Navigation Links
Many Depressed People Have Mild, Brief Episodes of Mania

By Madonna Behen
HealthDay Reporter

TUESDAY, Aug. 17 (HealthDay News) -- Nearly 40 percent of Americans with major depression also have brief but recurring episodes of manic behavior, a new study suggests.

Researchers at the U.S. National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH) reported that these patients have what's called "subthreshold hypomania" -- meaning a milder form of mania that lasts fewer than four days, and is therefore below the threshold for bipolar disorder.

"With hypomania, people may be more active and energetic than usual, and they may sleep less and become agitated more easily," said the study's senior author, Kathleen Merikangas, a senior investigator at the NIMH in Bethesda, Md. "The behavior is definitely different than their usual state, but it doesn't cause impairment in their lives."

The findings were published Aug. 16 in the online advance edition of the American Journal of Psychiatry.

Merikangas and her colleagues analyzed data from a survey of more than 5,000 U.S. households. They found that people with subthreshold hypomania have higher rates of anxiety and substance abuse and more depressive episodes than depressed people who don't exhibit manic behavior. What's more, they were just as likely to have a family history of mania as people with bipolar disorder, which suggests that they may be at a higher risk of developing full-blown bipolar disorder down the road.

Although these mild episodes of mania last only two or three days, they recur frequently, Merikangas said. She stressed that some periods of high energy are entirely natural. "If someone has one instance where she feels really good for a few days because of something that happened in her life, like falling in love, that's not subthreshold hypomania," Merikangas said.

A true manic episode lasts for one week or more, often includes psychotic symptoms and sometimes requires hospitalization. However, the researchers noted that most people with bipolar disorder experience hypomania rather than mania.

"This study really helps consolidate an idea that's been around for a while, which is that there's a broad continuum -- ranging from pure unipolar depression to classic bipolar depression," said Dr. Gregory Simon, a psychiatrist and mental health researcher at the Group Health Research Institute in Seattle.

Simon added that the findings raise questions about treatment implications, which need to be addressed in future studies. "Does it mean that these people may get greater benefit from some treatments rather than others? There's a way to answer that question, but we haven't done that yet."

In the meantime, Merikangas advises friends and family members to be aware of a loved one who behaves in a way that's uncharacteristic for them for a few days, like drinking more than usual or spending a lot of money, and then goes back to normal.

"If you see this kind of behavior, it's really wise for that person to get an evaluation by a mental health professional," she said. "The idea is to intervene before someone develops more serious problems, like drug and alcohol abuse. We can't prevent bipolar disease from occurring, but we can prevent the consequences."

More information

There's more on bipolar disorder at the U.S. National Library of Medicine.

SOURCES: Kathleen Merikangas, Ph.D., senior investigator, U.S. National Institute of Mental Health, Bethesda, Md.; Gregory Simon, M.D., M.P.H., senior investigator, Group Health Research Institute, Seattle; Aug. 16, 2010, American Journal of Psychiatry, online

Copyright©2010 ScoutNews,LLC.
All rights reserved  

Related medicine news :

1. Depressed people feel more gray than blue
2. People With Asthma More Likely to Be Depressed
3. Combination Treatment May Help Depressed Alcoholics
4. Depressed? Fearful? It might help to worry, too
5. Chocolate a Sweet Pick-Me-Up for the Depressed
6. Depressed chronic kidney disease patients more likely to face complications
7. Depressed men with ED at risk for cardiovascular problems
8. Exercise Success for People Over 50: Reports of Improved Fitness, Circulation and Balance
9. Vaccine May Prevent TB in People With HIV
10. People with anxiety disorder less able to regulate response to negative emotions, study shows
11. Can mobile phones help people EatWell?
Post Your Comments:
Related Image:
Many Depressed People Have Mild, Brief Episodes of Mania
(Date:11/30/2015)... York (PRWEB) , ... November 30, 2015 , ... In ... of his role as a top ophthalmologist on Long Island’s east end. During the ... teaching, innovations in surgery and treatment of glaucoma and cataracts, and how a visit ...
(Date:11/30/2015)... ... November 30, 2015 , ... Since its ... specializing in independent living, assisted living and all other retirement options. Support for ... awareness and research remains a top priority. , So it’s no surprise ...
(Date:11/30/2015)... ... November 30, 2015 , ... ... of the leading plastic surgery practices in Florida, is proud to announce that ... for surgical innovations giant Ethicon Inc., a Johnson & Johnson Company. , Ethicon ...
(Date:11/30/2015)... New York, New York (PRWEB) , ... November 30, 2015 , ... ... at the Greater New York Dental Meeting. Their Ecosystem empowers dentists to make complex ... Dentists who visit the booth will receive a free fee survey with 10 procedures ...
(Date:11/30/2015)... ... 30, 2015 , ... Vasont Systems, a top component content ... extension unites with Syncro Soft’s latest software update, oXygen XML editor Version 17.1. ... the latest release of oXygen® XML editor and the Vasont® CCMS. , ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:11/30/2015)... 2015 2014RestatedChange%Turnover 545,575 , 518,852 , 5.2 Cord Blood ... , 9.8 Hospital Management Service Income , ... Medical Insurance Administration Service Income , 2,780 , ... , 89,645 , 94,580 , ... 2,917 , (3.3) Gross Profit 395,857 , ...
(Date:11/30/2015)...  PTS Diagnostics, the U.S.-based manufacturer of point-of-care biometric ... ® systems, and PTS Detect™ cotinine systems, has ... will propel the company into the mHealth market. ... . The technology is a system that interfaces ... and tablets, and uses test strip technology already developed ...
(Date:11/30/2015)... Nov. 30, 2015 Cumberland Pharmaceuticals (CPIX), today announced that ... at on December 3, 2015. TIME: 3:15p.m. ... 3:15p.m. ET LINK: --> ... --> --> ... investors are invited to ask the company questions in real-time ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: