The majority of people know about bipolar disorder, but are not aware that there is a spectrum for it. I know I sure didn’t know. So when I heard the words Bipolar 2 Disorder, I was surprised.
I had been struggling with understanding my moods for a little while, but because they weren’t to extreme, extreme extents, I figured that it was just me.
But, no matter how hard I would try to stop, I couldn’t. No matter how hard I worked to not be so angry, or so happy, I just couldn’t stop. The moods would just happen, and I started feeling like nothing was making any sense.
So, the answer?
Bipolar 2 Disorder.
The answer came, and while I was surprised, it brought a sort of peace. It allowed me to understand that it wasn’t my fault.
So, I wanted to dedicate this post to giving you information about bipolar 2 disorder.
What is Bipolar 2 Disorder?
Bipolar 2 disorder is a form of mental illness. It is similar to bipolar disorder in the fact that moods cycle from low to high. The difference is the bipolar 2 high mood never reach a full blown mania. The bipolar 2 highs are called hypomania.
What is hypomania?
Hypomania is a smaller version of mania. It’s a state of mood and energy level that is above normal. It can look like someone living on fast forward. They might be jumping from one thing to another, or one idea to another. They may talk so fast you can’t get a word in.They may become distracted very easily, and also be very irritable.
What does hypomania look like?
Well, again, it presents different in everyone, but here are some general expressions of hypomania.
- Hyposexual – Someone in a hypomanic state may have an above normal libido, or maybe even have sex with many partners to satisfy the feeling.
- Over spending – Buying things that typically you wouldn’t be buying, or able to afford.
- Dressing or behaving in a way that you wouldn’t typically.
- Jumping from one subject to another when talking.
How to treat bipolar 2 disorder?
There are so many different medications and therapies available. You and your doctor will make a plan together. It may include, mood stabilizers, antipsychotics, antidepressants, or a combination of antipsychotics and antidepressants together.
Therapies that may be helpful in managing the bipolar could be pyschotherapy, self-management strategies and substance abuse programs (if applicable), cognitive behavioural therapy, interpersonal and rhythm based therapy, and family therapy.
Important things to know about bipolar 2 disorder:
- Bipolar disorder can occur in children as young as 6 years old.
- It isn’t just mood swings, it is a brain disorder.
- More than 75% of people with bipolar disorder work and lead successful full lives.
- In between the highs and the lows is usually a period of a stable mood.
- People with bipolar disorder are more likely to experience substance abuse problems.
- Bipolar depressive episodes tend to look a lot like classic depression, making bipolar sometimes difficult to diagnose.
- Hypomania can have the same traits as mania just on a smaller level.
- It is possible to have mixed episodes with a mania and depressive state at the same time.
- The depressive state of bipolar is very intense and severe.
- It is estimated that 15% of people living with bipolar disorder end their life with suicide, while between 25-50% seriously attempt it at least once.
- It is estimated that someone with bipolar disorder will live 9-20 years less than someone without.
- The unpredicatableness of the person with bipolar disorder can often make it difficult for them to maintain healthy relationships, which can leave them isolated and alone.
This post could really go on and on forever, because there is so much to know about this mental illness.
As someone who lives with it, it has often felt quite misunderstood. It is not simply mood swings. Do you ever get frustrated by the lack of knowledge about a condition you or a loved one lives with?
Love Always, N
P.S. Did you read my post over here? I’d love if you stopped by!