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Bipolar II Depression

Bipolar II Depression

What is Bipolar II Depression? 

Bipolar 2 disorder is a type of mood disorder that is similar to bipolar 1 disorder but with less severe manic episodes, also known as hypomanic episodes. In bipolar 2 disorder, a person experiences episodes of depression and hypomania, which is a less severe form of mania. During a hypomanic episode, an individual may feel very energetic, talkative, and have an elevated mood, but is still able to function normally in their daily life. 

Bipolar 2 disorder can be challenging to diagnose as individuals with the condition may initially seek treatment for depression, which is a common symptom of the disorder. Treatment for bipolar 2 disorder typically involves a combination of medication and psychotherapy, with the goal of managing symptoms and preventing future episodes.

Symptoms of Bipolar II Depression

The symptoms of bipolar 2 disorder can vary from person to person, but generally involve cycles of hypomania and depression. Here are some common symptoms of each:


- Increased energy, activity, and restlessness
- Euphoric or irritable mood
- Racing thoughts or rapid speech
- Decreased need for sleep
- Increased self-confidence or grandiosity
- Increased risk-taking behavior
- Impulsivity or poor judgment


- Persistent feelings of sadness, hopelessness, or emptiness
- Loss of interest or pleasure in activities once enjoyed
- Significant weight gain or loss, or changes in appetite
- Insomnia or hypersomnia (sleeping too much)
- Fatigue or loss of energy
- Feelings of worthlessness or guilt
- Difficulty concentrating or making decisions
- Thoughts of death or suicide

People with bipolar 2 disorder may experience more depressive episodes than hypomanic episodes, and their symptoms may be severe enough to interfere with daily life. It's important to seek help from a mental health professional if you or someone you know is experiencing these symptoms.

How to Treat Bipolar II Depression with therapy?

There are several types of therapy that can be helpful for individuals with bipolar 2 disorder. Here are a few examples:

1. Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT): CBT is a type of talk therapy that focuses on identifying and changing negative thought patterns and behaviors. For individuals with bipolar 2 disorder, CBT can help them recognize triggers for hypomanic and depressive episodes and develop coping strategies to manage their symptoms.

2. Interpersonal and Social Rhythm Therapy (IPSRT): IPSRT is a form of therapy that focuses on stabilizing daily routines and improving social relationships. It can help individuals with bipolar 2 disorder establish regular sleep, eating, and exercise habits, which can help prevent mood swings.

3. Family-Focused Therapy (FFT): FFT involves the individual with bipolar 2 disorder and their family members working together to manage the condition. It can help improve communication and problem-solving skills, which can lead to better outcomes for the individual with bipolar 2 disorder.

4. Mindfulness-Based Cognitive Therapy (MBCT): MBCT combines elements of CBT and mindfulness meditation to help individuals with bipolar 2 disorder develop awareness of their thoughts, emotions, and physical sensations. It can help individuals regulate their emotions and reduce stress.

It's important to work with a mental health professional who has experience treating bipolar 2 disorder to determine which type of therapy is best for you. In many cases, a combination of medication and therapy is the most effective treatment approach.


  • Intermittent explosive disorder

  • Personality change due to medical disorder

  • Posttraumatic stress disorder



  • Decrease overall intensity and frequency of angry feelings, and increase ability to recognize and appropriately express angry feelings as they occur.

  • Develop an awareness of current angry behaviors, clarifying origins of and alternatives to aggressive anger.

  • Come to an awareness and acceptance of angry feelings while developing better control and more serenity.

  • Become capable of handling angry feelings in constructive ways that enhance daily functioning.

  • Demonstrate respect for others and their feelings.

Behavioral Definitions

  • History of explosive, aggressive outbursts out of proportion with any precipitating stressors, leading to assaultive acts or destruction of property.

  • Overreactive hostility to insignificant irritants.

  • Swift and harsh judgmental statements made to or about others.

  • Body language suggesting anger, including tense muscles (e.g., clenched fist or jaw), glaring looks, or refusal to make eye contact.

  • Use of passive-aggressive patterns (e.g., social withdrawal, lack of complete or timely compliance in following directions or rules, complaining about authority figures behind their backs, uncooperative in meeting expected behavioral norms) due to anger.

  • Consistent pattern of challenging or disrespectful attitudes toward authority figures.

  • Use of abusive language meant to intimidate others.


  • Intermittent Explosive Disorder

  • Bipolar I Disorder

  • Bipolar II Disorder

  • Conduct Disorder

  • Personality Change Due to Axis III Disorder

  • Posttraumatic Stress Disorder

  • Physical Abuse of Adult (by Partner)

  • Physical Abuse of Adult (by non-Partner)

  • Borderline Personality Disorder

  • Antisocial Personality Disorder

  • Paranoid Personality Disorder

  • Narcissistic Personality Disorder

  • Personality Disorder NOS

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