Hello, I'm Alicia. I'm happy to help you today.
Based on what you've described, it does sound like this person may be suffering from bipolar
disorder, although I cannot provide a specific diagnosis here and this is for informational purposes only (he would need an in-person evaluation to confirm any diagnosis.)
There are four basic types of bipolar disorder. According to the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual for Mental Disorders (the professional guide for diagnosis), the criteria for bipolar disorder are as follows:
Bipolar I Disorder is mainly defined by manic or mixed episodes that last at least seven days, or by manic symptoms that are so severe that the person needs immediate hospital care. Usually, the person also has depressive episodes, typically lasting at least two weeks. The symptoms of mania or depression must be a major change from the person's normal behavior.
Bipolar II Disorder is defined by a pattern of depressive episodes shifting back and forth with hypomanic episodes, but no full-blown manic or mixed episodes.
Bipolar Disorder Not Otherwise Specified (BP-NOS) is diagnosed when a person has symptoms of the illness that do not meet diagnostic criteria for either bipolar I or II. The symptoms may not last long enough, or the person may have too few symptoms, to be diagnosed with bipolar I or II. However, the symptoms are clearly out of the person's normal range of behavior.
Cyclothymic Disorder, or Cyclothymia
, is a mild form of bipolar disorder. People who have cyclothymia have episodes of hypomania that shift back and forth with mild depression for at least two years. However, the symptoms do not meet the diagnostic requirements for any other type of bipolar disorder.
You may also be interested in reviewing this information, which describes bipolar disorder (including more specific symptom information) and provides detailed treatment information:
Unfortunately, unless someone is an obvious danger to himself or others, you can't force someone into treatment. For example, if he appears suicidal, you could contact your law enforcement agency - police are trained to intervene in suicidal situations and may have the authority to bring him to the ER for evaluation. If this person was neglecting or hurting a child under the age of 18 (or an obvious suspicion of using drugs while caring for the child - this could be a reason for filing a report), for example, you could contact the Department for Child Protection, who would then conduct an evaluation to see if he is a fit parent, and if not, what steps to take (which may include being mandated to treatment.) I do not know if that would apply in this situation based on what you've dsecribed, unless he is a caretaker for the wife's teenage children.
Other times, if a person has a job that is classified as safety-sensitive, the employer may mandate random drug testing. If these tests come back positive, then the employer can mandate treatment as a condition of maintaining continued employment.
You may also wish to read this information regarding helping someone with bipolar disorder:
I hope that helps. Best of luck.