Bipolar Mania Symptoms


What is psychosis?

In psychosis, the person loses contact with reality. Possibly, he or she experiences hallucinations (false perceptions) and delusions (false beliefs). Psychosis can happen when mania is severe.30

What does psychosis feel like?

A person may suffer from false beliefs and perceptions that are mild in nature. The perception is distracting and interferes with normal functioning.

Psychosis may also include seeing scary images, hearing disturbing sounds, and believing terrifying things.

The perceptions may be false, but it is important to remember that they seem real to the person. The emotions and thoughts that result from false perceptions possibly are vivid and intense.

What types of delusions are there?11

  • Erotomania: A false belief that someone loves the person. Normally, this person believes the lover is of a high social status.
  • Grandiosity: A false belief that the person is more powerful, worthy than they really are. He or she may feel they have special abilities and unique knowledge, that they are gifted.
  • Jealousy: A false belief that he or she is being cheated on by a significant other.
  • Persecutory: A false belief that the person is persecuted. Commonly, the person believes they are followed and watched.
  • Somatic: A false belief that something is physically wrong. The person may believe they have a terminal illness, a tumour, or other disease.

What types of hallucinations are there?40

  • Auditory: hearing a sound that does not exist.
  • Gustatory: tasting a flavor that is not present in the mouth.
  • Olfactory: smelling odors that do not exist.
  • Tactile or somatic: a false perception of touch or a false perception of physical stimulation in the body.
  • Visual: seeing things that do not exist. Could include shadows, lights, objects, or people.

How can I recognize psychosis?

The person may display bizarre behavior. The behavior usually reflects the person's false perception or belief.

A person hearing voices may respond and talk back to the voices. A person who falsely believes they have powers that they do not, may try use these 'powers'.

The person, who falsely believes that the government is reading their mind, would actually take preventative action. He or she may wear a metal helmet to protect them from the government's advanced equipment.

How does this symptom of bipolar disorder impact life?

Psychosis is very serious. The person suffering from psychosis may be unable to work, study, or take care of themselves. Hospitalization may be necessary.

Psychosis is associated with low self esteem and high risk for suicide.19 Observing psychotic behavior can be frightening for friends and family.

My Story

I kept hearing my grandfather's voice. He was telling me to "Stop doing it!" Whatever I was doing, I would hear his voice. It was demanding, and I found it scary. At first, I thought he was really talking to me. This was very frightening. After I got better, I stopped hearing his voice. I hope it never comes back.

~ Cindy, Honolulu, Oahu