Sometimes I think about how I was dx'ed BP II and go, "Really? I'm Bipolar?".
I read Patty Duke's book, "A Brilliant Madness" and I gotta say that I really identified with it. She's a I and I'm a II, but there were certainly themes in there that made me go, yep yep, that's definitely me.
Not everyone has the same symptoms, many of the sources will say that people have at least 5 of the 10 symptoms listed (or something like that).
And when I read the posts on these forums, I get to hear people talk about their experiences and that is helpful for me too. We all experience it differently, but I think we all have the same underlying themes. It's this "thing" that interferes with our ability to live life, to have enduring relationships or experiences, to feel peace of mind, to fit society's norms.