreased need for sleep
  • Distractibility and racing thoughts
  • Impulsive and reckless behaviors
  • Grandiose beliefs
  • Paranoia or suspiciousness
  • Aggressive and violent behavior

Diagnosing Acute Mania

Acute mania is diagnosed through a psychiatric evaluation. During the evaluation, a mental health professional will take a detailed history of the patient’s symptoms, medical history, and family history. They will also perform a physical exam and lab tests to rule out other possible causes of the symptoms.

The mental health professional will also use diagnostic criteria from the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-5) to help determine if the patient’s symptoms meet the criteria for a manic or hypomanic episode. To make a diagnosis of acute mania, the patient must be experiencing symptoms for at least seven days.

Treatment for Acute Mania

Treatment for acute mania typically includes medication and psychotherapy. Common medications used to treat acute mania include mood stabilizers, antipsychotics, and antidepressants. Psychotherapy can be used to help the patient understand and manage the symptoms of acute mania and any underlying conditions that may be contributing to the symptoms.

Hospitalization may be necessary if the patient’s symptoms are severe or if they put themselves or others at risk. During hospitalization, the patient’s medications may be adjusted and they will be monitored closely by medical staff. Once the patient is stable, they may be discharged with follow-up care from a mental health professional.