“Bipolar II Disorder”

Checking in… It’s been a challenging day, but I made it through without submitting to any self-harm urges. I also completed 100% of my daily treatment plan goals. So, I’ll chalk this one up as a WIN!

My mood is lower than normal, but that is possibly due to the Bipolar II Disorder. This is a recent diagnosis, so my treatment team and I are still tracking hypomanic episodes and depressive episodes to identify patterns. According to the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH), Bipolar Disorder is a mental disorder that causes unusual shifts in mood, energy, activity levels, concentration, and the ability to carry out day-to-day tasks. Bipolar II Disorder is defined by a pattern of depressive episodes and hypomanic episodes, but not the full-blown manic episodes that are typical of Bipolar I Disorder.

In the past year, I have had one manic episode, a handful of hypomanic episodes and one or two depressive episodes. The one manic episode sent me, emergently, to an inpatient mental health unit for safety and stabilization. That was an intense situation; one I will share with you at a later time. Symptoms I experienced during my hypomanic episodes included an elated or “high” mood, feeling “wired”, talking very fast about a lot of different topics, racing thoughts and constant movement/pacing. Symptoms I experienced during my depressive episodes included feeling sad, empty and hopeless, sleeping too much, trouble concentrating, little interest in previously enjoyed activities and pulling away from friends and loved ones.

After A LOT of convincing by my treatment team, I agreed to try a low-dose atypical antipsychotic (Rexulti). It has been effective in stabilizing my mood and decreasing the frequency and intensity of the hypomanic/depressive episodes. I’m hopeful, with the continued follow-up from my treatment team, the episodes will become increasingly more manageable.


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