An actual evaluation with a mental health professional can lead to recommendations about whether or not he might benefit from some type of treatment, whether that were medications, psychotherapy, or both. Personality disorders don't spring up overnight...they typically are evident by adolescence. Also, in the setting of unusual stress, like job loss, anyone might be expected not to be at their best in terms of personality characteristics and structure, or resiliency and the capacity to adapt to stress. Also, if his "blow ups" are placing unusual stress on your relationship with him, or his relationships with others, clarifying whether that comes from his coping style (psychotherapy may be useful) versus something else for which medication may be useful would be some potential benefit of a consultation.
Think of the distinction more as, bipolar disorder is mainly a disorder of energy, cognition and sleep (with mood being an associated aspect), while borderline personality disorder mainly involves problems in the ability to regulate one's emotional responses and behaviors (usually aggressive behaviors) to stresses from the environment and other people.
There actually is not such thing as a credential for "therapist." Anybody on the planet can call themself that. In terms of credentials, an LSW or social worker is someone who has completed a 2-3 year program that may or may not include training in psychotherapy and family therapy. A psychologist is a non-medical doctor who has completed typically 4-5 or more years of graduate training in psychology (typically, clinical psychology, but never assume) who usually has had training in the administration of psychological tests (eg, IQ tests, Rorschachs, etc.) and psychotherapy. Neither psychologists nor social workers are licensed to prescribe medicines (except a few states that by legal precedent have decided that psychologists can prescribe medicines without having to go to medical school). Psychiatrists are MD's who have had 4 years of medical school plus 4-5 or more additional years of specialty training in psychiatry, and typically, psychiatrists are qualified to prescribe medicines and do psychotherapy. Nowadays insurance companies discourage people from seeing psychiatrists for psychotherapy because social workers and psychologists are usually less expensive.
If medicines are in the picture, or are being considered, a psychiatrist would be the right type of professional to see. If talk therapy is being considered, any of the other disciplines would be appropriate. Probably the most important thing, regardless of the credential, is someone who has knowledge and a background in the treatment of mood disorders, which would be an appropriate question to ask when calling to inquire about an initial appointment.
Borderline personality disorder is a condition in which people can very easily become angry and upset in response to stresses -- especially stresses involving relationships. Borderline personality disorder also can involve periods of feeling suicidal, not so much out of clinical depression but as an expression of distress. Moodswings, and trouble managing extreme mood states, are hallmark features of borderline personality disorder, although sudden or abrupt moodswings are not part of the definition of bipolar disorder. People with borderline personality disorder may feel inclined to injure or cut themselves as a way of relieving distress, although self-injurying behavior is not part of bipolar disorder. People with borderline personality disorder often see other people or situations as "all good" or "all bad" rather than in the middle. They may also have a tendency to project their own emotions on to other people, rather than acknowledge them as their own (eg, anger) and may therefore often feel victimized or taken advantage of. The term "borderline" refers to the "border" between reality and psychosis, meaning that under times of stress, people with borderline personality disorder may become paranoid or unduly suspicious or even hallucinate. An unfortunate aspect of borderline personality disorder involves longstanding chaos and stormy patterns in relationships. It can be very disabling. Specific forms of psychotherapy have been developed that are the most effective known form of treatment. Medicines in general have only modest value.
About 10% of people with borderline personality disorder may also have bipolar disorder. Bipolar disorder involves periods of intense energy, overactivity, getting by with very little sleep and not feeling tired the next day, and extreme productivity. Mood problems are only one aspect of bipolar disorder, and some researchers think that the high energy states of bipolar disorder are more important and specific to making the diagnosis than mood, since mood problems can occur from many other causes.View Thread
Sounds more like ruminations (thoughts that continue around and around, same theme, over and over) than something related to bipolar disorder. Ruminations, if they reflect anything clinical, usually are anxiety.
Pressured speech means talking so rapidly and nonstop that nobody can interrupt you. If it occurs in the context of other symptoms of mania or hypomania (ie, not sleeping, fast thoughts, euphoria, increased activity) then it could be part of the constellation of symptoms that make up mania or hypomania. If it occurs unrelated to those types of symptoms, then you may just be someone who happens to have a lot to say.
It would be worthwhile to have your lithium level checked to make sure it is not higher than the usual therapeutic range (chances are, if it were, you'd be noticing significant side effects). So long as the level is not too high, no reason to stop. Note that if you chronically take Advil and were to stop the Advil, your lithium level might dip down. Checking levels will clarify this; and make sure your doctor is aware that you are combining lithium with an NSAID.