The first thing I want to say is not all bipolar symptoms (depression, mania or in between) are obvious to outsiders, even close friends. I can say a lot of us get so good at hiding a lot of it that someone may have no clue at all, or in your case have doubts.
The second thing I want to say is just because she exhibits a lot of anxiety symptoms, does not mean that that is all she should be diagnosed with. It is so totally common that these disorders co-exist.
Withdrawaling from friends, and work are common symptoms of depression as well as anxiety. It may not be the case, but it sounds like it to me.
It sounds to me like you feel that she is not having enough of her "episodes" to qualify for her current diagnosis. Sometimes, there is a time gap between episodes. Sometimes people can be stable for quite some time and then something happens and things change. As far as not noticing any mania...sometimes hypomania occurs instead of full blown mania...because there are different types of bipolar. Have you ever noticed days where she seems really hyper, talking fast, talking a lot more than other days, or times when she feels overly good about
herself...high irritability....(it's kind of hard to explain) Hypomania is often mistaken for a really good mood or being normal. I made that mistake for myself, thinking I just had awesome days in between depressions. I just want to get across that there are levels of symptoms, and again that bps sometimes hide a lot. Also, not all bipolars have a set pattern with their illness.
I am not at all saying that she is bipolar and you are wrong. I am just trying to give you some information. This illness is also a difficult one to diagnose clear cut at times. I think the strongest point I can make is that no one except the professionals (psychiatrists) can diagnose this disorder.
I am thinking of you and your friend. I wish you both well and keep posting if you wish. We may be able to offer more insight as you may have more questions in time; especially in the near future, as it sounds like she is having a really tough scary time right now.
Bipolar II, Anxiety/Panic Disorder
Clonazepam .5mg as needed for panic attacks
---temporarily off Lamictal----