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date: 16 February 2020

Abstract and Keywords

Mania is a mental state centrally characterized by psychomotor activation, creativity, and lack of insight. It is biologically based, and primarily characterized by psychomotor activation, with mood changes being secondary and epiphenomenal. Mania may be diagnostically central to all mood illnesses, including depressive conditions. Mania enhances creativity, and in its milder forms, such as cyclothymic or hyperthymic temperaments, has many positive aspects, reflected in social benefits and historical achievements. Lack of insight impairs the self-understanding of the person with manic symptoms, and is an important clinical problem. Psychoanalytic and postmodernist approaches fail to appreciate these important features of mania.

Keywords: mania, depression, phenomenology, diagnosis, biology, insight, psychomotor activation, mixed, cyclothymia, hyperthymia, temperament

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