Bi-polar is one of the most commonly misdiagnosed disorders in mental health. The idea that individuals cycle from depression to elation is easily misunderstood. The key mistake that is made is that with bi-polar the cycling from depressed to elation is not dependent on external events. For example, a bi-polar person will cycle from manic to depressed without any events happening, and events that do happen in their lives do not speed up or slow down their symptoms.
Someone who had bi-polar will get severely depressed, and it lasts for at least a week but usually for weeks to months at a time. During this time, they are in a constant state of depression, regardless of what is going on in their lives; nothing can bring them out of it, even for a short period of time.
On the other hand, their manic periods are the same. They are not brought on by an event, or stopped by an event. The individual will fall into a manic period for weeks up to months or a year and nothing that happens to them or in their life will change it. An individual who can go from depressed to “super happy” all in one day, or even in a few days, does not have a bi-polar disorder.