Bipolar II: Enhance Highs, Boost Creativity, Escape Cycles

Bipolar II: Enhance Your Highs, Boost Your Creativity, and Escape the Cycles of Recurrent Depression — The Essential Guide to Recognize and Treat the Mood Swings of This Increasingly Common Disorder.
by Ronald R. Fieve, M.D.
Published by Rodale; October 2006;$22.95US/$29.95CAN; 1-59486-224-9

From the book jacket:

You are on fire. For a few days, you’ve stayed up late, woken up early, and accomplished your to-do list — and then some. You’ve called friends you haven’t talked to in ages, organized your closet, finished your project, danced until dawn, and still made it to work on time the next morning. Everyone and everything is great – you love life! You’ve finally “made it”, and you’re feeling fantastic.

Would you like to feel this way all the time? Who wouldn’t?

This buzz, this electric, ultra-positive feeling of focus and productivity is called hypomania, a key symptom of Bipolar II, a subtype of the Bipolar spectrum… Millions of the most accomplished Americans enjoy just these types of highs on a regular basis. Many people with this condition never seek treatment for their  subsequent lows because they treasure their highs and don’t want to lose them.

The danger is that undiagnosed Bipolar II has one of the highest rates of depression and suicide among all mental illnesses, because the lows can be so devastating. But… Bipolar II can actually be beneficial, if diagnosed and treated… [This book aims] to help people make the most of the highs – and minimize, if not do away with entirely, the devastating lows.

Dr. Fieve says

“From the thousands of patients I have treated since the early 1970s, along with the major diagnostic changes of manic depression, I concluded that about half of my Bipolar II patients used their mild hypomanic highs to an advantage. I labeled this group of gifted people as Bipolar IIB (beneficial) and published a medical journal study on this topic in 1992.

“Since then, I have learned so much more about what keeps patients feeling in top form and living highly productive lives. Throughout this book, I want to help you recognize the earliest signs of this increasingly diagnosed soft condition, Bipolar II, and teach you how to be proactive in preventing debilitating episodes. I want you and your family to see how early recognition of the signs and symptoms of mild to severe depression and hypomania (mild mania) will improve the prognosis for Bipolar II, so you can see your doctor immediately for effective treatment. Above all, I want to help you prevent the tormenting high and low moods that often arise with Bipolar II Disorder. And with proper treatment and maintenance, you will be able to prevent them.”

The book is organized into two parts:

  1. Bipolar II Defined, and

  2. Diagnosis and Treatment of Bipolar II

The second part includes a valuable chapter on “Stay Well Strategies”.

This book should be a beneficial addition to the libraries of both practitioners and Bipolar II patients and their families.

Bipolar II Disorder, diagnosis, management, treatment

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3 Comments

  1. When I first began to accept my Bipolar I diagnosis, a critical step was a lengthy conversation with a divorced woman whose husband had been Bipolar II. Some of the behavior described above reminds me of her descriptions of him, particularly in the area of the “devastating lows.” I myself have normally been more aware of the “ultra-positive feeling of focus and creativity” associated with hypomania, although recently I have also experienced the lows. These lows include an irritability that she attributed to her husband and that she assumed erroneously that I was incapable of. In my own experience, the lows seem to take place more readily when I am under greater pressure and stress from work-related and domestic concerns.

  2. Hey this is really useful for me, thanks!
    I hope you will come to visit my blog too.
    I’m a highly creative Bipolar 2!

  3. Appreciate seeing a psychology blog out there that is committed to sharing good, solid information – and from a Canadian perspective to boot! Keep it up!

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