Bipolar II Disorder might be more common than you realize.
Bipolar II is diagnosed when a person experiences episodes of hypomania and depression. Since the “highs” are not a full manic episode it is also referred to as “soft bipolar”, though this term is a little misleading.
The term was coined because the symptoms in Bipolar II are usually perceived as being less severe, especially regarding the absence of “highs” as severe as those that occur during manic episodes.
A good example of this common stereotype about Bipolar II being ‘not as bad as” Bipolar I is that psychosis is not a symptom of Bipolar II.
Bipolar II is still a troubling mood disorder and sufferers may be subject to classic Bipolar symptoms such as serious and recurring depression, as well as subtler ones. Confusing periods of irritability, impulsiveness and agitation are a few examples.1
On the other hand, the milder “highs” can be enjoyable and energizing and are less likely to lead to the terrible repercussions of full-blown mania.
Bipolar II Disorder is more common than you may realize.
What is Bipolar Disorder 2 Disorder?
What differentiates Bipolar II from other classifications of this disorder is the mania. This is why it is referred to as “hypomania”. It is a less intense form of the mania that people with Bipolar I suffer with.
When it comes to the depressive episodes, these can be more intense and even longer lasting. While it is might be considered the “milder form of Bipolar”, if you’ve been through one these “lows” then you know that there is nothing “less intense” about them.
This is also part of the difference between Cyclothymia Disorder and Bipolar II. Cyclothymia Disorder is a rare disorder, though it is similar to Bipolar Disorder. While the highs and lows might be milder, just like Bipolar II, the episodes are more frequent. Cyclothymia Disorder is not to be confused with any of the Bipolar Disorders, as in this disorder, the person never experiences a full hypomanic or depressive episode, but they do experience some hypomanic symptoms and/or some depressive symptoms.
Many people read about Bipolar II in the mass media and self-diagnose when they should see a qualified mental health professional and undergo a formal evaluation. Only then will they understand if they truly experience bipolar symptoms and what the appropriate treatments may be.
What is the difference between Bipolar I and Bipolar II? Let’s look at some definitions:
Bipolar I: The individual has experienced episode(s) of mania, with or without a history of depressive disorders.
Bipolar II: The individual has experienced episode(s) of both hypomania and depression (and has never experienced an episode of mania or had psychotic episodes/symptoms).
Due to the absence of full manic episodes and no experience with psychotic symptoms, Bipolar II disorder is sometimes known as “soft bipolar”. It is assumed that if you don’t have mania or psychosis, then you’re not so bad off. However, depression is still present in Bipolar II, instead of mania and the depression can be severe and debilitating. The person suffers from hypomania – a milder form of mania.
So, one way of understanding the differences between hard and soft Bipolar, or Bipolar I and Bipolar II, is to understand the differences between MANIA and HYPOMANIA.
“Mania” is a high mood that is of distinct severity and where the individual is often psychotic in the sense of having delusions (e.g., unusual beliefs) and/or hallucinations (i.e., perceptual disturbance, such as hearing, seeing, smelling, or feeling things that are not there).
“Hypomania” comes from Greek word and means “less than mania.” It describes a high that is less severe than a manic episode and without any psychotic features.
Bipolar I Disorder is a more severe disorder, with longer and more debilitating “highs,” which may involve psychosis. People experiencing a manic episode are far more likely to require hospitalization.
Bipolar 2 Symptoms
The symptoms for Bipolar II have some similarities with Bipolar I, but for lesser severity of mania. only without the intense mania. People with Bipolar II Disorder can typically fulfill the duties of their everyday life (e.g., the person can usually go to work, interact with others, etc. With a manic episode in people with Bipolar I, things like socializing, working, or interacting with others are difficult or impossible. During hypomania you might feel,
- Overly self-confident
- ‘Flight of ideas’ where you feel your thoughts are racing
- More talkative or feel pressured to keep talking
- Boost in energy causing you to become more involved in work, organizing your home or office, or get more engaged in other projects/tasks
- Feel rested after only a few hours of sleep
- Spend more money or take risks
The depression in Bipolar I and Bipolar II is the same as any depressive episode. Symptoms like low energy, feeling sad all the time and losing pleasure in things that you used to love are all symptoms of depression that can occur in both types of Bipolar Disorder. Sometimes these feelings can last for weeks or even months.
Since mania isn’t present, diagnosing Bipolar II can be difficult. Often it is mistaken for unipolar depression, which is regular depression with no manic episodes. This means that you are only being treated for depression and not the hypomania.
See here for a complete list of Bipolar symptoms.
Bipolar 2 and Women
Another interesting difference is that while women and men develop Bipolar I Disorder at equal rates, rates for Bipolar II Disorder are higher for women. Also, men and women experience Bipolar II in different ways.
When men are affected, they tend to have roughly equal numbers of hypomanic and depressive episodes.
However, for women, depression tends to dominate. Unfortunately, this often leads to misdiagnoses that can have lasting effects on their lives. As mentioned earlier, unipolar depression is the most common diagnosis, NOT Bipolar Disorder. This means that it could take several visits to various doctors before you are properly diagnosed.
Rapid cycling occurs when your moods swing from mania to depression very frequently. This is something that you should discuss with your psychiatrist. It is believed that rapid cycling can occur with both types of the disorder.
Who’s at Risk for Bipolar II?
So, scientists are looking at what could cause Bipolar Disorder and they’ve agreed that there isn’t one single underlying factor. Instead there are several that when combined could increase your chances of getting the disorder.
If these risk factors apply to you it doesn’t necessarily mean that you will end up being diagnosed as bipolar, and if you have been diagnosed this might help explain how you ended up with this condition.
Some of the risk factors that have been identified are summarized below:
- Genetics can play a role, but just because there is someone in your family with the disorder it doesn’t mean that you are destined to be Bipolar. There are twin studies, where one twin was diagnosed with Bipolar Disorder and the other was not.
- Brain function and structure are studied, on continuous basis, and further research on the neurological factors associated with the disorder will hopefully shed some light on risk factors, causes, and treatment. Recent research has found that people with Bipolar Disorder have less brain volume (also known as gray matter) in the hippocampus3, which is the part of the brain that regulates mood and memory, and other prefrontal brain regions, which are responsible for regulating thinking/thought process, decision-making, and social behaviors.4 People with Bipolar I Disorder specifically have even less volume in these areas of the brain compared to people with other mood disorders. Decreased volume in the hippocampus is also related to people who have had the disorder for longer periods of time and among people who have had more manic episodes.3
- The brain chemicals, known as neurotransmitters, that are associated with Bipolar Disorder include noradrenaline (norepinephrine), serotonin, and dopamine.
- Noradrenaline might sound familiar since adrenaline is a hormone that is responsible for providing energy. A dysfunction in the body associated with noradrenaline could be associated with the excessive energy and hyperactivity displayed by people with Bipolar Disorder during a manic episode.
- Serotonin is a brain chemical that regulates sleep, wakefulness, appetite, sexual activity, impulsivity, learning, and memory. A dysregulation in serotonin levels in the brain could be associated with a Bipolar persons decreased need for sleep, hypersexuality, impulsivity, and concentration deficits.
- Dopamine is the brain chemical that regulates pleasure and emotional rewards. It is also most often associated with symptoms of psychosis when dopamine is excessively produced in the brain. This could explain the delusions, paranoia, hallucinations, separation from reality, and illogical thinking experienced by people with Bipolar Disorder.
- Research studies are geared towards seeing which medications work best. Identifying which part of the brain is affected is a major step forward, but it will take years before any concrete results are published.
- Family history does play a role, though it is not yet fully understood. Research studies on twins emphasizes this. The disorder does tend to run in families, but just because a close relative is Bipolar doesn’t mean that you will be too.
Basically, if you want to know your risk factors, look at your family’s mental health history. There are no real guidelines, so even if you don’t fall into these risk categories always speak to a counselor or mental health advisor if you feel like something is wrong.
Treatment for Bipolar II
If you were lucky, treatment was easy. You got the correct diagnosis and the right meds. For most of us, it doesn’t work this way. It is a combination of trial and error before anything makes us feel “right”.
Unfortunately, Bipolar II Disorder can be much harder to diagnose. This is a problem as the disorder may worsen overtime, and this could lead to the development of negative coping behaviors and consequences that could include suicidal thoughts.
Bipolar 2 may be up to 3-4 times more common than Bipolar 1, and for reasons that are still being studied, the disorder seems to be becoming more prevalent. This could indicate that mental health professionals are now more adept now at diagnosing the disorder, but more research is needed.2
Before you take any medication ensure that you are aware of all the risks and potential benefits. Sometimes the side effects can outweigh the “supposed” advantages of a medication, so always stay in touch with your doctor or pharmacist. The most commonly prescribed medications for Bipolar Disorder (both I and II) are mood stabilizers and anti-depressants. Atypical antipsychotics should not be included, unless you are experiencing psychotic symptoms (in the case of people with Bipolar I Disorder).
Below is a list of all possible medications used to treat Bipolar Disorder. Some may not apply to you and your symptoms specifically. Remember to always talk to your health care advisor to discuss medication options that are right for you.
- Mood stabilizers can control hypomania. These include Lithium, Depakenen, Depakote, Lamictal, Equestro and Tegretol, among others. These are only designed to stabilize mood, not to treat other aspects of the disorder.
- Antidepressants can help to treat depressive episodes that occur in Bipolar I and Bipolar II, but just be careful that it does not have an anti-psychotic agent. Symbyax works for many people with Bipolar I.
Often times it’s difficult to find the combination of meds that’s right for you. In Bipolar II, the depression, and hypomania must be treated and sometimes it’s not a straightforward combination of medications that will give you the best results.
Medication is not the only way to cope with Bipolar II. Therapy is also highly recommended, and for me it was a must. Sometimes talking about emotional concerns and stressors is the best remedy.
Support groups, one-on-one therapy sessions and online counselors are excellent resources. They can help you get through the rough patches and point out noticeable signs that an episode might be coming on.
If you are new to the disorder or think you have Bipolar II and can’t seem to get a definitive diagnosis, try keeping a journal. Write down any moods changes (e.g., instances when you’re feeling more upbeat versus moments when you become sad or feel down), emotions/feelings; and possible triggers. You can review your journal with a mental health professional and this could help coming up with a correct diagnosis.
Treatment can also involve taking part in a study, but DON’T sign up for just any research study. NIMH/NIH has additional information on their website that will ensure the study is safe. This is important since it could involve clinical trials.
Are There Benefits to having Bipolar Disorder II?
At least one expert has gone so far as to suggest hypomania can be an asset.
Psychologist John Gartner believes part of the reason America is so rich and powerful is the presence of so many hypomanic individuals. Gartner said:
“Hypomania, a genetically based form of mild mania, endows many of us with energy, creativity, enthusiasm, and a propensity for taking risks. America has an extraordinarily high number of hypomanics—grandiose types who leap on every wacky idea that occurs to them, utterly convinced it will change the world. Market bubbles and ill-considered messianic crusades can be the downside. But there is an enormous upside as well, in spectacular entrepreneurial zeal, drive for innovation and material success. Americans may have a lot of crazy ideas, but some of them prove to be brilliant inventions.” – John Gartner, Ph.D., The Hypomanic Edge
He is referring to the milder manifestations of hypomania that can make symptoms both a curse and a blessing.
Some people might agree with this, but remember that along with hypomania there is also the depression that kicks in at some point. You might get more tasks accomplished when you are running day and night, never feeling tired, but what about when you “come down” from this high energy, do-it-all state? Chances are, not a lot will be started or finished at this point. Even if you only have mild depression that lasts for a brief time, there is no guarantee that the depression won’t get worse over time.
Don’t ignore the depressive side simply because you like the hypomania. It could have disastrous consequences.
Key Points to Remember
- Bipolar Type 2 has its own, distinct Bipolar symptoms.
- You need an evaluation to assess for Bipolar Disorder by a competent professional experienced in diagnosing and treating people with the disorder. Do not self-diagnose.
- Treatments are slightly different for Bipolar II versus Bipolar I.
- Hypomania should not be considered a blessing
If you think that you have Bipolar II, make an appointment to discuss your concerns with a licensed mental health professional. Don’t just concentrate on describing your depressive symptoms. Make sure you are also discussing the hypomania. Leaving out those episodes is one reason misdiagnosis could occur. If they still won’t listen, don’t give up. For some people it takes years to be accurately diagnosed.
the doctor said I suffer from Boredom, how cute! I take medicine for Bipolar depression, which helps.
What medicine are you taking for this please?
My husband and I are about to adopt a baby. We just learn the biological father has bipolar type 2 and the biological mom has bipolar also and was depressed in her teen years for about 3 months. My husband and I are nervous about the baby inheriting this condition. Any comments and suggestions are really appreciated. Thank you.
I’m not sure I can offer great advice, but I know this. My grandmother commited suicide before I was born. I am 21 and was recently diagnosed with Major Depression and Bipolar 2. It’s really difficult. It’s even harder when you don’t have a parent who will at least attempt to understand. I understand your fear. I’m afraid to have children of their own because I don’t want to curse them with my illness. But if that baby does grow up to be bipolar or to suffer from any mental illness, he/she will be way better of with a parent who cares enough to be invested and understand (which you all are clearly doing)
I hope you chose to adopt this child. I was diagnosed with chronic depression as a young mother and in later years the diagnosis was changed to bipolar II. There are much worse mental illnesses and you have the advantage in so many ways.
1) As parents who have no history of mental illness you can teach your child healthy ways of dealing with life.
2) You have been made aware in advance that mental illness could become a problem in your child’s life. Most people don’t even consider the possibility until they’ve suffered for years. The more you research this illness, the better equipped you will be to recognize it and help your child deal with it. What a blessing that could be to that child and to you as parents.
3) You would be amazed at the number of people out there who live productive and fulfilling lives while dealing with mental illness.
Well, there is some consolation in knowing that my family has a lot of Bi-Polar running through it, and I didn’t get it. I commend you both for adopting. We all have things in our DNA and/or character which lends to life’s challenges. If it’s one thing, it’s another. There’s a great chance your child will be fine in the bi-polar category. My dad had it and I have not been diagnosed with it, though my sister and daughter has. My sister had a child and he was not bi-polar.
Just love the child unconditionally. Structure, scheduling, consistency are key in providing a more stable environment. The child might not even have any mental health issues. The items I mentioned above are extremely important when parenting any child though. God bless you for giving a child home and family.
I have bipolar 2 and neither my mother or father have either disorder. I don’t feel as if it is genetic. As I look back on my family I don’t see anyone else with similar symptoms. I wouldn’t worry about family inheritance but concentrate on recognizing symptoms if they show themselves later on. I watch my 4 boys like a hawk worrying that I passed this on.
I have bipolar 2. I was like the babies mother I was diagnosed at 13 with depression and anxiety. My parents got me into counseling as soon as I was diagnosed as a teen. Then we did some family sessions so they could understand what I was going through. Fast forward I was in my thirties and a single mother when I was FINALLY diagnosed with bipolar 2. And I say finally cuz it was the best thing to happen to me cuz one I found the right psychiatrist who actually stopped and listened to me instead of just throwing tons of medication at me, I’m finally able to be a functioning member of society and a good parent to my child again. My first two psychiatrists after being diagnosed just pumped me full of meds (i’m talking like twelve different kinds of meds I had to take multiple times a day) which turned me into a zombie to the point that I have a 2-3 year gap in my life that I remember nothing. I got sick of it and took myself of everything. Then a couple years later found my current psychiatrist and am currently only on TWO medications for it and knock on wood things are going great.
I told you all this so you know what to look for in a psychiatrist if the situation ever comes. Also, do everything you can to educate yourself on the illness so you can better help and support your child. It took a couple years and then finding out from my great aunt that she too has bipolar 2 and her telling them all her symptoms, that they finally believed I actually do in fact have it. There was nothing worse then not having the emotional support from my family when I needed them most.
Well, here are the facts:
Whether you are nervous about it or not, the outcome is predetermined and unrelated to your feelings. This little human already exists and there are some things that sad feelings can’t make go away. If your nervousness causes you to not adopt this child, please realize that they will still be bipolar if they ever were going to be… but now they will be more likely to feel alone.
The person who will suffer (in any scenario) is the adopted baby/child/adult in question. They are the one given NO choices. They aren’t given time and space to feel “nervous” about potential difficulties. They will undoubtably wonder why they weren’t easier to keep. They will wonder why everything always feels like a race to pass a test.
Can I just stay? They wonder.
IT IS ALSO BEING UNDIAGNOISED IN THE UK AS MAJOR DEPRESSIVE DISORDER AND TREATED WITH ANTIDEPRESSANTS ONLY WHICH MAKE THE BIPOLOR2 ILLNESS WORSE. IT IS HARD TO GET A CORRECT DIAGNOSIS EVEN AFTER MANY CONSULTANTS HAVE SEEN ME WHICH IS SO FRUSTRATING WHEN I KNOW MY OWN BOFY AND MIND BETTER THAN ANY STRANGER. MOOD STABILIZERS EG LACTIMAL IF IT WORKS NEED TO BE IVEN THE CHANCE TO WORK RATHER THAN JUST LEAVE SOMEONE TO SUFFER WITH BED RIDDEN DEPRESSION FOR THE LAST 7 MONTHS WITH NO CHANGE ENOUGH IS ENOUGH AND I DONT WANT TO HAVE TO KILL MYSELF I HAVE A SON WHO I LOVE AND MY ANIMALS, BUT NO HELP HERE MAKES YOU WONDER HOW LONG YOU CAN GO ON
I feel exactly the same as you NO real help in UK for all their official docs I feel very alone and I feel I am given continuing anti depressants and a A5 sheet of paper listing info and self help I have been practically housebound for the last 8 months and have just given up on life. I have a longer history of depression and when I think back I feel I have had bi polar episodes but no professional has recognised that EXCEPT my last full time job eight years ago I was dismissed and reported to the NMC that I did not have any concept about my illness
Thanks for that !!!!!! The people that I worked for didn’t even help they just destroyed my life even more and my self esteem
Over diagnosed? I think people get confused that Bipolar 2 is more common than you’d think – but it’s a combination of anxiety and depression which thousands are misdiagnosed with. It’s diagnosed because people have it, not for a doctor to throw medication at you.
Movies and books etc to make us all look extreme, which is why people think it’s over diagnosed because we don’t seem the way media views it.
I just saw a psychiatrist and was diagnosed as bipolar, although he said it was very mild. I was so confused since I have never had any manic episodes but have depression and constant irritability over the smallest things, sometimes completely losing it over nothing. He said he has seen thousands of patients in his almost 30 years as an outpatient psychiatrist and he can only think of 1 patient who met the “classic” symptoms. He said most people just have more severe mood issues than the norm and that in itself can be a clue as to something more going on. I’ve been on a mood stabilizer now for a month and feel like I’m getting my life back.
When the patient is not taking perfect dite then he suffered with hipomania and depression because the brain crushes like a leaking gas of balloon when the depression mood he would like to give even his and of the life’s more than his organic saving
My brother has been living with Bipolar I for almost 12 yrs now. He was just admitted for a psychotic manic episode (he stopped taking his meds). Since I was 17 yrs old I’ve always questioned whether or not I was bipolar but I’ve never had “manic” episodes. To me mania is how I think everyone else is with their energy. When I want to be outside, cleaning the house, able to create new things at work, etc. It’s like I’m high on adderall but for an extended period of time. When I’m manic everyone doesn’t see that I’m manic. They see that I’m able to get things done. Except for ex husband who over time understood more about the disease and my ups and downs. Depression is a fight daily. Sometimes I don’t even know that I’m depressed. I’ve been in a depressive stage for almost 7 months now due to some traumatic events that occurred. Therapy helps. I see a play therapist and I can’t imagine life without her. I’m going to go see a bodytalk therapist soon to see if she can help get me back in balance. My son is Bipolar I and has been since he was 2.5 yrs old. His diagnosis came at age 4. With vitamin and play therapy he has been able to learn how to manage his diagnosis. I’ve never been officially diagnosed as Bipolar just Anxiety and Depression but as I’m writing this I can’t help to wonder if I’m not Bipolar II. If that is the case then my medications are all wrong for me. I always get this way and in this way of thinking when the rubber meets the road. The mind is a power tricky tool. I’m ready to be done with this depression. It is exhausting.
My brother is bipolar I too, and I too suffer from a lot of anxiety and maybe depression I’m not too sure. Would love to chat with you!
I just came across this site. Wonder if you’ve had any changes since you posted this? I hope you are doing well.
I am tired of suffering Type !! Bipolar Disorder. I just want to give up. My son keeps me going. He’s the only thing I live for.
keep going…you are a great mom…some of us wont even endure for the kids… just look at him and then pray for another day….
Hope things are better . Don’t ever give up.
I can only imagine what it must be like, but stay strong 🙂
Just wanted to send you a hug. Keep on living for your son, as I am sure he loves you just as you are.
Oh my gosh. This sounds like me. I stay in bed so much because of the anxiety and depression. I can have short bursts of energy with people and events bit usually that wears me out and have to rest the next day. I keep going for my son and my 3 cats. It seems to be worsening. I take meds but they are not helping. And the text book bipolar does not seem to apply. I have rapid cycles some times. Up and down like a roller coaster. Exhausting.
I am with you. Meds either haven’t worked or like Ability, left me diabetic. So I refuse meds except Zoloft. I take that for severe anxiety and panic attacks. At nearly 43, the only things that keep me going is my daughter and husband. I just want to wake up one day and not think things would be better if I’m gone.
This illness is so hard and saddening to have. I was just diagnosed with Bipolar Type 2 and have had manic depressant disorder for years now. It is so hard to get diagnosed. I’ve been seeing a therapist and Phychiatrist for 3 yrs now and they just diagnosed me with Type 2. There is not enough awareness or help out here for mental illness because people don’t take it serious enough. I’ve been on multiple meds but it seems as if it will never go away completely. I often feel like giving up as well but I know that I have to keep moving forward. I hope everyone in need gets help and addresses the issue because it will not just go away. Good Luck everyone suffering from this nasty disease.
i am a believer in the most high….dont want to discredit His power…but the pain is real… I need help but no money. I was diagnosed with type 2 disorder 3 years ago and I could not maintain treatment. The only joy i get is helping others..but any moment I have a free thought…is not a good moment. I literally pray all day or say “Jesus help me”. I am newly married and my husband does not understand me…he believes that I just can not be pleased…I just want to be happy. I am not sure why I am like this but I want the racing thoughts to stop! I want to be ok with life! I want to be able to cope with the ups and downs…but sometimes I can’t. I feel like a hypocrite of the gospel bc God is good to me…i just have these thoughts and I have had them since i was a kid as early as 4 years old.
I think, that in no other field of medicine would the poor diagnoses or the trial and error medication be tolerated. Neither would the drop out rate on medications or the possible physical side effects of medication. I was on Venlafaxine for ten years without any proper review. After nine years, I thought I had Dementia, I constantly entertained suicidal thoughts and I suffered horrible brain zaps. After a suicide attempt I was taken into a hospital and three Psychiatrists agreed that I had Bi-Polar 2. The diagnoses made sense of my behaviour. Hypermanic episodes where I did things like getting hooked on Vintage cameras and ending up with 400 of them. On the plus side, I have become a good researcher in Cromwellian History and am holding my own with Professors and academics.
Nobody should be put at risk of serious harm by the medication they are given. If you are dying of Cancer, then risks may be justified, but if you have a Mental Illness which has gone undiagnosed for over forty years, It is a no no.
I was diagnosed with bipolar 1 at age 48 and am still having trouble accepting this diagnosis. I keep asking my doctor if it’s possible that I’m misdiagnosed because I was a heavy marijuana user right up to my diagnosis. I personally think I have anxiety like my mother, and that maybe the marijuana just made my condition worse. The doc has me on 1000mg sodium divalproate (generic depakote), and after one year of being on this medicine I am now getting returning symptoms. I want to tell my doctor that I’d like to stop taking this medicine, but I’m not really sure what to do…. Whatever I do have, it sure sucks. I have been depressed for several days now and not really sure why….
Not sure if I’m type 1 or 2. I’ve had both diagnosis’ over the years. It’s difficult dealing with it especially where social interactions are concerned.
Mania is bad…I can’t manage the simolest tasks, I actually function better when I’m “in between” or low. Anyone else relate?
Took me 40 years to be properly diagnosed with Bipolar 2. Anti-depressants weren’t working so we just kept trying new ones. The average person has a 2% chance of being bipolar.
The son or daughter of a bipolar parent has a 15-20% chance. Two bipolar parents ups the ante. The average age of onset is 25.
Good news: now that I’m getting properly medicated, I feel like a human being again. This is news you can use.
I don’t know if this fits the criteria for BD2, but I’ve suffered various degrees of depression throughout my adolescence and adult years. Although my energy level is generally low, (if not for two toddlers ages 1 & 3 I’d be on the sofa all day) in the evening, it picks up drastically. I don’t have much trouble falling asleep, however will wake up in the middle of the night with racing thoughts and am unable to go back to sleep.
Although I don’t necessarily feel sleep deprived the next day, I’ll be irritable and lethargic.
I used to be artistically inclined, yet my creative flow is at a standstill. I don’t have passion for anything anymore.i used to love writing children’s stories and poetry. I was so passionate about cooking, but now I use the microwave more often than not.
Maybe it’s just motherhood kicking my butt. I dunno.
3 things I recently came upon and love because each gave perspective and enhanced my thoughts, coping and understanding of both BP1 and BP2:
First, Kay Redfiled Jamison’s (who suffers from BP herself) book Touched with Fire (READ IT!). Second, the movie by the same name, Touched with Fire, dealing with those who suffer from manic-depressive disorder. Third, a man named Herman H Le Roux that has BP and posts videos on YouTube about being BP. I hope these help, as you are not alone. <3
My father had it (suicide) Sister has it, daughter has it. Living with it is the hardest struggle in life I’ve had, next to Cancer. I don’t wish it on anyone.
I’ve always thought I was a normal but ever since grade 2, my older sister would literally use me as a punching bag or verbally abuse me whenever she did something wrong and our parents scolded her.. I became a loner because no one would listen to me whenever I get bullied at school or at home.. I developed anxiety and depression on grade 3 which is why I changed schools where I met my best friend.. he helped me through everything and I became normal again.. but the neglection from my parents and the abuse from my sister became worst ever since I turned 13 yet I’m still happy at school as long as my best friend was there.. he drfted apart during grade 10 and left me alone.. I’ve had major depression yet I smile and laughed like I was normal in some occassion.. I started having odd mood swings during first year of high school and it got worst by the end of my senoir high school.. I was able to handle my mood swings by listening to music.. but now that I’m 21, my younger sister noticed that there are times that I’m so happy, funny and jolly person who loves to crack up jokes with great leadership skills and creativity for a certain period of time and then suddenly become overly depressed and she even caught me cutting, self-harming and isolating myself that lasts for maximum of 6 months then back to the happy phase again for the last 3 years..
she said that I might have developed bipolar 2 disorder but she’s not so sure that’s why I want to ask.. my mom has 2 autistic sisters while she has major obsessive-cumpulsive disorder.. she never knew until my younger sister pointed it out and my older sister might have anger issues.. do you think its true?
ps. my younger sister is taking up psychology
“Bipolar 2 does NOT involve any psychotic experiences.”
Not true in the slightest. Yes, hypomania is free of psychosis, but Bipolar II is not.
I have Bipolar II and have experienced all types of psychosis including hearing voices, delusions, brief visual hallucinations and paranoia. This all happens during my very severe depressive episodes.
In fact, I have heard that the depression in Bipolar II can be more debilitating than in Bipolar I and the suicide rate is higher.
I’m not trying to play the “I have it worse than you do” game, but characterizing Bipolar II as less severe and dangerous than it actually is, does not help those suffering with the disease in the slightest.
I’m bipolar type 2 but my hypomania has led to some bizarre moments. I tried to join the army (I don’t like being told what to do), ran for Federal Parliament (totally ridiculous as I have tenure at a University), tried to become an archeologist (ridiculous because I don’t even like being outside). I go through periods of overspending and doing crazy things like painting the house in the middle of the night. I hate it when hypomania is described as ‘an elevated mood’. My manic moments can be quite distressing when I come down from the high but I’ve never become psychotic. Of course, my depressive episodes are crippling.
I wish it would all go away. I want to be a normal everyday woman. Not this woman who is sad. Not this woman who crys. Not this woman who gets angry and does mean stuff. Why didn’t God make me normal?
My doctor has told me he thinks I have bi polar 2. My family does not believe it. The only person that does believe it is my wife, and the subsequent mood changes and angry outbursts have caused my wife to want to leave me. I don’t know what to do anymore. I cannot get this under control. I hate knowing that my actions are causing the one I love most pain. I regularlarly take medicine and see a therapist but no matter what it always comes back. If anyone knows of any way to fix this or at l ast control it please tell me. I am running out of options.
You say that hypomania can be quite enjoyable. This may be true for some. However, I hate it for the devastation it leaves in its wake. This, in my case is financial – I’m a shopper. But I also know of people who became sexually hypo, sometimes with awful consequences.
In my (personal) experience hypomania is not always well understood.
I was diagnosed with Bipolar 2 and I see and hear things with my major lows. Scary things.
I have Bi Polar 2 disorder.
At times I’m asked to explain WHEN I’m affected by it.
My Bi Polar affects me the same way being female does.
Bi Polar 2 is part of who I am, just as my gender is.
I can’t separate Bi Polar from my thought process any more than I can know what it’s like to think as a man.
I am Bi Polar 2 and I am female. Every experience I have, every decission I make is filtered through these states of inseparable being. I am never not Bi Polar 2 and I am never not female.
Mental illness is being raised for discussion (and research) more often but ignorance still proliferates with the general public and sadly even health professionals.
Hi Pre-Adoptive Parents, I am a Licensed Professional Clinical Counselor with Supervisory Endorsement to train other counselors in their formative years to prepare them for state licensure. I have 25 years in the mental health field with 20 years in my own private practice. I would strongly recommend that you do not adopt this infant with bipolar disorder on both sides of the infant’s lineage. This is a lifelong, very serious illness. There is reasonable risk with a BPDO diagnosis, that another mental health disorder is also more possible … like ADHD The difficulty of raising normal children in the 21st century, with a dubious economy, risks of unermployment, or underemployment, due to corporate failures, failure to survive or being bought-out and having reduction in workforce is mildly to moderately high. Fewer resources for family support for parents raising normal children are fewer in these times. There is a shortage of well-trained mental health professionals, especially psychiatrists for kids and teens, let alone for adults and senior citizens. Parenting is a very difficult job, more children is more difficult. Parenting a child with a serious, lifelong, mental illness is a nightmare of significant proportions. With the personal parenting of my own 3 children, assessing and treating adults, teens and families with BPDO, I would personally make a NO decision to to adopt a child at risk for BPDO with both biological parents having this serious, lifelong mental illness. I have counseled a wealthy family with great resources for twenty years with three children with BPDO. The mother was adopted so at the time of making a decision to have children, she did know she had BPDO in her family of origin. He husband was not adopted and knew his father had BPDO. This couple had a son and then had twins, male and female. Raising the three children with BPDO along with serious other mental health disorders was so very, very difficult. Their private feedback to me was that had they known then, what they discovered later, they may have chosen not to have children or to adopt one child very selectively, Margie Mortimer
I suffered through my young years with clinical depression and abused illegal drugs for years and after recovery was diagnosed bipolar 2 with depressive disorder and just had my first episode in over a year and am exhausted. The duality i experiece and suicidal thoughts lead to irrational decisions. I want to believe that all the pain and sorrow isnt all my life is supposed to be. Maybe one day ill find out it was worth holding on. Im 27 now
I feel like I might have bipolar II disorder. I’ve taken several online quizzes (and yes, I understand that this does NOT take the place of an actual medical diagnosis) and researched a lot about the symptoms. I am afraid to get a medical professional’s diagnosis because 1) I am afraid that I might just be overreacting and trying to find an excuse for my poor decisions and lifestyle (in other words I’d feel devastated if I summoned up the courage to seek help and didn’t even have the disorder) and 2)Even if I do have the disorder, my family is not very supportive of mental health treatments like medication and therapy, so in the end it could be pointless.
It’s trendy but you could go over the the Borderline Personality disorder side. The ‘experts’ flip/flop back and forth between the two. They don’t like BPD much because they can’t ‘medicate’ it out of you….That is most likely what most individuals are experiencing and are being misdiagnosed as BP II
Praying for you sdd. I have been there. Ther is hope.
Hi there I’m a 40 year old man diagnosed with bipolar type 2 read some comments proper comparison with cancer and bipolar what creator my bipolar was loom difficult through the late 80s had speech therapy when I was a boy had some kind of condition with the left side of my body as a young boy had therapy through both and then the nightmares remains the mental pain never stops trialling different medication now it’s just ongoing I would not wish this upon my worst enemy I have seen cancer patients I’ve never had cancer but when you’re a 40 year old man with the family and want to commit suicide being in hospital it’s still have these evil thoughts never stops though my opinion and it’s just an opinion anyone diagnosed with cancer the first thing they think is a big shock they want to beat it and god help their Souls I wish they all beat it but speaking behalf of myself with this mental disease there’s no chemo there’s nothing it’s just medication that works for a good 10 years and then you’re a guinea pig again I feel I’m strong minded person put the mind can only take so much I wish there was a chemotherapy if that makes sense and gives me hope but there is none to put on a front happy face and not let anyone know that you’re crazy that’s after you try committed suicide and makes it harder absolute nightmare by all means not in any way to offend anybody the suffer through cancer whatsoever thanks for listening and who knows hopefully I can see a response before my number zop one last thing I just wish there is a some kind of chemo comparison to cancer patients that gives mental patient hope for all them young kids with learning disabilities that turns into mental health Evil Dark Place I pray this day and age and technology they find help for this cruel dark evil thoughts that a young boy growing into a young man should not have I’ve only done this once I hope my message gets a Cross somehow there’s nothing…
I have felt this for a long time.
Think of the card game ’52 Card Pickup’. You throw all 52 cards in the air. After they land on the floor. Can you figure out which one out of the 52 cards, does not represent a diagnosis of Bipolar Disorder. No, Because it is the knee-jerk misdiagnosis. For what is actually something else.
Do you miss your mania? That’s what I’m struggling with most. I used to be so productive and felt great pride in my work performance and now feel subpar.