August 13th, 2012
04:18 PM ET

What is bipolar II disorder?

Rep. Jesse Jackson, Jr. made headlines last month when he was said to be undergoing treatment for a mood disorder. Now, doctors have specified his condition: Bipolar II disorder.

This mental illness "is a treatable condition that affects parts of the brain controlling emotion, thought and drive and is most likely caused by a complex set of genetic and environmental factors," the Mayo Clinic said in a statement Monday.

Actress Catherine Zeta-Jones also has been treated for bipolar II.

This is a less severe condition than bipolar I, according to the Mayo Clinic. Bipolar II includes periods of depression alternated with hypomania, a mild form of mania that may include elevated mood and irritability. The depression periods usually last longer, the Mayo Clinic said.

In bipolar I, on the other hand, manic episodes can be "severe and dangerous," according to the Mayo Clinic. Some people experience psychosis, which encompasses delusions and hallucinations.

Bipolar disorder is not just one disease

Bipolar episodes can be affected by seasonal changes, CNNHealth mental health expert Dr. Charles Raison wrote in a column last year. People with unipolar depression tend to be less sensitive to changes in time, such as the lengths of day and night.

People with both kinds of depression may find relief in similar forms of psychotherapy, although the drug-based treatments for these disorders are different, Raison wrote in a column last month.

Bipolar patients often don't respond well to antidepressants, and do better on mood stabilizing drugs or medications that reduce psychotic symptoms, Raison wrote. The drugs lithium and valproic acid are examples of mood stabilizers. Antipsychotics or anti-anxiety medications may also be helpful, depending on the patient.

Suicidal thoughts can be a feature of bipolar disorder. Hospitalization may be necessary in these cases, or if the patient is psychotic or behaving dangerously. Getting treatment at a hospital for a serious episode may be helpful, also. Some patients may also need substance abuse treatment.

If you are experiencing thoughts of suicide, call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 800-273-8255.

soundoff (58 Responses)


    August 13, 2012 at 18:00 | Report abuse | Reply
    • MEME


      August 13, 2012 at 19:08 | Report abuse |
    • someone

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      I don't like that the article says BPD II is less severe than BPD I. The highs are less severe, but the lows are just as bad if not worse. For me, there are times I'd do anything to trade my overwhelming constant depression for a manic episode.

      August 15, 2012 at 05:05 | Report abuse |
    • Guest

      Would one of those cause you to SHOUT all the time?

      August 15, 2012 at 10:59 | Report abuse |
  2. MEME


    August 13, 2012 at 19:08 | Report abuse | Reply
  3. Jesse

    Having reared a now grown son with Bipolar Disorder II has been a daily challenge for all his family, friends-but moslty for him. He is incredibly bright, handsome, athletic, witty – an all-around great guy except for this miserable, controlling, and oftentimes, disabling disorder. Appearing "normal" is one of the cruelest parts of BDII: people wonder why he doesn't just get himself together & live like everyone else. The problem is that he can't. Thank goodness for modern medicine – but the brain doesn't behave the same way every day – even on the same medicine. Psychotherapy helps him talk through difficulties. Yet, he still experiences deep depression, paranoia regarding rumors about him, manic times when he stays awake for 3-5 days at a time. He has heard over & over & over (even from some family members) to "just pull up his bootstraps and get over it" which of course, makes him feel even worse about himself than he already does. It is so hard to hear him say he thinks people see "LOSER" branded on his forehead. It seems as life will always be a challenge for him – and for those of us who love him intensely. I hope and pray those affected by BDII themselves or as a loved one will continue to spread scientific truths about this disorder so others may live the benefits of an informed, caring, and compassionate society.

    August 13, 2012 at 23:54 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Patty

      Thank you for putting it so well. I have 2 of my 3 children battling this condition. It affected my mother and, I'm sure, other members of my family. Bipolar II can be difficult because of the stigma and misunderstanding about it. It is a neurological disorder, not just "a bad time you have to get through". It has been more frustrating dealing with ignorant school administrators and parents than helping my children with managing their disorder.

      August 14, 2012 at 00:43 | Report abuse |
    • Jenn

      Thank you so much Jesse and Patty for what you said, you both expressed so well what it's like to have this illness. I was mis-diagnosed my entire life and given a huge list of labels: "neurotic", "strange", "overreacts to everything", "anxious". You name it, I was diagnosed with it.
      I finally found a competent psychiatrist who took the time to come up with what we consider is my correct diagnosis, Bipolar II. That was 2 years ago and I'm still struggling to find a treatment plan that works for me. You're both so right with everything you said. I hate that I have this illness. Some days I just don't know how I'll make it through to the next day. I'm lucky though: I have someone who has stood by me through thick and thin, my husband. My new psychiatrist is the only other person in my tiny support system. I don't have the support of family and friends. They've labelled me as "different", "crazy", again, every label in the book. For some reason they consider psychiatric conditions as "excuses to act strange". My own family doctor told me that if I would just "get my act together I'd be OK" and also told me that I haven't gotten better because I "don't want to". Hearing that from a doctor who I've received care from for years was devastating, and just increased my symptom of being unable to trust anyone.
      I really hope the stygma of mental illness can be chipped away at. I wouldn't wish my life on my worst enemy. To have support from family and friends, rather than disdain., would be better than winning a lottery.

      August 14, 2012 at 08:18 | Report abuse |
    • CP

      You guys nailed it on the head. People hear bipolar and they visualize Axl Rose misbehaving in public. I believe he's Type 1 tho. Regardless, many don't see the difference between I and II. I feel fortunate that I ended up with II, all things considered. It has run in my family as far back as I can remember. It's difficult, but with the right meds I'm mostly in control of it......well usually. Every now and then one little insignificant trigger will bring it all back out into the light again, and I find I can't control my need to medicate with a bottle of vodka. I have also been misdiagnosed over the years (including ADHD)...but it took me four different doctors to come to the same conclusion before I'd finally believe it.

      August 14, 2012 at 17:28 | Report abuse |
    • Peter

      Thank you to Jesse, and all the others who tried to clearly state the facts and symptoms of this mental illness. There are far too many people out there who poke fun (?) at that which they do not understand, and those who have not yet been touched by mental illness, whether it be family members or themselves!
      I, too, have suffered from depression (misdiagnosed) for 30 years. Medications, if they worked at all, would inevitably fail eventually. I can't begin to list all the ant-antidepressants I have been on. Finally a year and a half ago, I was correctly diagnosed with Bipolar II. After Lithium and Epi-Val failed to work, I was put on Lamictal (lamotrigine) which held some promise, until a doctor prescribed dosage increase, causing me to drop into yet another severe depression. I has that bad that I had myself admitted to hospital. On some of my earlier better days, I had researched Electro-Convulsive Treatments, so when the Doctors suggested them, I agreed to have them done. After a series of 6 treatments, I felt better than I ever remember being. I'm now discovering just who I am, since for 30 years I was living under the darkness of depression!
      Ask your Doctor about ECT. The actual treatment is so, so, so far removed from its movie portrayal in One Flew Over the Cukoo's Nest. The treatment is so refined now, thanks to medical science, it's a simple procedure, and for most patients is very effective.

      August 17, 2012 at 16:47 | Report abuse |
    • Crystal

      You all really should start to educate yourselves on whats really going on in the mind. It starts from the body. All disease actually starts in the gut. Do thorough research on this subject and you will see, these diseases of the mind are totally treatable and cureable. The problem is there is not enough people to stand up and demand that the regular model do more that slap a bandaid on the problem with medication that is always getting the pharmacuetacle companies richer, but us just more struggles with the horrible side effects. If you really want to stand up with me go to http://www.indiegogo.com/caresashope2012?a=768208

      August 19, 2012 at 19:26 | Report abuse |
    • Tanaka

      Since I don’t personally know you or your mom, I don’t know if I can be a lot of help. But I have a few sogsegtiuns. If you have a friend who already knows how you feel or who you might be able to tell first, you might try talking to your friend and have your friend there when you talk to your mom. Another idea is to look for ideas online; you might find something that sounds right for you. My other suggestion is to write a letter. When I was 17 I was going through some things and I didn’t know how to tell my mom, so I wrote a poem. If writing would be right for you, then just start writing; maybe you could even show her this website and let her know that you feel like you could have Bipolar and that you would like to talk to a psychiatrist or psychologist to try and figure out for sure. Remember, Bipolar and every other mental illness is just that, an illness. Nobody can control it, some people need medication. I try to remind myself that just like people who have diabetes and need medicine, I have Bipolar and need medicine. Don’t ever forget that you are not alone, even celebrities like Demi Lovato have Bipolar. Remember to stay strong.

      September 14, 2012 at 01:12 | Report abuse |
    • Andrea O.

      I have such respect for what Jesse said and how he said it. What a sad situation it is to be suffering with the symptoms of Bipolar and have no insurance, no job, and are unable to afford necessary treatments needed to lead a reasonably normal life. My family has a history of Bipolar I and II. It's so unfortunate that the diagnosis doesn't happen for so many years. Why would our government cut back and cut out the programs that help people who suffer from Bipolar Disorder and other mental illnesses? Citizens have access to food stamps and day care assistance, but if parents living with a mental illness aren't able to hold down a job, then we're going to have to continue supporting family with food stamps and day care. And creating children who think Bipolar symptoms are normal, acceptable behaviors. Mental health programs need to be easy to access so that people are able to receive the help they need to enable them to live productive lives.

      November 17, 2012 at 21:49 | Report abuse |
  4. Anonymous

    I wonder if I have this. Ive been diagnosed as chronic major depression but have had episodes where I cant sleep and truly feel how hypomania is described here. Antidepressants dont work, antianxiety meds do, and I definitely am affected by the change in seasons-twice a year, actually, May and November being the worst.

    Im printing this article and showing my primary dr, my god, how could the 20 or so therapists Ive had miss this, esp since bipolar runs in my family??

    August 14, 2012 at 07:25 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Jenn

      Hi, I wasn't diagnosed correctly as Bipolar II until I was in my mid-40's. Prior to then I was referred to countless psychiatrists, therapists, and group therapy for anxiety. I was prescribed pretty much every psychiatric med you can name over the years. It was really hard, but it took persistence and basically dumping one incompetent psychiatrist after another , which was really hard because I was labelled as a "difficult" patient. But since my life was so screwed up already I didn't care. Somehow I finally lucked out and found a psychiatrist who is one of the top psychiatrists in our city for specializing in Bipolar/Bipolar II disorders. And I really did lucky out, because I didn't know I had Bipolar II when I find my new doctor.
      So keep trying, and if you have a gut feeling that a doctor is an idiot, then they are. I also have a change in symptoms with the seasons, but that was one of the symptoms that confused all my prior doctors.
      I wish you all the best,I would recomment looking for a blog/support group on the internet as the best advice comes from people who have the same symptoms.

      August 14, 2012 at 08:49 | Report abuse |
  5. Anonymous

    Do people with bipolar II have a higher risk of pharmaceutically (antidepressant such as Effexor and Prozac) -induced hypomania than patients with unipolar depression...is this a criteria in the differentiational diagnosis between uni depression and bipolar 2? *please answer, I beg of you, its important* Thank you.

    August 14, 2012 at 07:34 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Jenn

      I'm not sure how much I can help, but I can offer my own experience. I have Bipolar II and taking any anti-depressant greatly increases my symptoms of depression and anxiety/mania. So I think the answer to your question is yes, because was on anti-depressants for years until I was correctly diagnosed as Bipolar II. During the years I was on anti-depressents I experienced severe depression, severe anxiety/panic attacks, manic episodes, not sleeping/oversleeping. My life was horrific until I was correctly diagnosed and taken off of anti-depressants. Now I'm currently on a mood stabilizer (lamotrigene) and an anxiety/panic attack medication (clonazepam). I hope this is of some help to you, a psychiatrist with expertise in Bipolar II (many don't have enough knowledge to treat it) would be the best one to answer. Good luck.

      August 14, 2012 at 08:35 | Report abuse |
    • Also Anon

      From what I've read, anti-depressants triggering a manic or hypomanic episode is a pretty much a sure indicator of some level of bipolarity. For those who believe in the bipolar spectrum, they call this "Bipolar III."

      My personal experience – I was put on Zoloft for "anxiety." Within a day I was in full on panicky manic mode, something I had never experienced before. I couldn't eat, my stomach was in knots, I thought I was going to die, I felt this constant feeling of serious dread. The next time a nurse tried to put me on an anti-depressant (Celexa), after 3 days on 5 mg, I was in a deep depression where I felt completely detached, despite the fact that I was also on two mood stabilizers. She's finally saying I'm bipolar now due to the "activating" effect anti-depressants have on me.

      August 14, 2012 at 13:13 | Report abuse |
    • CP

      Generally, yes, they are known to do that. But not in every case. I have the opposite problem as Jenn has had. Mood stabilizers really don't do anything for me. Effexor has been a lifesaver, but it doesn't necessarily keep the highs away. My highs generally entail shopping sprees and a day or two of explosive creativity. One huge mistake was being misdiagnosed with ADHD....I was given Adderall, and that stuff made me rip off the head of everyone within 3 feet of me.

      August 14, 2012 at 17:33 | Report abuse |
    • Chris

      I've been treated for bipolar II for several years. With Lamictal, I still cycle between manic and depressed but the cycles have been less severe and more manageable. A couple months ago however, I had a more severe manic episode than usual. There was no identifiable trigger so my doctor thought it my have been triggered by the anti-depressant I'm also taking (Pristiq). Apparently, there is research indicating that anti-depressants can cause manic episodes in bipolar II patients.

      August 18, 2012 at 17:39 | Report abuse |
    • Jamie

      Just stick to the fruits and vegetables that was grown on this planet earth. Words can be very complex for an individual to understand which can cause them to have stress related issues. Keep it simple. You never know that those complex medications can eventually give a human being side effects that can lead to a bipolar disorder .

      August 7, 2014 at 18:26 | Report abuse |
  6. Just A Little Unwell

    I've had a mental illness ever since I was 12 (I'm now 47). A little under ten years ago, it was finally diagnosed as Bipolar II. It took me a long while, but I found a combination of medications that work for me: duloxetine and olanzapine, with a occasional clonazepam to take the edge off. Even then, it's occasionally hit-and-miss.

    I've lived with it long enough to develop a lifestyle of sorts, but I've never had a romantic relationship and it's tough dealing with some things that other people consider "normal", especially social interaction. The worst part of this is that my parents, especially my mother, have never acknowledged that I have a mental condition. Dealing with my mother is incredibly difficult at times because of this, even when I'm on medication.

    Now I'm dealing with my condition without benefit of medication. I'm a contractor and don't have medical insurance. I can't get it due to pre-existing conditions, Bipolar II being one of them. The medication that works for me is beyond my income, and, in fact, beyond the income of all but the 1%. Without Obamacare kicking in, the rest of my life will be a misery.

    August 14, 2012 at 11:10 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Another opinion

      Just a little unwell, I understand you can't afford the ideal medication, but I would not go unmedicated if I were you. Lithium works very well for most people and is quite inexpensive. Also, sometimes the pharmaceutical companies have programs where the meds can be purchased directly through them (with a dr's script) at discounted prices. Don't just give up. Do whatever you can. You may be OK today, but things can quickly spiral out of control if you're not medicated. Wishing you the best of luck...

      August 14, 2012 at 13:41 | Report abuse |
    • lo wih out meds

      I went 5 yr. I fell totaly a part. I stayed mad all the time. I was at the point of eveybody was out to get and no sleep or just 2 or 3 hours. At this point I knew that if I did not get help. It was going to kill me. I knew I had bipolal. Just so you understand do not go with out meds get them no matter what.

      August 14, 2012 at 14:45 | Report abuse |
    • Chris

      Relationships are really hard with bipolar II. Bipolar people tend to obsess about the relationship and can drive partners off early on. The resulting pain can be almost unbearable for people with Bipolar II so they'll do anything to avoid it. This leads to even more obessive behavior because the bipolar person will remember past pain and feel an even greater need to avoid a breakup. At this point, the pressure can/will cause manic episodes and everything will fall apart. New partners are not equipped or prepared for this kind of relationship. For me, before my diagnosis I found a very understanding woman who stuck around long enought to figure out who I really was. These kinds of people are admittedly hard to find. However, I've been on meds for several years now and I think it would be much easier to date if I wanted. Everything seems easier on the right meds. In fact, after decades of living with the stress of bipolar II, life seems easier for me than for the non-bipolar people around me. I think living through the stress made me stronger. There's no single solution that works for everyone but I'm hopeful a cheaper variety will work for you. Lithium is inexpensive but can have side-effects. However, I'm betting the side effects would beat the symptoms of bipolar II. I pray you can find the right meds. You can still be happy and you can still find someone to love. Don't give up.

      August 18, 2012 at 17:55 | Report abuse |
    • Nathir

      You’re right, you and your mom are two different ppeole, and there is indeed a good chance you won’t have Bipolar, especially if you are already feeling that you will be fine. Since I have Bipolar 2 I often wonder if I should have kids, and if I do have kids if they will end up with Bipolar as well. Then my mom reminds me that even though there is a chance they will have Bipolar, that there is an even greater chance that they won’t. It seems like you have things under control right now and that you don’t need any advice, so I don’t really have anything else to say. However if you do find yourself feeling like you might have Bipolar or feeling depressed again I hope that you are able to seek help from a counselor or somebody right away, and that you have a great support system who can understand since there is already a history in your family

      October 12, 2012 at 04:17 | Report abuse |
  7. haroldamaio

    -Bipolar II can be difficult because of the stigma and misunderstanding about it.

    I do not agree with you, with all the words above. You have expressed your thought as a universal, it is not.

    First I do not assign "stigmas," and find the idea repulsive. Second, it appears you believe assigning it is a universal, it is not.

    I am not sure I agree with your second word, "misunderstanding", for I would have to ask "in whom?" It is more true than the previous word, indeed we are looking for its causes and cures, but understanding is expanding with each "look".

    Harold A. Maio

    August 14, 2012 at 12:48 | Report abuse | Reply
  8. Nicole

    I'm apparently the only Bipolar I person who has read this...

    The only thing that has worked for me are drugs normally used to treat epilepsy. Even then, with an occasional anti-anxiety to take the edge off the mania, I joke that I'm heavily medicated for YOUR protection. My friends are well versed in what happens when biology trumps science, and it is not pretty.

    I'm also very open about it at work, because I do require certain things that will allow me to be both bipolar and a productive employee. Yes, I'm protected by the ADA, and I do educate my employers about that. In most cases, they're smaller companies that don't have to abide by the ADA, but they do. I only had one employer that had a problem with me "coming out" because that meant she couldn't fire me. I wasn't a good fit there anyway and made us both happy by walking out that afternoon.

    It makes me sad, though, that bipolar seems to have become the 'in' illness...

    August 14, 2012 at 13:37 | Report abuse | Reply
    • CP

      Let me guess. Topamax? That stuff did some NASTY stuff to me.

      August 14, 2012 at 17:40 | Report abuse |
    • Miriam

      How interesting! My dad was diagnosed with Bipolar II a few years ago, after going back and forth with various anti-depressants and mood stabilizers, he is finally more or less stable on an anti-seizure medication! I forgot what it's called, but he has been on it for 3-4 years now and doing much, much better.

      August 14, 2012 at 23:01 | Report abuse |
    • Chris

      I'm bipolar II and I take Lamictal. It's an anti-seizure med which is also used to treat epileptics. Generally, lower doses are used for bipolar patients and higher doses for epileptics.

      August 18, 2012 at 18:01 | Report abuse |
  9. Gail

    I have bi polar disorder and suffer from depression all the time except for 2 psychotic breaks which included hallucinations and voices for which I was hospitalized and changed medication. I am on a mood stabilizer and now only suffer from depression which so far cannot be controlled. I am trying something new. ACCUPUNCTURE with anti depressants and my depression has been gone for 3 weeks. Amazing!
    No one can tell I have bipolar disorder, it just looks like depression, which I can keep hidden. I worked as a teacher for 29 years and no one knew. 2 breakdowns and now the right medicine and don't think I will have that again. I do not get manic. Not everyone does. The news has not reported this very well as a treatable disorder and that increases the stigma. I myself feel no stigma.

    August 14, 2012 at 14:15 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Sam

      Gail, it sounds like you probably have the diagnosis of bipolar because you had those two psychotic episodes, not so much due to the general character of your illness. That happens. Depression without mania/hypomania is unipolar depression. And that is probably why you feel no stigma–most people these days have some comprehension of what depression is. Depression tends not to lead to some of the behaviors that make people with bipolar stand out. Generally, it is hard to diagnose bipolar because the symptoms change all the time–it takes an average of 7 years from onset of symptoms to correct diagnosis. It is horribly complex. And then there is just the difference in severity of the illness from patient to patient. But there is always something that goes haywire that makes people see that there is something different about you at some point, and people have no way to relate to the bizarre world of Bipolar Disorder. It is just beyond what people can comprehend.

      All this is just to say that you are lucky not to feel like you stick out enough to be stigmatized–and to add a little info to the conversation for anyone else reading. Good luck with your treatment. I hope you are able to get good symptom relief soon.

      August 19, 2012 at 04:07 | Report abuse |
  10. RD1982

    have bi polar too and was only recently diagnosed. My family didn't think the doctor was right at first because I never "acted" that way. Like you, I suffer from depression most all the time and rarely have the mania. I finally had a nervous breakdown at my desk one day because I could no longer hide my symptoms and felt like I wanted to die. My job was awful and I went to get help. I also have an issue with trusting doctors b/c of a past experience but was determined to get help because I knew in my gut something was wrong.

    In 2014, Health Care Reform will get rid of the pre-existing issue in insurance plans. I believe there are some already that do this across the board but I'm not sure.

    Regardless, for those of you that just *know* something isn't right, DON'T LET THE DOCTOR BLOW YOU OFF. You know yourself the best and only you can change it by getting help.

    I don't know where I'd be right now if I didn't go to my GP a year ago.

    August 14, 2012 at 14:34 | Report abuse | Reply
  11. lo wih out meds

    lost sorry. i have bipolar 1

    August 14, 2012 at 14:49 | Report abuse | Reply
  12. Sara

    I don't like that the article says BPD II is less severe than BPD I. The highs are less severe, but the lows are just as bad if not worse. For me, there are times I'd do anything to trade my overwhelming constant depression for a manic episode.

    August 14, 2012 at 20:46 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Jenna

      I feel the same way. I don't think its less severe, many studies show that BPII is the most fatal of mental illnesses due to the long duration of deep depression followed by episodes of hypomania that may be nothing more than extreme agitation and irritability. BPII sufferers dont always get those manic episodes that make us feel euphoric and on top of the world. I WISH! Id love to have a day of mania...i think.

      February 7, 2013 at 00:27 | Report abuse |
  13. Timmy Suckle

    I kissed my way up to VP at a health insurance company. Now I take over $500,000 of your health care dollars for NO VALUE ADDED to your health care. And that’s just me. Now think about how many other VPs, Directors, Managers, etc. are at my company alone. Now multiply that by thousands of others at hundreds of other health insurance companies. From 10 to 25% of your health care dollars go towards administration that adds NO VALUE to your health care. But my company’s PAC dollars will continue to fool you little people into thinking that a single payer system will be bad. Little people like you are so easy to fool. Little people also don’t realize that a single payer system is the ONLY system that would allow little people (as an entire country) to negotiate better health care prices. Little people don’t realize that the Medical Cartels already know that. And that is the reason why the Medical Cartels spend so much PAC money from the hospitals and doctors lobbying against a single payer system. Some little people say that a single payer system would cost you little people more. But if that were true, then wouldn’t the hospitals and doctors WANT that extra money? Yes they would. So why do the Medical Cartels lobby against a single payer system? It’s because the Medical Cartels know it would allow little people to negotiate better health care prices. And that’s what the Medical Cartels are afraid of. Period.
    But us big wigs at insurance companies, hospitals, and pharmacy companies don’t ever need to worry about health care no matter what it costs. We get our health care paid for one way or another by you little people. And we get the little people that work at our companies to contribute to our PACs. And us big wigs say it’s to protect the little peoples’ jobs. But in reality it would be in the little peoples’ best interest to NOT contribute to the PAC. Again, little people are so easy to be fooled. I won’t ever have to worry about losing my job with so many little people being brain washed by the Medical Cartels’ PAC money. Not only that, the Medical Cartels’ PAC money is used to elect so many republicans that will never allow a single payer system. Republicans have always fought against any meaningful health care reform. But that’s what our Medical Cartels’ PACs pay them for. Politicians can be bought so easily.
    Pretty soon the only people that will be able to afford health care is us big wigs. And that’s the way it should be. We don’t want you little people using up the resources when we need them. And once again, I thank you little people for capping my SS tax at the $106,800 level. Now I only pay 1.3% SS tax and you little people pay 6.2%. Also, thank you for extending my tax breaks. I’m using the extra money on my vacation houses.

    August 15, 2012 at 16:43 | Report abuse | Reply
  14. steve

    Bipolar is just another "out" for those morons who disdain taking responsibility.... A lot of us who were the targets of negative peer-pressure...ie name calling and bullying in grade and high schools are tossed into the trash.
    They're nothing but pieces of red, white, and blue excrement.....America the Beautiful.

    August 17, 2012 at 11:27 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Andrea O.

      Steve, dear, you really need to seek counseling for your past history of being victimized. Your comments are clearly intended to strike a nerve with one of us, but I doubt you'll have your way with that. As you can see from the other comments, we're all medicated here to control our issue (s). Go get some therapy and come back later when you're medicated too- poor thing.

      November 18, 2012 at 22:36 | Report abuse |
  15. Akib

    I think I have Bipolar II and although I've gotten into trouble because of it many times and lost some close friends/girlfriend, I feel if i really try hard I can try to be happy and control it. But, it is hard, to admit, that no matter how hard I try to control my emotions, I just cant help but feel so much pain, and anger. I just thought, since its my mind ( emotions ), I can control it. Take steps myself to address my problem. But, it could also be true, that I'm failing at it. I have isolated myself. I have been successful in a lot of things in life but I still feel like im a failure. Even though I'm intelligent, I feel like I'm an idiot. Hmm....perhaps, I should tell my parents I have issues and get treated...I'm just concerned about the medicines 🙁 I fear they might have a lot of adverse affects. I'm also worried how my parents will take it, If I do end up being diagnosed with Bipolar II.

    August 17, 2012 at 13:48 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Sam

      Whatever is wrong, you should tell your parents. Parents generally would rather have a child gettng treated for an illness than one suffering without knowing why. And it can be dangerous not to get treatment. Don't worry about medicine right now–wait until that actually comes up with a doctor. You may just be haing growing pains, but better safe than sorry–get treatment if you need it and you will have more time with fewer symptoms. You can't always do away with suffering, but we can often minimize it, no matter the cause.

      August 19, 2012 at 04:15 | Report abuse |
  16. Crystal

    You all really should start to educate yourselves on whats really going on in the mind. It starts from the body. All disease actually starts in the gut. Do thorough research on this subject and you will see, these diseases of the mind are totally treatable and cureable. The problem is there is not enough people to stand up and demand that the regular model do more that slap a bandaid on the problem with medication that is always getting the pharmacuetacle companies richer, but us just more struggles with the horrible side effects. If you really want to stand up with me go to http://www.indiegogo.com/caresashope2012?a=768208

    August 19, 2012 at 19:27 | Report abuse | Reply
    • bbaz

      Are you kidding me? You must be a real idiot! I'm BP II diagnosed manic as a teenager and been on and off meds my whole life and tried the "natural" way of controlling it. Guess what? It DOES NOT WORK! Please take your tree hugging BS somewhere else. I'm thankful for my meds as they allow me to function a normal life.

      February 10, 2013 at 01:17 | Report abuse |
    • bbaz

      I apologize for the rant. I tried the natural way and it didn't work for me. I wish you the best with your cause.

      February 10, 2013 at 01:27 | Report abuse |
  17. Azusenaa

    that you should talk to smeboody. It sounds like that’s what you want to do but that you feel like you’re parents have dismissed you in the past and you don’t feel comfortable trying to talk to them again. I would probably feel the same way in your situation. If you can find smeboody like a school counselor or teacher, another adult relative you feel comfortable with, or even one of your friend’s parents that you can talk to, that might be a good idea. From there you can ask them to help you, and maybe they can help you talk to your parents and get you to a counselor or psychiatrist; this will be easier if your parents are there to support you. I suggest this first because counselors aren’t free. If there is nobody else that you can talk to, then by all means see if you can get a hold of a counselor who is willing to take some time to talk to you for a little bit without payment and then maybe they can help you talk to your parents. Even though counselors need to make a living, they are first and foremost there to help you. I am glad to hear that you have never attempted suicide and I truly hope that you never do. Please, if you feel like you want to end your life then go to the hospital or call 911. I won’t lie and say that things will be better right away; you might have to spend some time in the hospital, but look at Demi Lovato and how much better she is doing after spending time getting help. I too have been in the hospital and used to s/h. There is no shame in asking for help, and don’t ever forget that you are not alone. Each and every one of you on here will be in my thoughts.

    September 14, 2012 at 00:07 | Report abuse | Reply
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    September 14, 2012 at 23:11 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Pnm9pnm

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      September 14, 2012 at 23:13 | Report abuse |
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    November 22, 2012 at 06:09 | Report abuse | Reply
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  21. lola

    Does anyone still post on here? Is anyone taking Lamictal? My doctor is prescribing it to me. She suspects I am bipolar 2 because of the way I reacted to Zoloft so she wants me on Lamictal and only Lamictal with klonopin as needed.However I have read something about developing a deadly rash while on this medicine so I am scared to take it. What are the chances this will happen? I asked my doctor and she didn't have much to say about it other than "the risks outweigh the benefits if you don't get the rash" but she didn't say what would happen if I got it. The rash reactions are posted all over the internet.

    September 23, 2013 at 03:20 | Report abuse | Reply
  22. Luna

    Bipolar II is not a less severe form of the illness. It actually has a higher suicide rate because the depressive episodes are more severe/frequent.

    June 2, 2015 at 17:52 | Report abuse | Reply
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Get a behind-the-scenes look at the latest stories from CNN Chief Medical Correspondent, Dr. Sanjay Gupta, Senior Medical Correspondent Elizabeth Cohen and the CNN Medical Unit producers. They'll share news and views on health and medical trends - info that will help you take better care of yourself and the people you love.