I myself am bipolar 2. Recently diagnosed 2 years ago, since then have realized its been apart of my entire life. I had have diagnosis of depression etc. since 16 (now 34).
Bipolar is each person's disease, as to how it effects you and how you react. With the symptoms you describe it sounds very familiar how i have felt in the past, what really led me to a psychiatrist was my anger, I would get in a rage over the stupidest things that i wouldn't even normally notice, and usually during that that time I felt others were doing things just to piss me off (delusional)(this would go on for weeks). Which eventually just turned into a downward spiral of a deep depression and I would start realizing what i had done, because before, it all just felt like that's how I'm "supposed" to feel.
It took me a lot of counseling to figure out that I was indeed the problem it just took time to see things from other points of view. I had many years (my whole life) of distorted thinking and situations that became very complicated from an illness i didn't even know I had.
Any way getting to the medications. Meds can be wonderful, finding the right ones can be very frustrating, as you want relief of the symptoms you have, and then some of the meds add their own symptoms.
So my "official" dx is Bipolar 2, Panic disorder, and ADD
Lamictal 200mg a day,for mood stabilization
Prozac 60mg helps my depression/rage.
Methilyn XR (Ritalin extended release) 10mg 2 times a day, extended release helps so much to last all the time.
Klonopin 1mg 2 times a day, helps my irritability and to stay calm and potential "situations"
This mix of meds has changed my life! I'll admit that I had a hard time taking them all the time as i was in denial for a long time. Now I take them regularly and I feel better then I have in many many years. I can think and my emotions feel "normal".
I'd just like to add that what i think was important was the order i started taking these mesds, i stated with Lamictal (which is also has a great anti-depressant effect)for a few months with the Klonopin, once mood was in check and I stayed calm, added the Prozac so i was unlikely to trigger any mania as mood was under control, to deal with depression. Finally i still couldn't think straight, distractablity, unable to concentrate for any period of time, so the Methilyn XR (Ritalin extended release) was added.
I hope this helps. Feel free to contact me if you have more questions. I am not a doctor so definatley talk to someone who is qualified. All the meds i am on was working with a Psychiatrist. Don't forget therapy/consoling is almost just as important as meds!