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.[1][2] 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;[3] otherwise one manic episode meets the criteria for bipolar I disorder).[2]

What Is Hypomania?

According toen.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.[1] The hypomanic episodes associated with bipolar II disorder must last for at least four days.[2][4] Commonly, depressive episodes are more frequent and more intense than hypomanic episodes.[2][5] Additionally, when compared to bipolar I disorder, type II presents more frequent depressive episodes and shorter intervals of well-being.[1][2] The course of bipolar II disorder is more chronic and consists of more frequent cycling than the course of bipolar I disorder.[1][6] Finally, bipolar II is associated with a greater risk of suicidal thoughts and behaviors than bipolar I or unipolar depression.[1][6] 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.[1][7]

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.[1][2][6] Of all individuals initially diagnosed with major depressive disorder, between 40% and 50% will later be diagnosed with either BP-I or BP-II.[1] 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.[2] Despite the difficulties, it is important that BP-II individuals be correctly assessed so that they can receive the proper treatment.[2] Antidepressant use, in the absence of mood stabilizers, is correlated with worsening BP-II symptoms.[1]

Conclusion

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