Bipolar disorder is defined as a severe illness of the brain that can affect the way a person acts and makes a judgement. Both I and II bipolar disorders are associated with gradual mood swings from low to high, and vice versa (Frances & Jones, 2012).Mood occurrences in bipolar II disorder can either be depressive or hypomanic, where depressive occurrence has lengthy sessions coupled with hopelessness, sorrow, and heedlessness. On the other hand, hypomanic episodes are associated with feeling incredibly happy and productive. In most cases, it is the family members who may notice the changes in the victim’s behavior. Bipolar disorder is a severe illness that most people overlook (Frances & Jones, 2012). Despite that most people assume that this disorder is just an individual’s personality, fluctuating between low and high mood swings, there is a lot more to this disease.
Symptoms of Bipolar II Disorder
There are several symptoms of the Bipolar II disorder, which include risky manic episodes that may lead to psychotic symptoms, like hallucinations and delusions. The depression stage of bipolar entails consistent feelings of sadness, anger, isolation, guilt or hopelessness. Other symptoms are loss of appetite and sleep disturbances in activities previously most enjoyed. Bipolar II people also face problems in concentration, experience loneliness, chronic pain, and lack of interest in sexual activities. A person with bipolar II disorder has different levels of neurotransmitters in the brain. Studies indicate that imbalances of norepinephrine and serotonin neurotransmitters in the brain are the main causes of mood changes related with bipolar disorder (Mayo Clinic, 2017). Consequently, it has been observed that individuals experiencing hypomanic episodes are quite pleasant to be with.This is because they tend to joke, take interest in other people’s activities, and instill a positive mood in them. However, this can become a challenge, as in most cases, hypomania can result in unhealthy and erratic behavior.
Bipolar II disorder individuals have abnormalities in the structure of the brain. Bipolar disorder difficulties urge the brain to function differently (Leahy, 2007).Most studies argue that the brain structure of individuals with bipolar disorder is dissimilar from that of healthy people. As bipolar disorder individuals experience mood swings, they may find it difficult to function normally, have a normal life or perform their duties at their workplaces.
The Prevalence of Bipolar Disorder II in the United States
Bipolar II disorders are approximated to be minimal in the United States. Studies indicate that the lifetime prevalence rate for Bipolar II is 1.1% for bipolar threshold (Post et al., 2014).The overall rate of bipolar prevalence in the United States is 4.4%. There is an equal number of males and females with bipolar II disorder, unlike main depressive disorders whereby there is a greater female to male ratio (Postet al., 2014). Because of increased prevalence of bipolar disorder in women, it is not surprising that there is a higher number of women with bipolar disorder II in the United States.
The impact of Bipolar Disorder on Work Performance
In a survey carried out by the Depression and Bipolar Support Alliance, approximately nine out of ten people noted that the disorder had affected their work performance. Over half of the people that were surveyed during the study felt that they were neglected during promotions and were also given less responsibility (Leahy, 2007).A majority of individuals with mental illness or showing signs of mental illness may not disclose it to their employer.Individuals with bipolar II disorder experience considerable absenteeism from work resulting in failing to meet the expectation of the employer. Bipolar is a psychiatric disability, the symptoms of which have negative effects on work performance, and worker/employer interrelationship.The disability can also ruin companionships and lead to underperformance academically.However, there are several ways through which bipolar disorder can reveal itself at the workplace. Some people may experience irritability and physical complaints, for instance, body aches among other signs and symptoms.
Treatment of Bipolar II Disorder
To counter this disorder, victims can benefit from preventive drugs that help patients to level their mood swings as well as prevent the negative effects of hypomania and episodes of depression.
Mood Stabilizers.There are several mood stabilizers that are used to treat bipolar II disorders, for instance, the metal lithium in pill form.The pill has been used for over 60 years in treating bipolar (Leahy, 2007). However, use of lithium has to be monitored preferably by a medic or any other physician to avoid side effects.In addition, carbamazepine (tegretol) has been widely used in treating mania since the 1970s. However, its probable value for avoiding future highs and lows has not been well established yet. A considerable attention should be channeled towards blood tests to check liver functioning occasionally.Lamotrigine has also been approved by FDA to treat adults with bipolar disorder (Leahy, 2007). This drug has been recommended in delaying bouts of mood experiences of depression, hypomania, and mania, helping in preventing lows.
Bipolar disorder is a severe illness that affects judgment and daily activities. Therefore, it is advisable for individuals with bipolar disorder to seek medication because the energy comes with a price. This comes as a precaution because if the illness is not treated, it can have a negative effect on relationships and job performance. This can also lead to adverse long-term negative effects. On the other hand, a long-term prognosis for the illness is quite positive if it is cured in a right way. A combination of therapy and medicine can be effective in containing and treating the disorder.
Frances, A., & Jones, K.D. (2012). Bipolar disorder type II revisited. Bipolar Disorders, 14(5), 474-477.
Leahy, R. (2007). Bipolar disorder: Causes, contexts, and treatments. Journal of Clinical Psychology, 63(5), 417-424.
Mayo Clinic. (2017). Symptoms and causes – Mayo Clinic. Retrieved 14 May 2017, from http://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/bipolar-disorder/symptoms-causes/dxc-20307970
Post, R., Altshuler, L., Kupka, R., McElroy, S., Frye, M., & Rowe, M. (2014). More pernicious course of bipolar disorder in the United States than in many European countries: Implications for policy and treatment. Journal Of Affective Disorders, 160, 27-33.