How Is Bipolar Disorder II Different From Bipolar Disorder I?
Bipolar disorder II is a form of mental illness that is similar to bipolar disorder I. People who suffer from this condition often have moods that are cycling between high and low over a short period of time. There are some differences which make bipolar disorder II a little different from its counterpart.
In bipolar disorder II, the high moods never progress to full-blown mania. The elevated moods have less intensity, and they are called hypomanic episodes of hypomania in bipolar disorder II.
People affected by bipolar disorder II have at least a single hypomanic episode during their lives. Episodes of depression are, however, common among most people who suffer from bipolar disorder II. This is the reason why the term manic-depression has been coined for this condition.
People with bipolar disorder II often lead normal lives between the episodes of hypomania and depression.
Who Is At Risk of Developing Bipolar Disorder II?
Almost anyone can develop this condition. In the United States, approximately 2.5% of the population suffer from one form or the other of bipolar disorder. This translates to approximately 6 million people.
The symptoms of bipolar disorder initially make a beginning during the teenage years or the early 20s. Almost all people with bipolar disorder II develop the condition before the age of 50. People who have immediate family members who suffer from this condition are at a higher risk of being affected.
What Are The Symptoms Of Bipolar Disorder II?
During an episode of hypomania, the elevated mood can display itself either as euphoria or irritability. The symptoms during episodes of hypomania include the following:
- Moving from one idea to the other without warning.
- Exhibiting excessive levels of confidence.
- Speaking rapidly and loudly and not giving an opportunity to be interrupted.
- Higher energy with hyperactivity and sleeplessness.
People who are experiencing hypomanic episodes are quite pleasant to be around with. They take an intense interest in other people and activities. They even infect people around them with their positiveness. However, the episodes can progress into a full-blown maniac, which can affect the ability of the person to function effectively. They could also indulge in impulsive or harmful behaviors, giving rise to dangerous consequences.
What Are The Treatments For Bipolar Disorder II
People with bipolar disorder II can find relief from preventive drugs. These drugs level out moods in the long-term. The drugs can prevent the negative consequences of hypomania and also assist in the prevention of episodes of depression.
Mood stabilizers such as lithium are highly effective medications for controlling mood swings in bipolar disorder. Lithium has been used for over five decades to treat this condition. Lithium can take weeks before any effects can be seen, but it is better for long-term placement. This is especially so in cases of acute hypomanic episodes. After using lithium as a preventive medication, it is important to test blood levels of lithium and undergo other tests to understand the functioning of the kidney. The thyroid also has to be monitored in order to avoid side effects.
Are There Any Preventive Measures For Bipolar Disorder II?
The causes of bipolar disorder are yet to be understood until this moment. Therefore, information about whether bipolar disorder II can be prevented entirely is not available at this stage. It is, however, possible to reduce the risk of developing episodes of hypomania or depression during the future after the condition has developed.
Patients will need regular therapy from a psychologist or a social worker combined with the medication that may have been prescribed. The psychotherapy can also help people to recognize any warning signs of a possible relapse before it may begin. it can also ensure that the medications prescribed are taken regularly.
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