Bi-polar type 2 is basically more depressive episodes than manic episodes, and if I'm remembering correctly, the swings aren't as sharp (not as high and low as with type 1 bi-polar) or as frequent (swings can last longer and happen less frequently) than with "traditional" bi-polar disorder. I think it's starting to become more well-known as some celebrities with bi-polar type 2 have gone public about their diagnosis.
Yes...This is a less extreme version of bipolar I.
Answer: According to the definition in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-IV), bipolar II disorder (also known as bipolar 2 disorder or bipolar type 2) is "characterized by one or more major depressive episodes accompanied by at least one hypomanic episode." The key difference between bipolar 1 and bipolar 2 is that bipolar 2 has hypomanic but not manic episodes, meaning the symptoms of mania are generally less severe in type 2. Also, while those with bipolar I disorder may experience additional psychotic symptoms such as delusions and hallucinations, bipolar II by definition cannot have psychotic features.
I copied this...but there are some wonderful books explaining the differences, meds, survival guides for people with bipolar, friends and family too.
Good Luck I hope this helps
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