I’ve spent my whole life up until a few years ago struggling and thinking there was something wrong with me. I was finally diagnosed at age 44 with Bipolar II Disorder. It’s been another roller coaster trying to put my life on track with the diagnosis and medication. I’ve been a little resistant, but getting there slowly. My blog is about my crazy life (I don’t use that term lightly).
Below is some information on my disorder and some great information if you are wondering about yourself or someone you know.
Bipolar II Disorder
While bipolar I disorder is characterized by one or more manic episodes or mixed episodes and one or more major depressive episodes; bipolar II disorder is diagnosed after one or more major depressive episodes and at least one episode of hypomania, with possible periods of level mood between episodes.
The highs in bipolar II, called hypomanias, are not as high as those in bipolar I (manias). Bipolar II disorder is sometimes misdiagnosed as major depression if hypomanic episodes go unrecognized or unreported. If you have recurring depressions that go away periodically and then return, ask yourself if you have also:
- Had periods (lasting four or more days) when your mood was especially or abnormally energetic or irritable?
- Were you:
- Feeling abnormally self-confident or social?
- Needing less sleep or more energetic?
- Unusually talkative or hyper?
- Irritable or quick to anger?
- Thinking faster than usual?
- More easily distracted/having trouble concentrating?
- More goal-directed or productive at work, school or home?
- More involved in pleasurable activities, such as spending or sex?
- Did you feel or did others say that you were doing or saying things that were unusual, abnormal or not like your usual self?
If so, talk to your health care provider about these energetic episodes, and find out if they might be hypomania. Getting a correct diagnosis of bipolar II disorder can help you find treatment that may also help lift your depression.