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Hyperthymic temperament, or hyperthymia, from Greek hyper ("over", meaning here excessive) + θυμός("spirited"), is a proposed personality type characterized by an excessively positive disposition similar to, but more stable than, the hypomania of bipolar disorder.
Characteristics of the hyperthymic temperament are:
- increased energy and productivity
- short sleep patterns
- vividness, activity extroversion
- self-assurance, self-confidence
- strong will
- extreme talkativeness
- tendency to repeat oneself
- risk-taking/sensation seeking
- breaking social norms
- very strong libido
- love of attention
- low threshold for boredom
- generosity and tendency to overspend
- emotion sensitivity
- cheerfulness and joviality
- unusual warmth
- irrepressibility, infectious quality
The clinical, psychiatric understanding of hyperthymia is evolving. There is not much recent scientific or professional literature on it aside from historical writings on the dimensions of depressive illness, and a lack of agreement on its definition, implications or whether it is pathological. It is not known where to place hyperthymia on the affective spectrum, how to diagnose it, or what such a diagnosis means. Confident use of the term is most common among self-help and non-fiction authors.
In psychiatry, hyperthymia is rarely discussed, and is not an accepted diagnosis. Hyperthymia manifesting intermittently or in an unusual way may mask hypomania or another psychiatric disorder. Hyperthymia can be most accurately diagnosed by a psychiatrist with the help of a patient's family and/or close friends, as these individuals are most likely to have noticed a change in the individual's temperament from euthymia.
Christopher M. Doran (2008), The Hypomania Handbook: The Challenge of Elevated Mood, Lippincott Williams & Wilkins
Karam EG, Salamoun MM, Yeretzian JS, et al. (June 2010). "The role of anxious and hyperthymic temperaments in mental disorders: a national epidemiologic study". World Psychiatry 9 (2): 103–10. PMC 2911090. PMID 20671899.
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