Bipolar disorder used to be called manic depression, and not without reason. The illness causes both depression and mania. Odds are you know what depression looks like - feeling sad or numb, crying easily, having trouble sleeping, thinking about death or suicide, etc. But mania? It means more than being "high" or having an "elevated mood."
Keep clicking to see eight telltale symptoms. CBS New put this together with the help of Dr. Thomas Wise, professor of psychiatry at Johns Hopkins Medical School.
Feeling irritable or angry
Some people are habitually downbeat or irritable. That's probably not mania. But being more angry or irritable than usual could be a sign of mania. "The key concept is that this is not their usual style," Dr. Wise says.
Feeling very powerful or important
Mania often makes people grandiose. They feel that they are especially powerful or important. They might expect to be treated with special consideration or come up with grand schemes that others deem unrealistic. "Someone feeling this way might say 'I can learn French in five days,'" Dr. Wise says. "It's just not realistic."
Mania can cause a big rise in libido. Couple a revved-up sex drive with feelings of grandiosity, and people can take all sorts of sexual risks they wouldn't ordinarily - including having unprotected sex with multiple partners. That boosts the risk of sexually transmitted diseases.
People who are depressed often wake up early and can't fall back to sleep because they are so sad or worried. People experiencing mania may lose interest in sleep, thinking that they don't need it. Of course, some people spend their entire lives getting by on little sleep - and that habitual pattern probably isn't mania. Again, the real issue is a sudden change.
Rapid or "pressured" speech is a classic symptom of mania. Some people talk fast all the time. But if someone who ordinarily pretty quiet starts jabbering, that could mean mania. And mania can cause people to have trouble keeping up with their own rapid thoughts.
Having trouble concentrating
When people are in the midst of a manic episode, their thought processes are racing - sometimes to the point that they have trouble staying focused on one thing. Other mental disorders can cause concentration problems, including depression and ADHD, so it's not always easy to tell just what is causing the problem.
There's nothing abnormal about being an habitual spendthrift. But people who suddenly go on spending sprees or start making risky investments may be experiencing mania.
Drug and alcohol abuse is common in people in the throes of a manic episode. Dr. Wise says many are attempting to "self-medicate" to alleviate their symptoms. For effective treatment, he says, it's essential to get sober. Otherwise, it can be hard to tell what's causing the specific problems - the drugs or the disorder.