Bipolar II Disorder
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Bipolar II (BP-2) is a mood disorder characterized by at least 1 episode of major depression and at least 1 episode of hypomania, a milder form of mania.
New onset in older patients (>50 years) requires a workup for organic or chemically induced pathology.
- Large overlap with symptoms of attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) and oppositional defiant disorder (ODD)
- Depression often presents as irritable mood.
- Counsel women of childbearing age about potentially teratogenic effects of commonly used medications (e.g., lithium, valproic acid).
- Symptoms may be exacerbated in the postpartum period.
More common in women
0.5–1.1% lifetime prevalence
Heritability estimate: >77%
No way to prevent the onset of BP-2, but treatment adherence and education can help to prevent further episodes.
Dysregulation of biogenic amines or neurotransmitters (particularly serotonin, norepinephrine, and dopamine)
- Major life stressors (especially loss of parent or spouse)
Commonly Associated Conditions
Substance abuse or dependence, ADHD, anxiety disorders, and eating disorders