Find out how hypomania treatment involves medication and holistic approaches that help people adjust to their elevated moods.
Hypomania treatment can help individuals with bipolar disorder manage their mood. Hypomania involves experiencing a heightened mood, but as the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) reports, it is less severe than a full manic episode and does not result in psychosis, so hospitalization is typically not necessary.
For someone who has bipolar disorder, a hypomania treatment plan may be necessary, even though hypomania is milder than a manic episode and does not require hospitalization. Hypomania treatment options can range from medication to healthy lifestyle changes.
Treatment for hypomania can include medications, such as mood stabilizers or antipsychotics. Antidepressants and anxiety medications can also be used to treat the hypomania that occurs with bipolar disorder. Numerous hypomania medications demonstrated effectiveness in patients who struggled with this mood state.
The National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH) reports that mood stabilizers change the abnormal brain activity that causes bipolar mood states such as hypomania. Anticonvulsant medications are also used to stabilize moods and to treat hypomania.
Mood-stabilizing medications that can treat hypomania include:
Lithium treatment may be especially useful for hypomania. Both lithium and lamotrigine proved superior to a placebo for delaying any mood episodes that required intervention. However, lithium treatment proved more effective in preventing hypomania.
Some doctors prescribe benzodiazepines to treat hypomania. Benzodiazepines can treat mood episodes in bipolar disorder, but it is important to exercise caution with these medications because there is a potential for misuse and adverse side effects with benzodiazepines and bipolar disorder.
Antipsychotic drugs, which are divided into first-generation and newer, second-generation medications, also treat bipolar disorder. Common antipsychotics for hypomania include:
- Risperidone (second generation)
- Haloperidol (first generation)
- Quetiapine (second generation)
- Aripiprazole (second generation)
- Chlorpromazine (first generation)
Recent research with second-generation antipsychotics demonstrates that they are particularly effective for treating hypomania. A report in a 2007 publication of Archives of General Psychiatry analyzed the results of 24 studies and determined that second-generation antipsychotics are similar in effectiveness to mood stabilizers for treating mania. When added to a regimen including mood stabilizers, second-generation antipsychotics are more effective than mood stabilizers are on their own. Antipsychotics are also superior to a placebo used as a treatment for mania.
People who want to know how to treat hypomania without medication may be interested in holistic approaches including the following:
- Eat Regular Meals. Eating a healthy diet is associated with higher functioning among people with bipolar disorder. Regularly eating healthy meals can provide the body with the nutrition it needs for optimal functioning and can prevent a hypomanic episode.
- Exercise Daily. There may be a relationship between exercise and hypomania, with regular, moderate exercise serving as a treatment for symptoms of hypomania. Research evaluating 31 studies shows that physical activity can improve quality of life and daily functioning in people with bipolar disorder.
- Get Plenty of Sleep. Hypomania and sleep are also interrelated. Getting plenty of sleep can be an effective hypomania treatment. Sleep disturbances are linked to mood episodes such as hypomania, so getting adequate sleep and maintaining healthy sleep habits can prevent mood disturbances.
- Avoid Triggers. Certain triggers can precipitate a hypomania episode and should be avoided. Hypomania triggers can include, stimulant use, loud music and partying late into the night.
Treating Hypomania and Co-Occurring Conditions
Hypomania treatment can also involve treating other behavioral and mental health conditions that co-occur with bipolar disorder. People who have bipolar disorder may also have conditions like:
- Anxiety disorders
- Attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD)
- Eating disorders
- Substance use disorders (drug or alcohol addictions)
A hypomania treatment plan for people who have co-occurring disorders must address both the hypomania and the other mental health conditions that they experience.
If you or a loved one live with a drug or alcohol use disorder and a co-occurring mental health condition, The Recovery Village has comprehensive treatment services that may meet your needs. Reach out to one of our representatives who can guide you toward effective treatment options.
National Alliance on Mental Illness. “Bipolar Disorder.” August 2017. Accessed March 3, 2019.
National Institute of Mental Health. “Mental Health Medications.” October 2016. Accessed March 3, 2019.
Bowden, Charles, et al. “A Placebo-Controlled 18-Month Trial of L[…]h Bipolar I Disorder.” JAMA Psychiatry, April 2003. Accessed March 3, 2019.
Otheman, Yassine, et al. “The Use of Benzodiazepines in Bipolar Disorder.” Addiction and Clinical Research, 2018. Accessed March 4, 2019.
Scherk, Harald, et al. “Second-Generation Antipsychotic Agents i[…]tment of Acute Mania.” Archives of General Psychiatry, April 2007. Accessed March 4, 2019.
Murray, Greg, et al. “Self‐Management Strategies Used by ‘High functioning’ Individuals With Bipolar Disorder: From Research to Clinical Practice.” Clinical Psychology & Psychotherapy, April 4, 2011. Accessed March 4, 2019.
Carvalho Aguiar Melo, Matias, et al. “Exercise in Bipolar Patients: A Systematic Review.” Journal of Affective Disorders, March 15, 2016. Accessed March 4, 2019.
Sylvia, L.G., et al. “Sleep Disturbance in Euthymic Bipolar Patients.” Journal of Psychopharmacology, August 2012. Accessed March 4, 2019.
Proudfoot, J., et al. “Triggers of Mania and Depression in Youn[…]ith Bipolar Disorder.” Journal of Affective Disorders, December 20, 2012. Accessed March 4, 2019.
CNS Drugs. “Spotlight on Lamotrigine in Bipolar Disorder.” 2014. Accessed March 22, 2019.
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