I came to the US from China when I was 14.
My parents didn't come with me. It was living with my grandparents most of the time.
I didn't really adapt to the new environment well. The school I went to was really bad.
I remember feeling very lonely, very frustrated the whole time. Then my condition just continued to deteriorate.
I became suicidal, even though I didn't really do it. The closest I came to committing was one time when I really had
the urge to end my life, but instead I was consciously using the other end of the blade to "cut" my wrist.
Throughout high school, my condition never really improved. I was very antisocial, quiet, always look depressed. Didn't really make a lot of friends. The condition got better in my senior year. One reason is that the pressure from academics was off.
I began to try to make friends and have fun, which worked to an extent.
In college, I think my condition improved also, but there're periods when I feel so down that I would shun all human interaction.
Sometimes, it's a couple of months, sometimes it's merely weeks. But I never felt really happy.
Part of it is just loneliness. I was never the outgoing type, kind of an introvert (even though I'm an extrovert by nature).
I was still depressed most of the time.
One day in the summer after my junior year in college, I woke up and felt so happy, so elated. and then for the next a couple of weeks, that mood continued. At that point, i felt i had gotten myself out of the depressed state, but unfortunately, the "down" state would return.
One time I was having dinner with a couple of friends who majored in psychology, I told them my conditions. they told me that I might have bipolar because a lot of times, depression would turn into bipolar.
So from that point on, I started to pay more attention to my mood swings.
A couple of things that noticed are
1. during the "manic" period, I'm extremely confident, happy, and ambitious. I would set goals for myself and have the vitality to actually pursue them.
2. had trouble sleeping for more than 6 hours a day. I would sleep at 12 and wake up at 5, 6.
3. I would always think grandiose thoughts, even though I was pretty sick of myself doing it
and then just last couple of weeks,
I became down again, a little worried, insecure and lack motivation, energy
and low sex drive.
I would say that the answer is probably Yes, given what you've stated monkzuku. Treatments for Depression and Bipolar have similarities, for example I have Depression and my Mother in law has Bipolar and some of the treatments recommended to me, she too benefits from.
Often Anti-Depressants are prescribed for Depression and also for the Depressive phases of Bipolar, though for the Mania phase of Bipolar Neuroleptics are given. There are many other useful ways to assist in the treatment of Depression, like getting enough vitamin D from sun exposure, increased intake of omega 3,6,9 found in flax-seed or salmon, regular exercise (particularly 30 min cardiovascular workout) and regularly doing little things that bring you joy etc.
I find that a variety are useful to me for my Depression. Bipolar needs to be diagnosed by your medical practitioner and I suspect monitored for severity, as I've read that more than 4 Mania (the uncontrollable highs associated with outbursts or fits of rage) in a year, is cause for concern and to work with your Doctor for best treatment advice. I'm also aware that some medications used for Bipolar must be weened gradually rather than stopped abruptly, so definitely seek to find the best treatment for your condition and persist until you've gotten the balance right (probably not easy but worth it).