This is a fundamental question: when does a mood cross some imaginary line from normal to abnormal? Probably the best way to approach this is to look at disruptions and overall functioning in the individual’s life. If someone gets by with four hours of sleep a night, has tons of energy, is extremely productive, feels rested, is getting on well with family, friends, and co-workers, does this make them hypomanic, or are they just energetic and happy? In this example you could argue that we’re in the realm of normal, because there’s no disruption being caused by the good mood and revved up personality; it’s just the person’s natural way of being.
In order for a mood state to cross the line into a disorder there must be, in addition to various symptoms and durations of symptoms that we will outline for each of the mood states (mania, mixed and depressed), a significant disruption in overall functioning, at work, home, or in other settings.
Additionally, as is seen in depressed and mixed states, the presence of significant to severe and disabling emotional distress is what pushes a case of the everyday blues and occasional irritability that we all get into something that is a disorder.