Bipolar Type II Disorder

Type II

Defining Bipolar type II Disorder

Bipolar type II disorder is a mental disorder that falls under the category of mood disorders. It is characterized by periods of hypomania and depression. While mania and hypomania are similar, hypomania usually doesn’t lead to psychosis and is overall not as severe as mania. As compared to patients of type I bipolar disorder, patients of type II disorder face more frequent, but less severe, bouts of depression.

It is not easily diagnosed as patients often confuse symptoms of hypomania with that of overenthusiastic and upbeat behavior. People with this disorder may seek medical help only when they start experiencing prolonged intervals of depression.

Signs and Symptoms

Signs and symptoms of bipolar disorder can be broken down into symptoms of hypomania and symptoms of depression.

Hypomania:

  • Feelings of grandiosity
  • Feeling the need to stay awake, especially in order to “achieve” goals
  • Over-talkativeness
  • Excessively racing thoughts
  • Easy distractibility
  • Hyper-activity, especially when it comes to making plans and achieving goals
  • Psychomotor agitation: tapping feet, other signs of nervousness
  • Actively participating in risky behaviors
  • Increased sexual drive

Depression:

  • Low energy levels
  • Difficulty carrying out normal day to day activities
  • Unrealistic pessimism about aspects of life
  • Overgeneralization
  • Automatic thoughts
  • Maladaptive assumptions
  • Suicidal ideation
  • Crying without a particular reason or cause
  • Aggression, often leading to an emotional outburst

Causes and Risk Factors

It is a well-documented disorder. There have been a number of studies conducted to understand the causes and reasons behind such a degenerative mood disorder.

Most scientists believe that genetics play a pivotal role in causing this disorder. Genetic mutations and heredity play a role in creating a chemical imbalance in the human brain, thereby leading the patient to oscillate between hypomania and depression.

Social and environmental factors also play a major role in upsetting the mental balance of the patients, thereby leading to conditions such as Generalized Anxiety Disorder, Obsessive Compulsive Disorder, Panic Disorder, Bipolar I and Bipolar II. A disturbed childhood or a traumatic social environment can impact the proper functioning of neurotransmitters. The hypothalamus of the brain can become affected, leading to altered neurobiological behavior, which can cause this disorder.

Stress, anxiety, traumatic experiences, and existing underlying medical condition can all contribute to it. Patients suffering from this disorder are faced with a number of risks including:

  • Thoughts of suicide
  • Disruptive social life
  • Aggressive behavior
  • Restlessness
  • Criminal ideation
  • Conviction in criminal cases
  • Cardiac arrests due to depression
  • Brain stroke because of blood clotting

Treatment

It is important to seek treatment if symptoms become unmanageable. Enrolling in a rehabilitation facility that specializes in care of bipolar disorder is the most efficient way to learn to east symptoms and gain control over manic or depressive episodes.

Bipolar disorder can be treated with medications recommended by a physician. Anti-depressants are often administered on patients during episodes of depressive breakouts. During episodes of hypomania, the patient may need to be administered benzodiazepines.

The patients may also need to undergo CBT (Cognitive Behavior Therapy). Targeted psychotherapy is a great way of handling cases of bipolar type 2. Group therapy is also helpful in keeping patients motivated and focused.

It is important to consult a physician to discuss which treatment options is the best for your respective case.

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