Can Bipolar II Become Bipolar I ?
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Q:  Can Bipolar II Become Bipolar I ?


I have just been diagnosed with Bipolar II. I am on lithium, klonopin, wellbutrin and prozac. I had an eating disorder for many years which obscured the condition. Will I stay Bipolar II? I won't go on to become bipolar I will I?
 

Dear Ms. Queen -- 
These two versions of bipolar disorder tend to stay separate, even in terms of the genetics:  what runs in a family tends to stay just either bipolar I or bipolar II, not both.  Note the use of the term "tends", as this is not a guarantee (which I would like to be able to offer you).  Instead, it's a very, very strong likelihood that whatever symptom types you've manifested thus far -- including the absence of psychotic symptoms like delusions and hallucinations -- will continue to be the pattern in the future. There's a pretty solid literature on this distinction holding up even when viewed from these different angles (i.e. symptom course over time; and family history).  

Dr. Phelps


Published March, 2003
 

 

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