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J Affect Disord. 2015 Jun 1;178:107-11. doi: 10.1016/j.jad.2015.02.030. Epub 2015 Mar 9.

The bipolar II disorder personality traits, a true syndrome?

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Private practice, Reykjavik, Iceland; Psychiatric Outpatient Clinic, Ludvika, Sweden. Electronic address:



The author was struck by the similarities and commonality of complaints, aside from mood swings, made by Bipolar II patients and started registrating these complaints. This registrational work eventually led to the development of The Bipolar II Syndome Checklist. The aim of this work was to understand how widely the Bipolar II disorder affects the personality, and what disturbing personality traits are the most common? Deliberately, no attempt was made to diagnose psychiatric comorbidities, in the hope that one would get a clearer view of what symptoms, if any, could be considered a natural part of the Bipolar II Disorder. As far as the author knows this is a novel approach.


105 Bipolar II patients completed the Bipolar II Syndrome Checklist. The answers to the 44 questions on the list are presented in tables.


Symptoms like anxiety, low self esteem, paranoia, extreme hurtfulness, migraine, Post Partum Depression, obsessive traits, alcoholism in the family are amongst the findings which will be presented in greater detail.


No control group. Bipolar I patients excluded. The Bipolar II Syndrome Checklist has not been systematically validated.


The results show that Bipolar II Disorder causes multiple symptoms so commonly that it may be justified to describe it as a syndrome, The Bipolar II Syndrome. Also these disturbances commonly lie in families of Bipolar II patients and are in all likelihood, greatly underdiagnosed. The clinical relevance of this study lies in increasing our knowledge and understanding of the nature of the Bipolar II Disorder, which in all probability will increase the diagnostic and treatment accuracy, since clinicians are more likely to scan for other symptoms needing treatment.


Bipolar II Disorder Personality Traits; Mood disorders; The Bipolar II Disorder; The Bipolar II Disorder Syndrome Checklist; The Bipolar II Syndrome

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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