8 Signs of Mania

How can you tell if someone you know is manic?.

Periods of mania are commonly experienced by people who have bipolar disorder. Bipolar disorder, also sometimes referred to as manic-depression, is a mood disorder involving extreme highs and lows. Symptoms include changes in energy, activity, sleep, and behavior. When energy is especially high, someone may be going through what is known as a manic episode. This article describes what mania typically looks like.

How to tell if someone is experiencing mania

They act like the best person that walked the earth

When someone suddenly starts acting as if they are the best thing since sliced bread, and this is not how they typically behave, they could be experiencing mania. An inflated sense of self-esteem, often bordering on grandeur, is one sign of mania.

They need little to no sleep 

Got an office mate who claims to have slept two hours the night before and feels well rested and energized? A decreased need for sleep (defined as less than three hours a night) is another aspect of mania.

They are a motor mouth

Nonstop talking or "pressured speech" is another sign of mania. If you feel steam rolled by someone's latest story and cannot get a word in edgewise, this is also an indication of a manic episode.

They jump from one thing to the next when they speak

"Flight of ideas" is the term used to describe a thought process that can be disjointed, fast, and seemingly all over the place.

If your friend is telling you a story not only rapidly, but in a way that does not completely make sense, this is another sign that he or she may be experiencing mania.

They are easily distracted

Being easily distracted is another sign of mania, especially if someone usually can focus otherwise. The slightest thing can throw someone off and get them started in another direction when he or she is experiencing mania.

They are hyper-productive

If your friend suddenly wants to get a new degree, another job and tackle fifteen other projects, she or she may be experiencing mania. Being overly goal directed can actually be a sign of mania.

They overspend

Going on shopping sprees, impulsively buying things that are unnecessary and racking up credit card debt can all be indicative of mania as well.

They become sexually promiscuous 

Is your otherwise conservative friend suddenly going on a date every night of the week and having numerous one night stands? A rise in sexual promiscuity is another sign that someone may be experiencing mania.

How to know for sure if it is mania

The above are all indicators that someone may be experiencing mania, but one or two of them in isolation does not constitute a diagnosis. These signs also cannot be the result of drug or alcohol use.

To know for sure whether someone is experiencing mania, it is highly recommended that they are seen by a mental health professional for a legitimate diagnosis.


American Psychiatric Association. (2013). Diagnostic and statistical manual of mental disorders (5th ed.). Washington, DC: American Psychiatric Association.

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