I wrote this for someone on Facebook that asked for personal experiences with Bipolar II, which I've lived with since at least 2006. I have had symptoms of unipolar depression on and off since I was about 10. While in the Navy I became depressed again, and entered therapy, though I was never diagnosed with anything (not even an official diagnosis of depression), probably because it could've affected my Navy career. However, after the Kid was born, the depression I experienced was different from the unipolar depression I'd had before. It turns out bipolar depression is a very different animal from unipolar (typical) depression. What we all hear about in the media are the symptoms of unipolar depression, while bipolar depression has it's own symptoms, which at times can be opposite of the symptoms of unipolar depression. Anyway, I put this here for anyone who wants to read about my experience and so I have this available to copy and paste whenever I'm asked to share.
So, after my son was born in June, 2006 I started to get depressed, so my family practitioner started me on Lexapro because we thought it was PPD. I then switched to Zoloft because the Lexapro zoned me out, and I started to feel better. By my son's 1st birthday I felt so good that I stopped taking the Zoloft cold turkey thinking the PPD was gone. HUGE mistake. By August I was in a deep, deep depression, the deepest I'd ever experienced. I would have a day or so where I had an insane amount of energy, but mostly I was depressed with moments of being highly irritable. By October I was at my end, and was ready to kill myself. But the night I said goodbye to my baby and was about to do it, that rational voice in my head was able to shout out at me to talk to my husband (who had withdrawn from me) which I did. The next day he helped me find a therapist.