Bipolar II is a specific mental illness that is characterized by the occurrence of separate “high” mood and “low” mood episodes. These hypomania (high) and depression (low) episodes occur a few times per year and are the signature symptoms of bipolar ii disorder. The main difference between bipolar ii and bipolar I is that the severity of symptoms is much lower for those who have bipolar ii disorder. Once the symptoms of this mental illness are identified, they can be treated effectively with medication and cognitive behavioral therapy.
Bipolar II Symptoms
It is likely that those people suffering from this mental illness have experience multiple hypomania and depression episodes over their lifetime. Depression exhibits more noticeable symptoms of bipolar II disorder. During an episode of depression, an individual may have a hard time falling asleep, they may feel hopeless, they may cry over the smallest “trigger”, they will be easily irritated, and could possibly complain of unexplainable physical pain. The long term depression effects that are associated with bipolar II symptoms can severely disable the patient’s school, work, and social relationships. Someone who has Bipolar II can expect their depression episodes to last for weeks to months at a time if it is not treated.
Hypomania causes Bipolar II symptoms that are much less recognized by most people. Hypomania is a less intense version of mania that often results in feelings of euphoria. Someone experiencing hypomania may have enhanced energy all the time, speak very fast, have an inflated self image, and problems concentrating. These people will make risky decisions during hypomania episodes that can include expensive purchases, poor relationship decisions, or alcohol and drug abuse. Hypomania episodes don’t last nearly as long as depression episodes.
Treatment for bipolar II disorder is absolutely essential for anyone experiencing these symptoms. Failing to properly manage this mental illness when symptoms arise can prolong the amount of time it takes to get back on ones feet. When the proper balance of medication and talk therapy is achieved, it won’t take very long to get the symptoms of bipolar II disorder to a manageable level.
Bipolar II Symptoms in Women
Women experience very specific bipolar II disorder symptoms including episodes of euphoric hypomania, dysphoric hypomania, and depression.
- Happy or Upbeat Attitude (even during depressing circumstances)
- Feelings that nothing bad can happen
- Very talkative or outgoing
- Feelings of Irritability or Anger
- Unhealthy Spontaneous Decisions
- Racing thoughts
- Suicide Attempts
- No Self Esteem
- Feelings of Worthlessness
- Slow Speech
- Spends lots of time in bed
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Bipolar II Symptoms in Men
Men experience the disease much differently than women. Bipolar II symptoms in men are similar to those found in women, but generally include drastic changes in mood. These changes in mood tend to happen very quickly and are often so severe that they cause an immediate change in behavior. Men can expect hypomania and depression episodes to last at least two weeks each.
The symptoms of bipolar II disorder appear must quicker in men than in women. These symptoms can often appear during puberty and be confused as a normal part of growing older. Men have a higher probability of developing substance dependence problems if they suffer from Bipolar II disorder.
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Bipolar II Symptoms in Teenagers
Teenagers suffering from Bipolar II are at an extremely high risk of harmful or dangerous behavior. Their already confusing emotions will cause them to make choices that may seem highly inappropriate to most people. During depression episodes, teenagers may think of suicide much more than normal. Substance abuse and sexual promiscuity is also very likely. Because of the importance of social interaction during this part of life, it is essential that treatment is sought out if any symptoms of bipolar II disorder are being exhibited. Some of the common bipolar II symptoms include:
- Unexplained Anger
- Impulsive Risky Choices
- Anxiety and Confusion
- Unending sadness
- Lack of Confidence
- Changes in appetite
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Bipolar II Symptoms in Children
Hypomania episodes in children may present themselves in the form of anger or irritability. This makes the symptoms of bipolar II difficult to identify in younger people. Older children may exhibit some of the more common hypomanic symptoms, but it is not as common as those found in adults. Depression episodes are quite similar to those that adults experience. Children tend to switch between hypomania and depression much more quickly than older people do. Common bipolar II symptoms in children include:
- Unexplained euphoria
- Extreme rage or irritability
- Extreme restlessness
- Thoughts of suicide
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Early Onset Bipolar II Symptoms
Early Onset Bipolar II symptoms are very similar to those found in patients that have attention deficit hyperactivity disorder. Many of the people who study ADHD believe that there are many children misdiagnosed who may actually suffer from bipolar ii disorder. Early onset bipolar II is also often misdiagnosed as childhood depression. It is estimated that up to 33% of children who have been diagnosed with depression actually have early onset bipolar II disorder.
Early onset bipolar II symptoms can be exhibited as early as infancy. Symptoms of bipolar II in these children include problems sleeping or calming down, extreme separation anxiety, erratic behavior, rapid cycling between euphoria and extreme anger or irritation, as well as extreme bouts of rage or temper tantrums. These rages can often be compared to an “emotional seizure” when viewed by on-lookers. Infants will scream, head bang, destroy things, and exhibit very aggressive behavior. These rages rarely occur outside the home.
Common Early Onset Bipolar II Symptoms include:
- Symptoms common to ADHD
- Impaired judgment
- Night Terrors
- Sexual behavior inappropriate for their age
- Grandiose beliefs
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