Hypomania is a mood state used in psychiatry to describe symptoms that approach mania. It is characterized by persistent disinhibition and either euphoria or excessive irritability resulting in excessive energy, talking and confidence. This can often manifest in either bursts of creative ideas or hypersexuality. Although it can indicate several behavioral disorders, it is most likely to be associated with bipolar spectrum disorders. Although this mood state can heighten both productivity and creativity, it can also lead to excessive risk-taking behavior. However, it is not held to be a sign of illness unless the episode lasts for a period of more than four days.

Ironically, hypomania can occur directly after an episode of depression. Because initial episodes of hypomania often happen during adolescence, it is often confused for the normal behavioral changes typical of that age. It can also be a side effect of mood altering pharmaceuticals, particularly those to treat other mood disorders.

There is some dispute as to whether hypomania is a sign of a mental disorder, or is merely on the outlying side of normal hyperactive behavior. The DSM currently comes down on the side of the first explanation.

Hypomania at Wikipedia

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