Bipolar II disorder differs from Bipolar I . Manic behavior present is present to a lesser degree, called hypomania. A hypomanic episode occurs when there is a distinct period of elevated, expansive or irritable mood & other manic behaviors, but social or on-the-job functioning is not greatly impaired & the affected person doesn't need hospitalization. The ability to function distinguishes hypomania from mania, but in some cases it's difficult to make a completely confident distinction.
Bipolar II may be a separate type of disorder & not a preliminary problem that will later develop into a typical bipolar disorder. People who experience a hypomanic may not see it as pathological, although those around them may become concerned about the erratic behavior. For the person affected, the feeling if elation & creativity and the driving energy characteristic of the hypomanic state can be a positive force.
Kay Radfield Jamison, a psychologist who vividly described her own manic and depressive episodes, would be diagnosed as having a Bipolar I disorder because of the intensity if manic periods she experienced. She had also given a very good description," Unlike the very severe manic episode that came few years later and escalated widely & psychotically out of control, this first sustained wave of mild mania was a light, lovely tincture of true mania. Like hundreds of subsequent periods of high enthusiasms, it was short- lived & quickly burnt itself out. Tiresome to my friends perhaps, exhausting & exhilarating to me definitely, but not disturbingly over the top."