What is Bipolar II Disorder? Symptoms, Causes, Treatment 

Bipolar II disorder is a mental health condition and it is very much similar to the bipolar I disorder condition, and it comprises of mood cycle, high and low mood extremes. Today, we’ll discuss what is bipolar II Disorder; its symptoms, causes, and treatment.

What is Bipolar II Disorder? 

Bipolar II disorder comprises the phase of the high mood of hypomanic state and phase of depression; it’s like a less extreme mania state. All types of bipolar disorders comprise the shift in activity, energy levels, and changing moods.

Bipolar II makes you experience a hypomanic state, where you experience elevated behavior and mood way beyond your normal self. A person would feel energized and elevated, and even irritable. Bipolar I make you experience a manic state, where your mood elevation is more severe than the hypomanic state.

Experts coined the term “bipolar II disorder” in 1994 in order to diagnose and treat the symptoms of the condition more effectively. The term helps psychologists to differentiate between type 1 and type 2 disorders. However, it’s a more realistic approach to perceive bipolar disorder with a wide range of severities, patterns, and symptoms.

Bipolar I vs. Bipolar II

Many researchers say that the distinction between both types of disorders is not clear-cut and precise. However, the top differentiation between type 1 and type 2 disorders is the severity of the manic episode. The diagnostic criteria for both types of disorders are as follows;

Bipolar I

It’s a type when a person experiences the manic episode at least once, with/without the depression episode. The manic episode comprises delusions, hallucinations, and psychosis. The person would require hospital care during the manic episode.

Bipolar II

It’s a type when a person experiences a hypomanic episode and depressive episode at least once, without involving psychosis. Often, the dominant mood in this condition is depression.

Some researchers say that a person would have depression 50% of the time more with BP type 2. The depression remains there 30% of the time in the BP type 1.

Symptoms of Bipolar II Disorder 

BP type 2 is characterized by hypomanic episodes followed by an episode of depression. The range, severity, and duration of symptoms and episodes vary from person to person. However, some of the hypomanic symptoms that would last for a few days are as follows;

  • Consuming more drugs and smoking more
  • Drinking more alcohol and caffeine
  • Risky behaviors like getting into a heated argument or spending more
  • Fast-talking than usual
  • Irritability
  • Easily distracted
  • Quick actions and faster thought processing
  • Sexually active, flirtation, and more sociable
  • More creative feelings
  • High self-confidence and more energized

Hypomanic symptoms would make you feel good and you would function well in your life, and others would notice the change in behavior. After the excited and energetic feelings, the episode of depression would follow. Some of the main symptoms of a depressive episode are as follows;

  • Tendencies of suicidal thoughts
  • Losing/gaining more weight without making any effort
  • Difficulty in focusing
  • Guilty and worthless feelings
  • Lower energy level
  • Sleeping too little or too much
  • Loss of interest in various activities
  • Lower motivation level
  • Hopeless, empty, and sad feelings

The disorder develops in the childhood and teens period, but the symptoms would start exhibiting in early adulthood.

Causes of Bipolar II Disorder 

Researchers don’t know the exact and precise cause of bipolar II disorder. Some of the main factors that play a role in developing it are as follows;

  • Structural features in the brain
  • Environmental factors
  • Various genetic factors

You’re more likely to develop a BPD condition when you’re closer to the person that has this condition. The traumatic and stressful event could act as a triggering point to this condition along with the genetic predisposition. According to NIMH (National Institute of Mental Health), its symptoms would exhibit for the first time after childbirth or during pregnancy.

Treatment of Bipolar II Disorder 

The treatment plan for bipolar II disorder comprises medication or therapy, or both in combination depending on the condition. It’s a continuous and long-term condition, if you stop the treatment, then its symptoms would return. However, the details of BP type 2 treatment plans are as follows;


Some of the top medicines that doctors usually recommend are as follows;

  • Sleep medicines to improve the quality of sleep
  • Antidepressants
  • Antipsychotics s
  • Mood stabilizers

You should coordinate with your doctor and find the most suitable medicine combination and dosage for you. If you experience its side effects, then you should report it to your doctor and keep on making the adjustment to your medication plan.


Counseling and talk therapy would help you to share your difficult and challenging emotions relevant to BP type 2. The goal of the therapeutic treatment plan is as follows;

  • Educating and making the person aware of the BPD condition
  • Recognizing triggering points and finding ways to ignore them
  • Finding effective methods to manage stress
  • Developing coping mechanisms and strategies

Some people have other problems along with this condition are substance use, drug usage, alcohol addiction, etc. Therapeutic treatment helps them as well.

Lifestyle Changes

Some of the important and healthy lifestyle changes that would help you to stabilize your mood are as follows;

  • Log Keeping: maintaining a record of your activities, mood changes, and behavior; and recognizing the pattern
  • Sleep: getting quality sleep regularly in your routine life
  • Diet: eat healthy food that improves your overall health
  • Exercise: Develop a good exercise plan to deal with stress

Conclusion: What Is Bipolar II Disorder? Symptoms, Causes, Treatment 

After an in-depth study of what is bipolar II disorder; its symptoms, causes, and treatment; we have realized that BP types 2 could badly impact your life. If you’re experiencing mood swings and dramatic changes in your life, then you should discuss it with your doctor.