Objective: The study aimed to increase the knowledge about the detailed course differences between different forms of bipolar disorder.
Method: Using the prospective life-chart-clinician version, we compared the fine-grain analysis of mood swings and treatment modalities of 18 bipolar II with 31 bipolar I patients.
Results: During an observational period of a mean of 26 months we observed an increase of euthymic days, and a decrease of (sub)depressive and (hypo)manic days. Days in a (sub)depressed state were more frequent than days of (hypo)mania as well as days of subdepression or hypomania in comparison to days of full-blown depression or mania. Bipolar II patients showed an increase in hypomanic days receiving more frequently antidepressants. Bipolar I patients, with a decrease of manic days, were significantly taking more often mood stabilizers.
Conclusion: Treatment in a specialized bipolar clinic improves the overall outcome, but bipolar II disorder seems to be still treated sub-optimally with a possible iatrogenic increase of hypomanic days.