The Mighty Logo

The 9 Symptoms of Bipolar Disorder I Experience

The most helpful emails in health
Browse our free newsletters

1. Lack of Impulse Control

If I want something, I have to go get it. There are no “ifs” or “buts;” I need it and I need it now no matter how expensive it may be. No matter how much I can’t afford it, I will get it. Thankfully, I haven’t had many experiences like this. However, I still can relate. I’ve bought watches and expensive jewelry during these episodes, thinking nothing about spending a couple hundred on a watch. Impulse control is horrible. Buying something and regretting it isn’t ideal.

• What is Bipolar disorder?

2. Anger

Anger absolutely consumes me. It buries itself within my body, waiting to be unleashed over the smallest, tiniest, littlest thing. It’s so frustrating, flying off the handle over minor things. It makes me feel like the worst person; it makes me feel so guilty. Episodes of rage can be scary. Sometimes, I completely black out and don’t entirely remember what I’ve done. After an episode, it leaves me physically and mentally exhausted. I feel drained. Please try not to characterize me on my anger. It is not a part of my personality, it is a part of my illness.

3. Mixed Episodes

These episodes entail me feeling extremely depressed combined with feeling exceedingly hyperactive. I feel so low I can’t do anything, yet my mind is fighting against me, feeding me all this external energy. I’m so depressed it’s almost impossible to function, yet I have so much energy and the need to do something. It’s a truly frustrating feeling. It’s a dangerous stage. It’s like fighting with your body and losing.

4. Obsession

Obsession is a difficult one. Some people become immersed in drugs and alcohol. Others become obsessed with people. If I become obsessed with a person and they don’t respond the way I need them to or act in the way I want them to, it can be pretty heartbreaking. I’ve built this person up and put them on a pedestal. This person is my ultimate being and when they can’t meet that, it can be devastating. I feel let down and enter a great depression. It’s not only people who you can become obsessed with, but it’s also jobs and accomplishments. I’ve seen myself worked into the ground because I’m so obsessed with my job. It’s unhealthy. It’s like that thing I’m obsessed with becomes my be-all and end-all of everything. It’s my reason for living. It’s the inability to let go that gets me. I can’t quite grasp it, but I just need that thing, person or job.

5. Paranoia

I went through a stage of thinking everyone was staring at me. Everywhere I went, everywhere I walked, they were looking at me and judging. Paranoia is nasty; it can make me think all kinds of unrealistic things. Paranoia talks to me. It feeds off me. The more paranoid I am, the more it manifests itself and becomes bigger. I start off by becoming paranoid with little things, then bigger things come into play. Paranoia can ruin so many relationships and friendships. No matter how many times I can be told I’m loved and wanted, my brain will still tell me I’m not. It’s a harsh world.

6. Mania or Hypomania.

This is when I’m on an extreme high. I feel as though I’m on top of the world. I have so much energy, I can fight any demons; I’m invincible. I get the disbelieving feeling I’m actually better, cured. It’s truly amazing; I feel like I can take on anything. However, like a roller coaster, once I’m up… I must come down and the following isn’t pretty.

7. The “Bipolar Crash

This comes after a stage of mania or hypomania. I sink into a deep, tragic depression. You lose interest in the things I like and become severely sad. I slip into a dark hole and it feels almost impossible to get back out. The depression is soul-draining; it sucks all the life out of me, making me feel extremely fatigued. Concentrating on anything becomes impossible. The bipolar crash crushes me. I’ve been on such a high, I begin to believe I’m better. Then the cruel reminder arises that I’m not better at all, but it was fun while it lasted. These stages of bipolar disorder can last anything from days to months.

8. The Constant Fear of Returning Depression

Just when I’m feeling somewhat stable, I have this dread draping over my head. When will it return? It is not possible to live a life of pure happiness and joy without the depression commencing once again? And this time, how long will it last? Weeks? Months? Who knows. I never know when it’s going to hit or how bad it will be. It often arises when I least expect it — when I feel normal. This cruel reminder is evident and knowing I’m probably going to live with bipolar disorder all my life is excruciatingly exhausting.

9. Anxiety

Anxiety is constant. It strikes with anything it can grasp its hands on. “Do my family still love me?” “When will I be ill again?” “When will the depression hit?” With anxiety comes, it’s this awful feeling in the pit of my stomach. I feel sick and full of dread. My stomach does somersaults. I worry about every minor aspect of anything. I get all nervy and jittery and can’t concentrate on anything. I worry and overthink constantly about everything. Anxiety makes me feel so tired. It makes my whole body tremble inside and out.

Photo by Kleiton Silva on Unsplash

Originally published: October 8, 2018
Want more of The Mighty?
You can find even more stories on our Home page. There, you’ll also find thoughts and questions by our community.
Take Me Home