Bipolar 2 is the said cause that created an outburst which landed former professional WNBA star, Olympic gold medalist and Tennessee All-American Chamique Holdsclaw in a one night stay in jail, 3-years probation and a $3000 fine. She will appear this Saturday, August 17 with her estranged alcoholic mother on Iyanla fix my life with relationship guru Iyanla Vanzant.
“It’s been like a mental prison because it was real uncharacteristic of me,” Holdsclaw said in a recent interview Beech High School after helping host a youth basketball camp in July with another former Lady Vol, Brittany Jackson. “It was real uncharacteristic of me and everybody judging me from every different angle.”
We’ve also heard about actress Catherine Zeta Jones being diagnosed and hospitalized with Bipolar II disorder. So what is Bipolar II disorder and why does it appear women have a higher diagnosis of this disorder? Bipolar II disorder (pronounced “bipolar two”) is a form of mental illness. Bipolar II is similar to bipolar I disorder, with moods cycling between high and low over time.
However, in bipolar II disorder, the “up” moods never reach full-on mania. The less-intense elevated moods in bipolar II disorder are called hypomanic episodes, or hypomania.
A person affected by bipolar II disorder has had at least one hypomanic episode in life. Most people with bipolar II disorder also suffer from episodes of depression. This is where the term “manic depression” comes from. In between episodes of hypomania and depression, many people with bipolar II disorder live normal lives.
People experiencing hypomanic episodes are often quite pleasant to be around. They can often seem like the “life of the party” — making jokes, taking an intense interest in other people and activities, and infecting others with their positive mood.
What’s so bad about that, you might ask? Hypomania can also lead to erratic and unhealthy behavior. People in hypomanic episodes might spend money they don’t have, seek out sex with people they normally wouldn’t, and engage in other impulsive or risky behaviors.
Also, the vast majority of people with bipolar II disorder experience significant depressive episodes. These can occur soon after hypomania subsides, or much later. Some people cycle back and forth between hypomania and depression, while others have long periods of normal mood in between episodes.
Untreated, an episode of hypomania can last anywhere from a few days to several months. Most commonly, symptoms continue for a few weeks to a few months. Depressive episodes in bipolar II disorder are similar to “regular” clinical depression, with depressed mood, loss of pleasure, low energy and activity, feelings of guilt or worthlessness, and thoughts of suicide. Depressive symptoms of bipolar disorder can last weeks, months, or rarely years.
In a UCLA (University of California Los Angeles) at the Department of Psychiatry and Biobehavioral Sciences, conducted a study of 131 patients (63 women and 68 men) with a DSM-IV diagnosis of bipolar disorder admitted to the University of California Los Angeles Mood Disorders Program over a 3-year period were reviewed to gather data on demographic variables and course of illness and to assess differences in the illness across genders.
No significant gender differences were found in the rate of bipolar I or bipolar II diagnoses, although women were overrepresented in the latter category. Also, no significant gender differences emerged in age at onset, number of depressive or manic episodes, and number of hospitalizations for depression. Women, however, had been hospitalized significantly more often than men for mania. Further, whereas bipolar men were significantly more likely than bipolar women to have a comorbid substance use disorder, women with bipolar disorder had 4 times the rate of alcohol use disorders and 7 times the rate of other substance use disorders than reported in women from community-derived samples.
Women, may be more likely than men to be hospitalized for manic episodes. While both men and women with the illness have high rates of comorbidity with alcohol and other substance use disorders, women with bipolar disorder are at a particularly high risk for comorbidity with these conditions. Proper diagnosis and treatment is paramount.
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