Understanding You Bipolar II Diagnosis

Sep 01, 2023
Understanding You Bipolar II Diagnosis
Bipolar II is a brain disorder characterized by periods of high moods and very low ones. If you’ve recently been diagnosed with bipolar II, there’s hope. Learn about treatments and lifestyle changes to improve your well-being.

Do you feel like you can transition from feeling euphoric and like anything’s possible to the depths of depression just like that? Suppose this is a pattern you’ve noticed where you’re full of ideas and energy one minute and hopeless and defeated the next. In that case, you may have a condition called bipolar II.

Dr. Amy Carnall and Cristina Sertway, MSN, APRN, PMHNP-BC, diagnose and treat people living with bipolar II so it’s well-managed and you can return to a functional life and engage in relationships in a healthier way. 

Bipolar II is treatable. At Clarity Psychiatric Care, we are partners in your care — you’re not alone.

What does bipolar II look and feel like?

Bipolar disorder is an umbrella term for three types of brain disorders that cause significant shifts in mood. 

Bipolar I is characterized by extended periods of intense high and low moods. People living with bipolar I can even put themselves in danger during manic phases when their spirits are very high. They're likely to be diagnosed during a manic episode. 

Bipolar II causes a person to have mood swings, but rather than manic episodes, they experience less serious hypomanic episodes. They’re typically diagnosed during a depressive episode.

Finally, cyclothymic disorder is the least intense type of bipolar disorder. While hypomanic and depressive episodes typically last longer, the symptoms aren’t as life-altering as those of bipolar I and II.

The manic and depressive symptoms that define episodes are diverse. During a hypomanic episode, you may:

  • Have a surplus of energy
  • Feel like you can do anything and be full of ideas
  • Split your attention among too many competing projects
  • Have problems sleeping or feel hyper
  • Feel very powerful, in control, and confident
  • Experience racing thoughts
  • Fast or amplified speech
  • Take risks or make choices that you wouldn't otherwise 

On the other end of the spectrum, a depressive episode could include:

  • Changes in your sleep patterns and appetite
  • Fatigue and very low energy
  • Feelings of deep sadness, hopelessness, and feeling like you’re worthless or a burden
  • Not enjoying activities you once loved
  • Thoughts of self-harm and suicidal ideations

When you’re in a hypomanic episode, you might engage in self-destructive behaviors, like having sex with someone on a whim or compulsive shopping and spending. 

The majority of people living with bipolar II are more frequently in a depressive state as opposed to a hypomanic state. 

What are my treatment options if I’m diagnosed with bipolar II? 

Fortunately, the Clarity Psychiatric Care team has a range of treatments to relieve your bipolar II symptoms and bring balance back to your life. Since we tailor your treatment to meet your unique symptoms and needs, it usually consists of a mixture of complementary treatment approaches, including:

  1. Taking prescription medications that adjust your brain chemistry and address extreme moods
  2. Taking advantage of counseling sessions where you can share your bipolar II experiences, ask questions, and get a deeper understanding of your condition and how to manage it.
  3. Participating in mentoring sessions with others living with bipolar II.
  1. Adopting lifestyle changes to support your mental health, including dietary changes, increased physical exercise, and mindfulness practices.

Getting compassionate and appropriate treatment for bipolar II is critical, and we’re here to help.

Call our Cherry Hill office at 856-428-1260 or use our convenient online booking tool