Treatment Goals for Bipolar II Disorder

Treatment Goals for Bipolar II Disorder

Bipolar II disorder is a mood disorder characterized by episodes of depression and hypomania or mixed episodes. Successful treatment for bipolar II disorder stabilizes mood with medication and teaches the patient skills and healthy activities to manage the illness.

Mood Stabilization with Medication
Antidepressants and mood stabilizing medications are used to treat bipolar II disorder. Antidepressants are used to alleviate depression, while mood stabilizers like Depakote and lithium prevent mood swings and mild mania symptoms.

Improving Self-Care
People who have been depressed often have difficulty practicing basic self-care, such as showering and eating regularly. Self-care often becomes easier once an effective medication, at the right dose, is administered.

Learning Coping Skills
People with bipolar II disorder sometimes have episodes of depression even when taking the appropriate medication. They can, however, learn coping skills to manage stress and depression symptoms. Relaxation techniques, art, keeping a journal and exercise are examples of healthy coping skills.

Challenging Distorted Thinking
Distorted thinking, also referred to as cognitive distortion, is common even among people who do not have a mental illness. Cognitive distortions can make managing bipolar II disorder more difficult. Some examples of cognitive distortions include all-or-nothing thinking, overgeneralization and fortune-telling (predicting worst-case scenarios).

Implementing a Healthy Lifestyle
Regular sleep routines and healthy diets are helpful for managing bipolar II disorder. Many find that exercise helps to control symptoms and reduce stress.