Bipolar II Disorder

Bipolar II disorder is a bipolar spectrum disorder characterized by at least one hypomanic episode and at least one major depressive episode; with this disorder, depressive episodes can be more frequent and are more intense than hypomanic episodes. People with bipolar disorder type II have never experienced a full manic episode, although they can experience periods of high energy and impulsiveness similar to but not as extreme as mania. The hypomanic episodes associated with bipolar II disorder must last all day for a period of at least four days. These periods alternate between episodes of depression and in some cases episodes of normal mood. Sometimes severe symptoms can make it extremely difficult or impossible to function in work, school, or at home.

Bipolar II is believed to be under-diagnosed because hypomanic behavior often presents as high-functioning behavior. Those with bipolar II are at highest risk of suicide among the bipolar spectrum. Hypomania in bipolar II may manifest itself in disorganized racing thoughts, irritability, anxiety, insomnia, or all of the above combined. Because these agitated symptoms are negative, it may be difficult to distinguish a bipolar II hypomanic state from depression. Hypomania is often regarded as an elation of mood; however, mood may be negative in bipolar II hypomania. Mixed states and/or rapid cycling may also be present.

Read more about Bipolar II DisorderCauses, Diagnosis, Treatments, Prognosis, History, Society and Culture, Specifiers

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