Bipolar disorder, BD, involves manic episodes and depressive episodes.

If someone has a depressive episode, that person may have major depressive disorder, MDD or BD.

If someone has a manic episode, that person may have ___________ or BD.

So, what is the opposite of MDD?

It seems that "mania" is a term that describes an episode. So "mania" is the opposite of "depression" rather than "MDD".

Is there a major mania disorder? I have heard of kleptomania and pyromania which appear to be classified as impulse control disorders but nothing that appears to be analogous to major depressive disorder

  • $\begingroup$ I wonder whether the brain (or even the body) is capable of sustaining a "high" like mania for a truly extended period of time. I could imagine such a person dying young like those who cannot sleep. $\endgroup$ – Michael Jan 9 '16 at 15:32
  • $\begingroup$ @Michael Manic episodes can be for a week right? How extended is extended? $\endgroup$ – Jack Bauer Jan 13 '16 at 6:55
  • $\begingroup$ A week is not all that long in terms of physiological stamina. A person can go for a week without sleeping, a week without working, or a week without eating. Stress hormones such as cortisol can be effective over several days, but over months or more, serious problems can and usually will result. It takes a while for the body to lose its homeostasis completely, especially if you start from a healthy point. By extended, I mean months to years. Have you ever read about those people who cannot sleep (at all) due to a disorder? $\endgroup$ – Michael Jan 13 '16 at 10:03
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    $\begingroup$ I did not mean to say that it would be easy or pleasant to stay awake for a week without sleeping but merely that it would not kill or cause significant lasting harm to the average person to do it once or a couple of times. Naturally it would be very difficult to accomplish such a feat without stimulants. $\endgroup$ – Michael Jan 13 '16 at 17:08
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    $\begingroup$ Someone needs to seriously study "major manic disorder" because the only time I experience depression is when I drink alcohol. $\endgroup$ – Grammar Nazi Apr 18 '20 at 1:16

There are two ways to interpret/answer this question. First, is there a recognized disorder that is characterized by mania in the absence of depression? Second, are there people who experience mania in the absence of depression?

The answer to the first interpretation is no. There is currently no "major manic disorder" or "unipolar mania." Given the DSM-5 criteria, a person with mania in the absence of depression would likely receive a diagnosis of Bipolar I Disorder, which is the same diagnosis that they would get if they had mania with depression.

The answer to the second interpretation is obviously more difficult. I don't have concrete data, but it appears to be rare. See the following link for an interesting discussion.

Why no unipolar mania listing in DSM-IV?

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    $\begingroup$ Mania in the absence of depression certainly exists and, yes, it is bipolar I disorder (bipolar II disorder is characterized by episodes of depression). Many people with bipolar I do not experience depressive episodes, so the answer to your second question is yes. Bipolar is not typically characterized by both mania and depression, but it does happen and is referred to as bipolar disorder - mixed episodes. Unipolar mania doesn't exist. Persons with bipolar II disorder often experience what's called hypomania, which is a less severe form of mania. So a few corrections to your answer. $\endgroup$ – Slytherincess Apr 29 '20 at 20:02
  • $\begingroup$ Thanks Jeffrey Girard! (i suspect my previous thanks may have been removed as chatty) $\endgroup$ – Jack Bauer Mar 27 at 21:33
  • $\begingroup$ re 1 - why only 'likely' and not, like, 'necessarily' ? $\endgroup$ – Jack Bauer Mar 27 at 21:34

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