What Is Bipolar II Disorder?

Introduction

In my previous article, I discussed what Bipolar I Disorder was.  However, have you ever heard of Bipolar II Disorder?  Bipolar II Disorder is a milder form of Bipolar I Disorder.  This article will describe what Bipolar II Disorder is.

What Is Bipolar II Disorder?

According to en.wikipedia.org, the following can be stated about Bipolar II Disorder:

Bipolar II disorder (BP-II; pronounced “type two bipolar” or “bipolar type two”” disorder) is a bipolar spectrum disorder (see also Bipolar disorder) characterized by at least one episode of hypomania and at least one episode of major depression. Diagnosis for bipolar II disorder requires that the individual must never have experienced a full manic episode (unless it was caused by an antidepressant medication; otherwise one manic episode meets the criteria for bipolar I disorder).

What Is Hypomania?

According to en.wikipedia.org, the following can be noted about hypomania:

Hypomania is a sustained state of elevated or irritable mood that is less severe than mania and does not significantly impact quality of life. Unlike mania, hypomania is not associated with psychosis. The hypomanic episodes associated with bipolar II disorder must last for at least four days. Commonly, depressive episodes are more frequent and more intense than hypomanic episodes. Additionally, when compared to bipolar I disorder, type II presents more frequent depressive episodes and shorter intervals of well-being. The course of bipolar II disorder is more chronic and consists of more frequent cycling than the course of bipolar I disorder. Finally, bipolar II is associated with a greater risk of suicidal thoughts and behaviors than bipolar I or unipolar depression. Although bipolar II is commonly perceived to be a milder form of Type I, this is not the case. Types I and II present equally severe burdens.

Is Bipolar II Difficult To Diagnose?

According to en.wikipedia.org, the following can be noted:

Bipolar II is difficult to diagnose. Patients usually seek help when they are in a depressed state. Because the symptoms of hypomania are often mistaken for high functioning behavior or simply attributed to personality, patients are typically not aware of their hypomanic symptoms. As a result, they are unable to provide their doctor with all the information needed for an accurate assessment; these individuals are often misdiagnosed with unipolar depression. Of all individuals initially diagnosed with major depressive disorder, between 40% and 50% will later be diagnosed with either BP-I or BP-II. Substance abuse disorders (which have high co-morbidity with BP-II) and periods of mixed depression may also make it more difficult to accurately identify BP-II. Despite the difficulties, it is important that BP-II individuals be correctly assessed so that they can receive the proper treatment. Antidepressant use, in the absence of mood stabilizers, is correlated with worsening BP-II symptoms.

Conclusion

To end this article, this article has described the underlying basics associated with Bipolar II Disorder.

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