What is a Hypomanic Episode?
There are several manifestations to bipolar disorders and hypomania is one such manifestation. When a person is suffering from bipolar disorder, he or she fluctuates between periods of good mood to terrible moods. Such mood swings are called manic episodes.
People who suffer from this problem often report increase in energy levels, albeit temporarily. They also suffer from lack of sleep or the lack of desire to sleep, decreased judgments, hallucinations and other such problems.
Read also more about the Symptoms of Mild Depression!
Hypomanic disorders are almost similar to manic episodes but the only difference is the absence of hallucinations and delusions. The treatment to this problem is almost the same as bipolar disorder but it often takes a more conservative approach. This is because hypomania is considered to be less harmful and debilitating than mania.
Treatment for Hypomanic Episodes
While there are many drugs and medications available for treatment of hypomanic attacks, Lithium is considered to be the most effective one. While this is good news, the bad news is that Lithium has to be given in high doses for it to be effective which often leads to toxicity in the body leading to several side effects.
There are a number of side effects which could point to Lithium toxicity and it could range from stomach pains, nausea, weakness and dizziness and other such problems. So patients who are on Lithium medications should regularly monitor their blood to ensure that the toxicity levels are within manageable limits.
The dosage should be high enough to be effective but low enough not to cause toxicity. Since hypomanic attacks are not exactly considered life threatening and debilitating, Lithium should be last drug of choice when it comes to treating this problem.
Valporic Acid is another drug that is used to treat hypomanic attacks and the brand name is Depakote. This is given to patients who are intolerant to Lithium and is often considered the first line treatment in overcoming hypomanic attacks.
While this drug is less effective than Lithium, it is however a safer option because it is easy to find the right dosage that is effective. It is also very useful for treating epileptic seizures, while for treating other bipolar disorders, some other medications are also used.
People suffering from hypomanic attacks could also be victims of schizoaffective disorders which are nothing but fluctuating mood symptoms coupled with distorted patterns of thoughts.
Amongst the various medicines used to treat schizophrenia, atypical antipsychotics are considered the most effective and they are also used for people with hypomania.
While there are a number of medications available for treatment of hypomanic disorders, your therapist or counselor is the best person to recommend the right product for you.