© 2016 Leung et al. This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited. Bipolar II (BP-II) depression is often misdiagnosed as unipolar (UP) depression, resulting in suboptimal treatment. Tools for differentiating between these two types of depression are lacking. This study aimed to develop a simple, self-report screening instrument to help distinguish BP-II depression from UP depressive disorder. A prototype BP-II depression questionnaire (BPIIDQ-P) was constructed following a literature review, panel discussions and a field trial. Consecutively assessed patients with a diagnosis of depressive disorder or BP with depressive episodes completed the BPIIDQ-P at a psychiatric outpatient clinic in Hong Kong between October and December 2013. Data were analyzed using discriminant analysis and logistic regression. Of the 298 subjects recruited, 65 (21.8%) were males and 233 (78.2%) females. There were 112 (37.6%) subjects with BP depression [BP-I =42 (14.1%), BP-II = 70 (23.5%)] and 182 (62.4%) with UP depression. Based on family history, age at onset, postpartum depression, episodic course, attacks of anxiety, hypersomnia, social phobia and agoraphobia, the 8-item BPIIDQ-8 was constructed. The BPIIDQ-8 differentiated subjects with BP-II from those with UP depression with a sensitivity/specificity of 0.75/0.63 for the whole sample and 0.77/0.72 for a female subgroup with a history of childbirth. The BPIIDQ-8 can differentiate BP-II from UP depression at the secondary care level with satisfactory to good reliability and validity. It has good potential as a screening tool for BP-II depression in primary care settings. Recall bias, the relatively small sample size, and the high proportion of females in the BP-II sample limit the generalization of the results.