Bipolar II disorder  

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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 are more frequent and more intense than manic episodes. It 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. Moods that oscillate in the depressive spectrum are common, and very rarely does a person with bipolar II experience hypomanic euphoria. To a physician or psychologist specializing in mood disorders, highly confident ambition might appear to be symptomatic of hypomania only if the individual's goals are viewed as unrealistic.



The most common treatment for reducing bipolar II disorder symptoms is medication, usually in the form of mood stabilizers. However, treatment with mood stabilizers may produce a flat affect in the patient, which is dose dependent. Concurrent use of SSRI antidepressants may help some with bipolar II disorder, though these medications should be used with caution because it is believed that they may exacerbate manic symptoms in some people. SSRIs should be used as a last resort, since, even when used along with a mood stabilizer, SSRI antidepressants may induce rapid cycling. Lithium and lamotrigine (Lamictal) are considered "gold standard" medications and are often individually used as first line treatment for bipolar II. The combination of lithium and lamotrigine can be prescribed when either one is not enough to either curb depression or hypomania. The combination is well tolerated and has been shown to be effective and safe in preventing mania, due to lithium's anti-manic properties, while keeping depression at bay with lamotrigine's anti-depressive properties. Template:Citation needed Non-pharmaceutical therapies can also help those with the illness. These include psychodynamic therapy, psychoanalysis, social rhythm therapy, interpersonal therapy, behavioral therapy, cognitive therapy, music therapy, psychoeducation, light therapy, and family-focused therapy. Relapses can still occur, even with continued medication and therapy.Template:Citation needed

High profile cases

  • April 20 2011, it was announced that the Welsh-born actress Catherine Zeta-Jones received treatment for bipolar II disorder after dealing with the stress of her husband's throat cancer. According to her publicist, Zeta Jones made a decision to check into a "mental health facility" for a brief stay.
  • Carrie Fisher, the actress and writer, has been diagnosed with the condition.


  • Chronic
  • With catatonic features
  • With melancholic features
  • With psychotic features
  • With atypical features
  • With postpartum onset
  • Longitudinal course specifiers (with and without inter-episode recovery)
  • With seasonal pattern (applies only to the pattern of major depressive episodes)
  • With rapid cycling

See also

Unless indicated otherwise, the text in this article is either based on Wikipedia article "Bipolar II disorder" or another language Wikipedia page thereof used under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License; or on research by Jahsonic and friends. See Art and Popular Culture's copyright notice.

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