I have been diagnosed with both. The 2 are similar in symptoms. The biggest difference is the mood swings which drives me nuts.
Bipolar mood swings tend to be wider spread apart depending on your diagnosis. When I first started showing symptoms of Bipolar I was running about 3 months apart. 3 months of mania followed, by the swing which was mania turning to depression and 3 months of depression and so on.
When I was a teenager I noticed my mood swings were mostly rapid now. I found out I had BPD (Borderline Personality Disorder) and one of the main differences are the rapid mood swings which can change in an hour or so. Makes it hard to know what mood I am in when they keep on swinging like this. This disorder came about due to trauma during the teen years. I was almost raped twice and then the nonsense with my now ex-husband. I knew things had changed, but I didn’t know why. I didn’t know I had a second major mood disorder. The personality disorders consist of many different ones and I have symptoms from most of them.
Add them to anxiety, panic disorder, PTSD and OCD and that makes a mental mess. Those of you who are still young you have a lot to look forward to. I am 59 and suffered all my life with something. Bipolar kicked in young too. Not many babies are on anxiety medicine which continued through my childhood and then adult hood.
I would like to say it will go away, but I would be lying. If you find the right medication cocktail you can be stabilized for a while, but most people either never find the combination or it only lasts a few months to a year and it quits working. Right now I am not stable obviously as I am bouncing back and forth.
I wish you luck in your search for a winning cocktail. And I had to do a 9 day stint in the hospital for attempted suicide. Speak to your doctor before it gets that bad.