On Demand Grand Rounds: Bipolar II Disorder: Recognition and Treatment

This presentation was originally reviewed on January 15, 2024, and broadcast live online on January 17, 2024, from 12:00 PM – 1:00 PM ET. 

The views and opinions expressed by this presenter in this lecture are their own, and do not represent the views of Sheppard Pratt.

Unlike bipolar I disorder (BD I), which has been extensively studied and depicted in popular literature and on screen, bipolar II disorder (BD II) is poorly understood, underdiagnosed, and insufficiently treated. This has often resulted in an over 10-year delay in diagnosis. BD II is mistakenly described a “lesser form” of BD I, despite numerous studies showing comparable illness severity and risk of suicide in these two BD subtypes. Perhaps because of its under-recognition, treatment studies of BD II are limited, and too often results from studies of patients with BD I are simply applied to those with BD II with no direct evidence supporting this practice. BD II is an understudied and unmet treatment challenge in psychiatry. This talk will provide a broad overview of BD II including differential diagnosis, course of illness, suicide risk and evidence-based treatment options.

Target Audience

This activity is intended for physicians, nurses, psychologists, social workers, counselors and other mental health professionals. 

Learning Objectives

At the conclusion of this activity, attendees will be able to:

  1. Discuss the phenomenology of bipolar II disorder.
  2. Describe strategies to distinguish bipolar II disorder from other closely related syndromes.
  3. Identify evidence-based strategies for managing bipolar II disorder.
Course summary
Available credit: 
  • 1.00 ACEP NBCC clock hours
  • 1.00 AMA PRA Category 1 Credit™
  • 1.00 Category II credits for Social Workers
  • 1.00 Psychologists
  • 1.00 MNA Contact Hours for Nurses
  • 1.00 Participation
Course opens: 
Course expires: 

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Sheppard Pratt regularly hosts renowned speakers from across the country at our headquarters in Towson. We provide educational opportunities on subjects including psychiatric disorders, issues of behavioral health, systems-based change, mental and somatic co-morbidities, psychiatric effects on health and health outcomes, advances in neurobiology, and clinical developments in concepts underlying drug treatment of psychiatric disorders. We are accredited by the Accreditation Council of Continuing Medical Education, the Maryland Nurses’ Association, the Maryland Board of Psychology, the Maryland Board of Social Work, and the National Board of Certified Counselors.

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Grand Rounds Fund
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This activity was provided by grants from Congressman Jamie Raskin and by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration.

About the speaker

Holly A. Swartz is Professor of Psychiatry at the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine. She received her undergraduate degree from Harvard College, medical degree from Albert Einstein College of Medicine, and completed her psychiatric residency training at New York Hospital / Cornell University School of Medicine. Dr. Swartz’s research focuses on understanding and optimizing psychosocial interventions for mood disorders. She is well known for her work evaluating Interpersonal Psychotherapy (IPT) and Interpersonal and Social Rhythm Therapy (IPSRT) as treatments for depression and bipolar disorder. Her research focuses on the role of IPSRT and pharmacotherapy in the management of bipolar II depression and IPT in the management of maternal depression. She is engaged in collaborative projects to develop computational frameworks to model dyadic interpersonal behaviors in relation to psychotherapy process and outcomes and to understand neural correlates of change in chronotherapeutic behavioral interventions. Her research has been funded by the National Institute of Health, National Science Foundation, and the Brain and Behavior Research Foundation.

Dr. Swartz is actively engaged in teaching, mentoring, and patient care.  A certified IPT and IPSRT trainer and supervisor, she has taught these therapies to thousands of clinicians across the globe. Dr. Swartz has held elected leadership positions for national and international professional organizations, including serving as President of the International Society for Interpersonal Psychotherapy (ISIPT ; 2015-17), Treasurer of the International Society of Bipolar Disorders (ISBD ; 2018-2023), and Board Member of the American Society of Clinical Psychopharmacology (ASCP ; 2021-2029).  She is the 2018 recipient of the Depression and Bipolar Association (DBSA) Gerald L. Klerman Senior Investigator Award in recognition of outstanding research contributing to the understanding, causes, diagnosis, and treatment of mood disorders. She is the author of over 100 publications, co-author of Bipolar II Disorder: Recognition, Understanding and Treatment (American Psychiatric Association Publishing, 2019), author of The Social Rhythm Therapy Workbook for Bipolar Disorder: Stabilize Your Circadian Rhythms to Reduce Stress, Manage Moods, and Prevent Future Episodes (New Harbinger Press, 2024), and Editor-in-Chief of the American Journal of Psychotherapy. She serves as a member of the Scientific Advisory Boards of DBSA and the International Bipolar Foundation.

Disclosure Statements

Sheppard Pratt holds the standard that its continuing medical education programs should be free of commercial bias and conflict of interest. In accord with Sheppard Pratt's Disclosure Policy, as well as standards of the Accreditation Council for Continuing Medical Education (ACCME) and the American Medical Association (AMA), all planners, reviewers, speakers and persons in control of content have been asked to disclose any relationship he /she has with any entity producing, marketing, selling, re-selling, or distributing health care goods or services consumed by, or used on, patients, during the past 24 months. All planners, reviewers and speakers have also been asked to disclose any payments accepted for this lecture from any entity besides Sheppard Pratt, and if there will be discussion of any products, services, or off-label uses of product(s) during this presentation.

Holly A. Swartz, MD, reports royalties from Wolters Kluwer(UpToDate) and American Psychiatric Association Publications, Inc. She will discuss both FDA and non-FDA approved treatments for bipolar II disorder in this presentation. All relationships have been mitigated. 

Event Planners/Reviewers Disclosures: The following event planners and/or reviewers are reported as having no financial interest, arrangement or affiliation with any entity producing, marketing, selling, re-selling, or distributing health care goods or services consumed by, or used on, patients, during the past 24 months: Todd Peters, MD, Deepak Prabhakar, MD, Elizabeth Ryznar, MD, MSc, Louis Marino, MD, Ehsan Syed, MD, Devi Bhuyan, PhD, Faith Dickerson, PhD, Carrie Etheridge, LCSW-C, Tom Flis, LCPC, Stacey Garnett, RN, MSN, Stephanie M. Robinson, MSN, RN, PMH-BC, NPD-BC, NE-BC , Heather Billings, RN, Lisa Illum, MLIS, MEd, and Jennifer Tornabene.

Physician Statement: Sheppard Pratt is accredited by The Accreditation Council for Continuing Medical Education (ACCME) to provide continuing medical education for physicians.  Sheppard Pratt takes responsibility for the content, quality, and scientific integrity of this CME activity.  Sheppard Pratt designates this enduring activity for a maximum of 1.0 AMA PRA Category 1 Credit(s)™.  Physicians should claim only the credit commensurate with the extent of their participation in the activity.

Nurse Statement: Sheppard Pratt is approved as a provider of nursing continuing professional development by the Maryland Nurses Association, an accredited approver by the American Nurses Credentialing Center’s Commission on Accreditation. Sheppard Pratt takes responsibility for the content, quality, and scientific integrity of this CME activity. This activity provides 1.0 contact hour for nurses.

Psychologist Statement: Sheppard Pratt is authorized by the State Board of Examiners of Psychologists as a sponsor of continuing education. Sheppard Pratt takes responsibility for the content, quality, and scientific integrity of this CE activity.  Sheppard Pratt designates this educational activity for a maximum of 1.0 contact hour for Psychologists.

Social Worker Statement: Sheppard Pratt is authorized by the Board of Social Work Examiners of Maryland to offer continuing education for Social Workers.  Sheppard Pratt takes responsibility for the content, quality, and scientific integrity of this CE activity. This activity is approved for 1.0 contact hour in Category II credits for Social Workers.

Counselor Statement:  Sheppard Pratt has been approved by NBCC as an Approved Continuing Education Provider, ACEP No. 5098.  Programs that do not qualify for NBCC credit are clearly identified.  Sheppard Pratt is solely responsible for all aspects of the program.  This activity is available for 1.0 NBCC clock hour.

Available Credit

  • 1.00 ACEP NBCC clock hours
  • 1.00 AMA PRA Category 1 Credit™
  • 1.00 Category II credits for Social Workers
  • 1.00 Psychologists
  • 1.00 MNA Contact Hours for Nurses
  • 1.00 Participation
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Grand Rounds: Bipolar II Disorder: Recognition and Treatment

Holly A. Swartz, MD

Professor of Psychiatry

University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine.

Pittsburg, PA

Originally reviewed January 15, 2024.
Originally broadcast live January 17, 2024, from 12:00 PM – 1:00 PM ET
Enduring Activity Credit Expiration Date: February 12, 2026.

Activity Time: One hour webinar lecture with a 15-minute evaluation process. Total Time: 1:45.

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