by 19 Yr Old Female
"Can bipolar symptoms only last for a day or two, or do they have to last for a week or more?"
Thanks for your question. Although it is most common for episodes to last for many days or weeks at a time, in my experience it is quite possible to have mood cycles that last only a day or two -- or even dramatic mood changes within a single day. That said, there are other reasons why a person might experience this, besides bipolar disorder, so it is always best to seek an evaluation by a qualified mental health professional if you have concerns about your mood changes.
Bipolar Disorder by definition, is characterized by distinct episodes - mood changes - of a cyclical nature. So in most cases, a brief change in mood is not a sign of Bipolar Disorder.
Generally, with Bipolar Disorder, these episodic mood changes would gradually intensify or become more frequent or extreme over time, without treatment and good self-care to keep things from progressing.
Wishing you well,