Our expert says:
Not at all ! With Bipolar Disorder, as with most other disorders and diseases there is rarely a sudden, unambiguous starting point one might write in one's diary.
Some disorders start / first show themselves clearly in adolescence or younger, others usually at older ages. OCD is NOT commonly a part of Bipolar Disorder, though such mood disorders do perhaps occur together more often than by pure chance.
Obviously, I understand your concern about your friend's son, who sounds significantly troubled. I hope he is being assessed and treated by a good local psychiatrist, and not only a GP, as such a complex situation should never be managed solely by a GP. From yopur description, this doesn't sound like a successfully treated case of depression, and needs a re-assessment and reconsideration of the treatments most likely to be helpful.
Why not consider asking for a second opinion, from a different psychiatrist, for a fresh viewpoint ?
As Anon says, this sounds like all downs with no ups, so not like Bipolar Disorder, but there are some depressions that prove resistant to the obvious treatments, and need special consideration and treatment. Maybe an opinion can be sought from the senior staff at the Dept of psychiatry at your nearest Medical School ?
And DD is also right, that he must not be left to just sit around all day feeling miserable, but ways need to be found to keep him occupied usefully and pleasingly.
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