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What a Bipolar Disorder Mood Swing Feels Like


Editor’s note: If you experience suicidal thoughts, the following post could be potentially triggering. You can contact the Crisis Text Line by texting “START” to 741-741.

It’s hard to describe what occurs when you have a particularly harsh mood swing. It’s so all-encompassing and knocks you off your balance, as if you’re walking along and someone comes behind you and shoves you forward, forcing you to catch yourself… if you can.

For me, it starts with a flash of numbness. I can’t feel anything, and it’s as if I’m watching the world from a different perspective. Feeling detached and disassociated are signs it’s beginning.

This is followed by irritability at almost anything that comes my way. Please don’t look at me, please stop touching me, please stop talking. I bark at people, close my eyes and hold my head in my hands, attempting to hide away to avoid being hurtful or mean to anyone I love.

Then comes the despair. I can’t live this life. I just want to go to bed and not wake up. It’s the overwhelming feeling that you cannot take it anymore. Suicidal thoughts and planning start to run rampant.

Countering this — catching yourself so you don’t fall — is tricky. I try to catch it early and remove myself from any difficult situations. I reassure myself this is like a thunderstorm. It will roll in, make a lot of racket and then roll out. The sun will shine again. It doesn’t always work, but when it does, it’s like hope has taken a seat in a room otherwise filled with demons.

For those of you battling this… try to let hope in. Sometimes it’s all you have.

If you or someone you know needs help, visit our suicide prevention resources page.

If you need support right now, call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255, the Trevor Project at 1-866-488-7386 or reach the Crisis Text Line by texting “START” to 741-741.

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Photo by Matthew Henry on Unsplash