Bipolar II and Episodes of Depression

Marcia Purse Health Guide
  • Even after I was diagnosed with bipolar disorder, I often doubted the diagnosis. The reason was that my "up" periods were so rare, my depressions so frequent and so long. I thought major depressive disorder was a better diagnosis.


    Later I learned something important that I want to share here: people with bipolar II spent about 10% time ill than with bipolar I, and about as much as a whopping 40% more time depressed than people with bipolar I.


    Also, as I wrote about in the SharePost Bipolar II - Why Don't I Feel as Good as I Used To?, folks like me with bipolar II often tend not to come all the way back to a good stable mood between depressive episodes. This can leave us going between very depressed and feeling slightly depressed for a long time. I've experienced that often.

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    As far as symptoms go, there's no difference between the criteria for depressive episodes of bipolar I, bipolar II, and major depression. But having hypomanic episodes occasionally - as I do - does mean I have bipolar II and not clinical depression.


    The good news - for me, anyway - is that the right mix of medications can make a difference. I've been in a good stable mood for quite some time now. It's not perfect - there are bad days now and then - but I'm content. I hope you can get there, too.

Published On: December 10, 2011