Question: How can I tell the difference between "mood swings" and bipolar disorder?
Answer: Well, mood swings can be part of bipolar disorder. Mood swings are changes in mood, the difference in mood swings in regular people and mood swings in bipolar disorder, is the severity and duration.
In regular people, the mood swings usually do not interfere with your life.
If you're a little bit down or a little bit up, you can still go to work. You can still see your friends, you can still go to the movies, you can still make dinner, you can still take care of your children.
When a person has bipolar disorder, the mood swings are such that they disrupt your life, sometimes completely.
You can be so depressed that you cannot get out of bed. You can be so depressed that you don't want to live.
You can be so manic that you spend your family's fortune and go into debt. You can be so manic that you get involved in altercations with people in the street and can get arrested.
So there's fairly dramatic differences in mood swings in regular people and those with bipolar disorder.