Mood Disorders
Bipolar Disorder, Type 2

Bipolar Disorder, Type 2

Bipolar II is a condition on the bipolar spectrum in which a person experiences at least one episode of hypomania (a less severe form of mania) and at least one major depressive episode. It is important to note that despite the popular thought Bipolar II is less severe than Bipolar I, the challenges (especially depressive episodes) associated with Bipolar II can be just as severe (or more so) than that of Bipolar I.


Life time risk of Bipolar II:

  • 0.4%

Gender Prevalence:

  • Greater rates seen in women vs men

Bipolar Depression is more common than mania:

  • For every one  manic episode a person experiences, they may have as many as 30+ depressive episodes.
  • Individuals stay in depressive episodes longer than in manic episodes.


Hypomania (by definition, may not cause significant impairment in a person’s life):

  • Irritability
  • Decreased need for sleep
  • Talkative
  • Increased Confidence
  • Increased creativity or ideas
  • Typically less than 1 week of symptoms

Depression in Bipolar II

  • More frequent and lengthier than in Bipolar I
  • The depressive episode can be very severe (i.e., Melancholic depression)
  • Should not be considered a “milder” version of Bipolar I

Features of depression that may signal bipolar disorder:

  • Increased day-time sleeping
  • Increased weight gain
  • Feeling of extreme heaviness in your arms/legs
  • Feeling of limited mobility
  • Psychotic features
  • Extreme guilt
  • Excessive mood shifts throughout the day or irritability

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