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Hypomania and mania

Explains hypomania and mania, including possible causes and how you can access treatment and support. Includes tips for helping yourself, and guidance for friends and family.

Treatment for hypomania and mania

There are a range of treatments recommended for hypomania and mania. This page covers:

We also have information on how to access treatment for hypomania and mania.

Talking therapies

Doctors don't usually offer talking therapy to treat an episode of hypomania or mania.

But you might be offered talking therapy if you experience hypomania or mania as part of a broader mental health problem. For example, if you have a diagnosis of bipolar disorder.

See our pages on talking therapy and counselling for more information.


If you're experiencing mania or hypomania, you will normally be offered one of these antipsychotics:

In some cases, you may be offered a mood stabiliser as well as an antipsychotic. This is more likely if you experience mania or hypomania as part of a mood disorder, such as bipolar disorder. Or if the antipsychotic isn't working well enough on its own 

The mood stabilisers you might be offered include:

You might hear some of these medications called different names. See our page on drug names for more information. 

Valproate pregnancy warning

Valproate carries the highest risk of danger to your baby out of all mood stabilisers.

The regulators of this medicine say that you should not take valproate if you are pregnant.

They also say you should not be prescribed valproate if you are able to become pregnant, unless you have a pregnancy prevention programme in place.

See our information on anticonvulsants during pregnancy and breastfeeding to find out more. 

The Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) is updating its recommendations on the use of valproate. But if you’re currently taking valproate, it’s important to continue taking it unless your doctor tells you otherwise. Find out about the planned changes.

What if I'm already taking medication?

Your doctor or healthcare team should review any other medication you're taking when you develop hypomania or mania.

If you're taking antidepressants, your doctor may recommend that you stop taking it. This is because antidepressants can sometimes trigger hypomania or mania, or make it more severe.

If you're already taking lithium and you experience hypomania or mania, your doctor or healthcare team should check your plasma lithium levels. 

Before deciding to take any drug, it's important to make sure you have all the facts you need to make an informed choice.

See our pages on things to consider before taking medication and your right to refuse medication for more information.

Our pages on coming off medication give guidance on how to come off medication safely.

Lithium helps me cope and I just have to keep reminding myself that whichever feeling I'm going through won't last forever.

Community-based support

You might experience episodes that have a significant impact on your ability to carry out daily activities. In this case you may be referred for community-based support. This is more likely if you experience mania than hypomania.

For example, you might get support from a Community Mental Health Team (CMHT). These are teams of healthcare professionals, such as nurses, who offer different types of support. 

Or you may get support from your local authority or council, such as help with day-to-day tasks.

If you experience hypomania or mania and you're struggling with day-to-day living, you may be entitled to a needs assessment. This is to help assess whether you are eligible for support.

See our pages on health and social care rights for more information.

I now have a care co-ordinator and have been stable for a few months.

Crisis services

If you feel very unwell or can't keep yourself safe, you may need to access crisis services.

These services include:

See our pages on crisis services to find out more. This includes information about different services, and tips for planning ahead for a possible crisis.

Electroconvulsive therapy (ECT)

Very rarely, you may be offered a treatment called electroconvulsive therapy (ECT).

The National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) has guidelines for how doctors should use ECT. These guidelines state that you can be offered ECT if both of these are true: 

  • You are experiencing a long or severe period of mania
  • Other treatments have not worked, or the situation is life-threatening

If you feel like you're in this situation, your doctor may discuss this option with you. They should explain ECT in a clear and accessible way before you make any decisions.

How can I access treatment for hypomania or mania?

The first step to get treatment for hypomania or mania is usually to visit your GP. They should ask about your symptoms and any possible causes, such as medication.

If you've been monitoring your moods, for example using a mood diary, it might help to show them this information. 

If your GP thinks you might be experiencing hypomania or mania, they should refer you to a specialist service. This service can then assess you more thoroughly and talk to you about your treatment options. 

This information was published in March 2023. We will revise it in 2026.

References and bibliography available on request.

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