Quick Facts About Bipolar II
• A type of bipolar disorder characterized by depressive and hypomanic episodes.
• Affects more than 200,000 people in the US.
• Treatment can help, but it cannot be cured.
• Chronic: Can last for years or a lifetime
It involves at least one depressive episode lasting at least two weeks and at least one hypomanic episode lasting at least four days.
Depressive symptoms include sadness or hopelessness. Hypomanic symptoms include a persistently elevated or irritable mood.
Treatment includes counseling and medications, such as mood stabilizers.
People may experience:
Mood: mood swings, anxiety, deep sadness, euphoria, general discontent, guilt, hopelessness, or loss of interest or pleasure in activities
Behavioral: compulsive behavior, impulsivity, irritability, restlessness, or self-harm.
Cognitive: lack of concentration, racing thoughts, slowness in activity, or thoughts of suicide.
Sleep: excess sleepiness or insomnia
Psychological: depression or grandiosity
Bipolar I vs II
What differentiates bipolar II from other types of this disorder is the mania. This is why it is referred to as hypomania. It is a less intense form of the mania associated with bipolar I.
When it comes to the depressive episodes, these can be more intense and even longer-lasting. While it is sometimes called the “milder form of bipolar”, the lows are actually more intense than those seen in bipolar I.