Bipolar II Disorder
Can Bipolar II Disorder Be Prevented?
The causes of bipolar disorder are not well understood. It's not known if bipolar II disorder can be prevented entirely.
It is possible to reduce the risk for developing future episodes of hypomania or depression once bipolar disorder has developed. Regular therapy sessions with a psychologist or social worker, in combination with medication, can help efforts to stabilize mood, leading to fewer hospitalizations and feeling better overall. Psychotherapy can help people better recognize the warning signs of a developing relapse before it takes hold, and can also help to ensure that prescribed medicines are being taken properly.
How Is Bipolar II Disorder Different From Other Types of Bipolar Disorder?
People with bipolar I disorder experience full mania -- a severe, abnormally elevated mood with erratic behavior. Manic symptoms lead to serious disruptions in life, causing legal or major personal problems.
In bipolar II disorder, the symptoms of elevated mood never reach full-blown mania. Hypomania in bipolar II is a milder form of mood elevation. However, the depressive episodes of bipolar II disorder are often longer-lasting and may be even more severe than in bipolar I disorder. Therefore, bipolar II disorder is not simply a "milder" overall form of bipolar disorder.