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Mania is a state of abnormally elevated arousal, affect, and energy level. Although mania is often conceived as a “mirror image” to depression, the heightened mood can be either euphoric or irritable; indeed, as the mania worsens, irritability often becomes more pronounced and may eventuate in violence.
In the context of psychoactive substances, many specific compounds exist with have a potential propensity to cause manic symptoms. These include dopamineergic compounds such as stimulants, GABAergics such as benzodiazepines and dissociatives such as PCP, 2-Oxo-PCE and MXE.
The typical symptoms of mania are the following: heightened mood (either euphoric or irritable); flight of ideas and pressure of speech; and increased energy, decreased need for sleep, and hyperactivity. They are most plainly evident in fully developed hypomanic states; in full-blown mania, however, they undergo progressively severe exacerbations and become more and more obscured by other signs and symptoms, such as delusions and fragmentation of behavior.
Mania varies in intensity, from mild mania (hypomania) to delirious mania, marked by such symptoms as disorientation, florid psychosis, incoherence, and catatonia. Standardized tools such as Altman Self-Rating Mania Scale and Young Mania Rating Scale can be used to measure severity of manic episodes. Because mania and hypomania have also been associated with creativity and artistic talent, it is not always the case that the clearly manic bipolar person needs or wants medical help; such persons often either retain sufficient self-control to function normally or are unaware that they have "gone manic" severely enough to be committed or to commit themselves. Manic persons often can be mistaken for being on drugs.
Hypomania is a lowered state of mania that does little to impair function or decrease quality of life. It may, in fact, increase productivity and creativity. In hypomania, there is less need for sleep and both goal-motivated behaviour and metabolism increase. Though the elevated mood and energy level typical of hypomania could be seen as a benefit, mania itself generally has many undesirable consequences including suicidal tendencies, and hypomania can, if the prominent mood is irritable rather than euphoric, be a rather unpleasant experience. By definition, hypomania cannot feature psychosis, nor can it require psychiatric hospitalisation (voluntary or involuntary).
Compounds within our psychoactive substance index which may cause this effect include:
- Selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor
- Responsible use
- Subjective effects index
- Psychedelics - Subjective effects
- Dissociatives - Subjective effects
- Deliriants - Subjective effects
- Semple, David. "Oxford Hand book of Psychiatry" Oxford press,2005.
- A comparative evaluation of three self-rating scales for acute mania (PubMed.gov / NCBI) | https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/11566165
- A rating scale for mania: reliability, validity and sensitivity (PubMed.gov / NCBI) | https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/728692
- Jamison, Kay R. (1996), Touched with Fire: Manic-Depressive Illness and the Artistic Temperament, New York: Free Press, ISBN 0-684-83183-X