Hello! DrMichaelH here! I am a psychiatrist.
Let me see if I can help you figure out this Bipolar diagnosis.
Here are some tips.
The problem with trying to diagnosis someone as a certain type of Bipolar is everyone's mood swings are a bit different.
However, it does sound like you are suffering from mood swings and mood-stabilizers helped.
So the take-home is, don't get hung-up on the exact diagnosis,
because these are just approximations with the current
science. Is it Bipolar I, Bipolar II, Cyclothymia
I consider Borderline Personality to be a sub-type of Bipolar with very rapid mood swings due to the person having an extra-sensitive nervous system.
Another VERY STRONG clue to if you have Bipolar is if there
is a family history (blood relative) of Bipolar Disorder or mood
swings, anger outbursts, alcoholism or anti-social behavior.
In fact, I will usually not diagnose a person with Bipolar
Disorder unless I get a family history of Bipolar.
Bipolar Disorder is very, very genetic.
Your situation is a little complicated because PTSD leads to
symptoms of anger (and so does Bipolar.) If the PTSD is
pretty well treated and dealt with, and you are still having
these mood swings, then you may have some variant of
Bipolar on top of it.
The clearest clue would be the family history.
That all said, if you have taken mood-stabilizers in the past
and they really helped the mood-swings and made you feel
better then that's the most important thing.
Another final important point: If you do have some varient of
Bipolar disorder, you cannot take an antidepressant alone
without a mood stabilizer because an antidepressant alone
will make you cycle worse.
I hope this long answer helped! Let me know if you need
further clarification on any of the points I've made.
I will send you good wishes and prayers to help your situation. :)