With some other types of depression, especially reactive depression which occurs as a result of the death of a loved one or a tragic event, the depression is only happening as a direct response to the unhappy situation and is temporary. With bipolar disorder you have to accept that it is a lifelong illness. But it can be managed and with the correct management someone who has this order can lead a very happy, healthy and productive life.
The first thing to remember is that unless you are a mental health professional yourself you are not in a position to analyse and diagnose the illness yourself. It is no good trying to work out if you have it or if your brother or sister has it. Either you are not qualified enough to assess the situation or you are too close to the situation and biased. It is hard to accept that you or someone who you love has such an illness and you may look for all sorts of excuses to explain their behaviour rather than accept that it was caused by bipolar depression. If there is any doubt or question that it may be that you need to have it assessed by a properly qualified medical expert and you need to find someone who is not a friend or family member so that they will be totally logical in their assessment. When people become emotional they find it hard to see or think clearly or rationally. Find someone who is properly qualified and who you feel comfortable with and trust. They will diagnose your disorder and then decide on a proper course of treatment.
You must then accept that your treatment will be a life long situation, no matter what age you are. And that you must stick to your treatment through the good and the bad. People often get highs and lows with bipolar depression and it is tempting to conveniently assume that when you are going through a high you do not need any medication. But without the medication to stablise the condition the highs wear off and are replaced by the lows. You also need to even out the highs and lows as the highs can cause you to act in an unhealthy way even if you are feeling happy. Some people spend recklessly or take risks with their physical health. They may believe they are able to fly and jump off a roof when going through highs. Some women become very promiscuous and throw themselves at men sexually when going through highs that have not been managed. You also need to manage the lows so that you do not feel suicidal or turn to drugs or drink so that you can cope with them easier. Just as a diabetic might need to have regular injections often a person with bipolar disorder will need their medication forever.
Typical treatment for bipolar depression is LITHIUM which you take daily, you do have to have regular blood tests but if LITHIUM is found to be suitable for you you may well be able to just take that and be fine on it. There are other drugs which are used to treat bipolar depression but LITHIUM is probably the most common and widely used drug Worldwide.
Once you have found someone you feel you can trust and feel comfortable with you will establish a good relationship with them, this leads to complete trust. This in itself will help you to deal with your illness. Many people who have bipolar depression end up leading very productive and happy lives if they can just accept that they need their medication and are not tempted to stop taking it when they go through a happy and high time.
I have been a private therapist for many years and have dealt with many cases of depression and similar illnesses, the good thing about bipolar depression is that taking your prescribed medicine every day will contain it.