Welcome to the board. How is your daughter doing on Lamictal? Does she seem fairly stable on it?
I see you live in the Milwaukee area, as do I. I suggest you go online and check out the website for NAMI. ([url]www.nami.org[/url]) This is a national organization that has state and local chapters that provide education, support groups and are also a wonderful resource for referrals and informational programs. On their website click on "find a chapter" and a map of the US will open. Click on your state and a listing will open that shows all the chapters in Wisconsin. There are several active chapters in the area, and they run a program called "Family to Family" that is like basic training for someone who has a family member who is recently diagnosed. The website will also give you lots of factual information on the illness, other types of mood disorders, various medications used in treatments, etc.
I think the best thing you can do is educate yourself about the disorder and all the various treatments, medications, etc. Hopefully your daughter will want to learn right along side you...as she is considered an adult and will need to be the one taking charge of her condition.
The other poster is correct. BP is becoming a catch-all diagnosis, frequently made by a well-meaning family doctor. Only a psychiatrist can make a diagnosis after a thorough evaluation. There are now 6 "categories" of bipolar disorder and only the first one requires the exhibition of a classic mania. More frequently, the patient has "hypomania" which can present as anger, irritability, agitation, uncontrolled rage, sleep problems, etc. Sometimes the individual will experience mania as more energy, ability to get a lot accomplished, etc. and s/he doesn't report it because s/he likes feeling this way.
There are a number of good books out there. One I would particularly recommend to you is called Why am I Still Depressed? Recognizing and Managing the Ups and Downs of Bipolar II and Soft Bipolar Disorder
by Jim Phelps, M.D. From your description, it sounds like your daughter may have one of the "soft" bipolar disorders. This is available at one of the online booksellers if you can't find it locally.
Hope this helps a bit. You can find lots of helpful information on this board. Sometimes weekends are slow, but the board is full of terrific people who are generous in sharing their knowledge and experience.
I have a 25 year old who was diagnosed his junior year in college, so I know the anxiety you are feeling right now. Come here and post your questions and try to learn as much as you can. This will help you to help your daughter learn to manage her bipolar disorder.