Mania is a mental health condition characterized by extreme highs and lows in mood, energy, and behavior. Throughout history, society’s perception of mania has evolved significantly, from being seen as a divine gift to a dangerous disorder. In this article, we will explore the changing attitudes towards mania and how it has been understood and treated over time.

Early Beliefs and Perceptions

In ancient civilizations, mania was often viewed as a divine gift or a form of possession by spirits or gods. People experiencing manic episodes were believed to be touched by the divine and were often revered for their creativity and insights. The ancient Greeks, for example, believed that mania was a source of artistic inspiration and spiritual enlightenment.

The Middle Ages and Renaissance

During the Middle Ages and Renaissance, mania began to be associated with madness and demonic possession. People exhibiting manic symptoms were often shunned and feared, leading to their isolation and mistreatment. The belief in witchcraft and demonic influence further stigmatized those suffering from manic episodes.

The Age of Enlightenment

With the rise of rationalism and scientific thinking in the 17th and 18th centuries, attitudes towards mania began to shift. Mania was no longer seen as a divine gift or demonic possession but as a medical condition that could be understood and treated. Early psychiatrists such as Philippe Pinel and William Tuke advocated for humane treatment of people with mental illness, including those experiencing mania.

The Modern Era

In the 20th century, advances in psychology and psychiatry led to a better understanding of mania as a symptom of bipolar disorder. Mania was no longer viewed as a separate condition but as part of a spectrum of mood disorders. Treatments such as psychotherapy and medication became more widely available, allowing people with mania to manage their symptoms and lead fulfilling lives.

Current Perspectives

Today, society’s perception of mania continues to evolve. While there is greater awareness and acceptance of mental health issues, stigma and misconceptions still persist. People with mania may face discrimination and judgment due to their condition, leading to barriers in seeking help and support.


Mania has been viewed and understood in different ways throughout history, from a divine gift to a dangerous disorder. As society’s perception of mental health continues to evolve, it is important to challenge stigma and educate others about the realities of living with mania. By promoting understanding and empathy, we can create a more inclusive and supportive environment for those affected by mania and other mental health conditions.


Q: Is mania the same as bipolar disorder?

A: Mania is a symptom of bipolar disorder, which also includes depressive episodes. Bipolar disorder is a mood disorder characterized by extreme highs (mania) and lows (depression).

Q: What are the treatment options for mania?

A: Treatment for mania may include medication, psychotherapy, and lifestyle changes. It is important to work with a healthcare provider to develop a personalized treatment plan.

Q: How can I support someone with mania?

A: Offer empathy, understanding, and support to someone experiencing mania. Encourage them to seek professional help and provide a listening ear when needed.