Hello from JustAnswer.
Are there specific episodes that makes you wife think that you may be bipolar?
If so, could you describe these episodes?
What treatment is being done for the depression?
The mood swing that you describe are not necessarily bipolar symptoms. Sudden mood swings can be called many things, but frequently is called a labile mood or emotional lability. Emotional lability can occur with depression, and is not necessarily a sign of bipolar disease.
Bipolar disease is characterized by periods of excessively elevated mood. Everyone will have some variation in mood at various times and from day to day, and that is normal. Therefore, there is a range of moods that would be considered normal, although the specific upper and lower limits of the mood is not always easy to specifically characterize. A mood that is low compared to the normal range is considered a sign of depression, while a mood that is elevated compared to the normal range would be considered mania.
While it can be very difficult to identify when someone is having a mood that is too high, there ae other symptoms that can be associated with manic episodes. Common symptoms associated with manic episodes include a decreased need for sleep (which is different than difficulty sleeping, a common symptom of depression), rapid and pressured speech, extravagant spending, particularly of money that you cannot realistically spend, or excessive sexual behavior.
Do you recall any episodes in which you may have had any of these associated symptoms?
If you are having several of these associated symptoms, that would be more worrisome for bipolar disease than the mood swings, per se. Mood swings can be present in depression, with swings between normal and low mood. And for someone struggling with chronic depression, a mood swing up to the normal range may appear to be an elevated mood for them. But if the mood swings are between high and low moods, and the periods of high mood also have several of these symptoms, that would be worrisome for bipolar disease.
As for what to do, it is critical that you seek proper medical care. A proper diagnosis requires a more detailed and personal assessment than can be done over the internet. And regardless of whether the diagnosis is depression or bipolar disease, treatment can be oriented towards whichever condition is present.
There is less of a stigma associated with mental health diagnoses than was once true, but to whatever extent there remains a stigma, there will be a much greater impact if a mental health disorder is not addressed and something untoward occurs. Getting a proper diagnosis and treatment is generally a better sign than not addressing the problem. Many people with mood disorders can be managed by their primary care doctor and support staff, although some people need referral, either for counseling or more advanced medicine management.
If I can provide any additional information, please let me know.
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