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A guide for young people Mania and hypomania

If you think you might have mania or hypomania, you're not alone. Find out more about the condition and what to do if you're affected by it.

What is mania?

A boy sitting alone on the end of his bed and appearing deep in thought.

Mania is a feeling of being extremely 'high', with lots of energy and enthusiasm. It's different from a normal good mood, because the feelings are very intense and go on continuously for a long time.

Mania can appear as part of bipolar disorder, or on its own.

Hypomania is a milder form of mania.

Find out more about bipolar disorder
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There is always light at the end of the tunnel. You will get through this with the help of family, friends, your counsellor, your psychiatrist and a good support network.

The symptoms of mania

A group of students wearing school uniform sit at their desks in a classroom and write in their textbooks.

Mania and hypomania symptoms are the same, but hypomania episodes are milder or shorter.

Just because you experience one or more of these symptoms, it doesn’t mean you’re definitely affected by mania. It’s important to talk to your GP to get a full diagnosis.

How to speak to your GP

Here are some common symptoms of mania and hypomania:

  • feeling ‘high' or intense happiness
  • increased confidence and energy
  • increased irritability and aggression
  • heightened senses
  • not needing much sleep
  • getting easily distracted
  • talking a lot and very fast
  • feeling full of ideas
  • difficulty relaxing
  • being more social
  • risky behaviour, like going on a spending spree
  • increased sexual desire
  • poor judgement
When I have a manic episode I can’t sleep for days, my head starts racing with lots of thoughts and it affects my behaviour and mental health.

Getting help and support for mania and hypomania


Take the first step

If you're experiencing extreme moods, talk to someone you like and trust, like a teacher, relative, counsellor or friend.

You should also see your GP. They may offer to refer you to Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services (CAMHS), an expert or a psychiatrist who can help you.

Remember that you are not alone - help is available.

Reaching out for help

Treating mania

Both mania and bipolar disorder can be easily treated. You might be offered medication or therapy, including cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT).

You may be asked to keep a mood diary to help you keep track of any patterns in your mood and triggers like alcohol or stress.

Find out more about medication
A boy comforting his upset friend by putting with his hand on his shoulder while they sit in a park.
For others, stability is the norm, but it’s not usually like that for us, and that’s ok. Just because we need more support to ensure a stable mood doesn’t mean that it’s impossible.
Caitlin, 20
Two young people sit on a sofa with the person on the left putting an arm around the other. They both are looking at each other while talking.
The most stable I became was when taking that particular medication. My mood, which was swinging rather violently at the time, became more manageable, and the scarily fast pace of life I seemed to be living, did appear to slow down.

Get help now

Where to get help

If you're worried about your mood or feeling out of control you are not alone. Here are some organisations who can support you.

  • Samaritans

    Whatever you're going through, you can contact the Samaritans for support. N.B. This is a listening service and does not offer advice or intervention.

    Opening times:
  • Childline

    If you’re under 19 you can confidentially call, chat online or email about any problem big or small.

    Sign up for a free Childline locker (real name or email address not needed) to use their free 1-2-1 counsellor chat and email support service.

    Can provide a BSL interpreter if you are deaf or hearing-impaired.

    Hosts online message boards where you can share your experiences, have fun and get support from other young people in similar situations.

    Opening times:
  • The Mix

    Free, short-term online counselling for young people aged 25 or under. Their website also provides lots of information and advice about mental health and wellbeing. 

    Email support is available via their online contact form.

    They have a free 1-2-1 webchat service available during opening hours.

    Opening times:
    4pm - 11pm, Monday - Friday

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