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What does being bipolar feel like?

129 Answers
Last Updated: 01/16/2022 at 9:46am
1 Tip to Feel Better
United States
Moderated by

Stacy Overton, PhD.


I am an enthusiastic life-long learner and also a professor of counseling. I have a passion for peoples stories and helping to guide and empower the human spirit.

Top Rated Answers
- Expert in Bipolar
December 3rd, 2016 7:11am
It feels like you're walking on unstable grounds, except the instability is not from the ground, it's from you. You go to extremes between mania and depression. During mania, your judgment is poor because of recklessness, impulsivity and euphoria. You feel like you're always right and everyone else is wrong. While in depression, you're drowned by overwhelming sadness, worthlessness, hopelessness, and the wish to die. You are unable to function, think, analyze. Personally, I felt like I lost myself; I lost my mind and that is when I lost my will to live.
Anonymous - Expert in Bipolar
February 23rd, 2017 3:53am
Sometimes you feel euphoric like you're on top of the world and you can do anything that's possible. Like you're invincible. And then you get angry, really fast, at everything. Everyone annoys you, every sound, every movement, even like inanimate objects can annoy you. And then sometimes you're down. You're so down you don't want to get out of bed to eat or drink water or shower or even brush your teeth even when you can taste how bad your breath smells. And then sometimes you're just okay. You're in the middle. And then on rare occasions you can be both up and down at the same time and that is the absolute worst.
- Expert in Bipolar
July 31st, 2016 10:14pm
Bipolar is different for everyone. One part is the depression. You feel really sad all the time, no energy. and it's basically the emotional equivalent of watching paint dry. The other part is the manic side. You are crazy hyper, you can't really seem to think straight, and you do risky stuff you wouldn't usually do. You switch between those sometimes. Sometimes you feel like normal yourself but bipolar makes you feel like you don't know who you are anymore
Anonymous - Expert in Bipolar
November 9th, 2016 3:17am
For me it's been very hard. Accepting that I had to take medication for the rest of my life was hard. Learning they had side effects was harder. It's a constant battle every day getting up in the morning is like waking up in hell. You immediately have to start fighting the constant voices in your head that have no pause button. It's an on going battle you won't win. There are no breaks. You want to live but you know can never be happy as long as you have it. The psychosis is worse it's the most excruciating pain you can ever feel headache. The depression is worse you no longer have enough tears to cry or fight left to fight it. Hypo mania for me is the worst of them all once you are up you know you can only go down for me the transition was always the most painful. You have medical side effects constantly having to listen to someone talk 24/7 without a break nobody believes it when I say I constantly hear a voice and having to fight off or fore see hypo mania by secretly spying on yourself. Through it all though we live on
Anonymous - Expert in Bipolar
August 7th, 2016 2:59am
Bipolar feels like an endless roller coaster. There are constantly fun and high moments, which swoop down into a low. During my mania, I feel like a goddess . I feel like I can do anything, like im invincible, so my self-confidence is so far through the roof, I can’t explain it, but when the mania burns out, the fun turns me empty . Without the highs of the manic episodes, I wouldn’t ever be able to tolerate the lows of depression. -lk
Anonymous - Expert in Bipolar
April 24th, 2018 12:54am
Personally its hell. I’m now 52, have moved with my 16yr old son,who I’ve raised on my own from day 1. I have not one friend (as usual) and, as I’ve been all my life, I just don’t belong anywhere. I’ve never belonged anywhere which has been overwhelmingly lonely and disconnected. Being bipolar, you’re already in the grips of loneliness so to combine the two, I feel defeated. I’m always now so angry with life. I was sacked illegally from my bank job, after having been with the company for 10 years then got a new department manager who was a bitch and decided to make my life hell as she didn’t like anyone with mental health. She taunted me for two years where I couldn’t take it anymore, finally broke and walked out. She had me sacked by making up a lie which was found to be untrue, I was given a $1700 payment as an apology and that’s it. 10 loyal years and now, after one breakdown after another, I just can’t do life anymore. I’m sorry. I’ve blurted out too much, something I do and then regret Welcome to my bipolar. I’m sorry
- Expert in Bipolar
September 23rd, 2016 10:19pm
Bipolar can feeler like your in two different world's at the same time. Or that you have two different personalities. You have go from an ultimate low to an ultimate Hugh within a matter of minutes. Leaving many things in your daily life hard and relationships extremely difficult
- Expert in Bipolar
January 8th, 2017 7:42pm
Being bipolar is different for everyone who experiences it. As someone with Bipolar II, I feel it as prolonged periods of depression offset with short (day or a few day long) bursts of hypomania, irritability, motivation, and impulsive decisions.
- Expert in Bipolar
May 10th, 2017 1:34pm
There are days when you feel awesome, like you can do anything. Want to finish a month's worth of project in a few days? No problem. Sometimes you get a little or no sleep at all and you won't even feel tired. Sometimes, I tend to overspend money on buying things I don't even need.. which make me feel really bad after my 'Happy Hour' ends. When you get depressed, its like you crashed. You lose interest in things you enjoy, avoid socializing, and basically feel like you just hit rock bottom. There's no in between. Well, at least that's just my opinion.
- Expert in Bipolar
November 18th, 2017 10:31pm
Being bipolar feels like you are on an emotional roller coaster. The greatest piece of advice I can give to anyone struggling with bipolar is to find a supportive psychiatrist. Find someone that doesn’t make you feel like they are talking down to you and someone that shows genuine empathy, it is important you have that relationship because it is a lifetime partnership. Secondly, become disciplined with doing the things you know will help you. Sleep, exercise, healthy eating. If you manage these things then the mood swings will be less obvious and a lot of the time you can function as though you don’t have a mental illness. Having the symptoms of bipolar is terrible so being proactive at prevention makes life a lot easier.
April 7th, 2017 7:50am
I was diagnosed with bipolar when I was 15 years old. Bipolar feels like a rollercoaster of feelings. One day you'll have so much energy and you can feel like you can take on the world, Colors seem brighter and everything around you is beautiful and amazing. Then the next you may feel like the world is falling down around you and you can't physically get out of bed. Colors seem dull and life almost seems pointless. The emotions you have are always on the extreme and it can feel like you're crazy because the people around you don't understand why you are so happy or so depressed. They don't always understand that we can't control our good and bad days and we try the best we can.
January 25th, 2017 11:41pm
It's kind of annoying, honestly. One minute you're content with your life, and then you just hate it the next without any provocation. Sometimes it zones with anger issues. It's a bit difficult to keep it in check.
August 19th, 2016 6:43pm
Being bipolar is a really strange feeling; one day you're on top of the world, internally indestructible and nothing can get you down-the next day is the complete opposite. Sometimes I feel as though I can actually feel the shift in my mood take place, and it makes it hard to socialize with people considering that many don't realize I have BP, based upon the social stigma that goes with it. Despite it being called BP, I personally prefer the old-school term "manic depressive", I honestly think it has less of that stigma since less people have heard it coined that way.
August 18th, 2016 5:34am
Being bipolar feels like being pulled into all these different directions, when you just want to stay in one place. It's feels as if there's all these different people pulling your strings, making you happy, or angry, or feel like you aren't enough.
July 30th, 2016 2:29pm
It's not like being happy 2 seconds then sad/angry the next few minutes,it is like you are feeling alright for a good amount of time then you don't even realize when you -accidentally- thrown that plate to the floor. Good thing it was made of plastic...
January 25th, 2018 7:05am
It feels like I have too minds that don't always agree with each other. It feels like sometimes, I wanna say something, but I know I shouldn't, but I do anyway. It feels like I'm always debating and fighting with myself, when I'm not busy arguing with others. It feels like a weight that I'm aware of, but can't really talk about, because nobody understands what I'm saying. It feels like I'm an outcast and nobody believes in me or my goals. It feels like I'm in a battle and I don't get a lot of rest.
May 24th, 2018 7:50am
It feels like going to the beach. You walk up and the sands burns you; thats waking up out of a dead depression sleep. Its sunny; you feel the sunshine and maybe your nervous the day wont go you way but you go to water anyway. Then your in the water, your emotions are like waves, sometimes they are so low to your knees you dont mind them. You even feel so in control that you are impervious to pain. Then the tide comes in and your at your neck. Somehow your loosing control, the sky gets dark as you panic. You feel you cant breathe and the salt tears your eyes. Lighting crashes and its like rage that your in this mess. You start to wonder if its best to stop fighting. You fight your way back to the shore and lay on the beach as it rains. Your depressed; you want to give up. Then the sun comes out and the day starts again. At least thats the closest example I can give.
August 20th, 2016 7:43pm
It feels like you are going to rip someones head off. And or it feels like your going to explode at any moment.
October 21st, 2017 6:23am
I dont think there is an average description for being bipolar that fits everybody. But mostly, its a constant battle. You never really understand why you are sad but you keep being sad, and once you are happy, the happiness reaches new heights. There is no middle ground. And half the time, your emotions are all over the place. Its just a like a switch. You are depressed and you are ecstatic. And you never know why. Its like rolling down a grassy hill, you are giddy with joy until you are dizzy with pain. That is why being bipolar is often just discarded as regular mood swings or temper tantrums. They are difficult to understand or explain.
November 3rd, 2016 5:00pm
A person who has bipolar experiences extreme emotions. From ecstasy to depression, each emotion you feel is more intense than what a normal person would feel. But that doesn't mean you're a freak or weird or abnormal. It's just that you feel everything with an intensity that others might not. You might have your mood swings or constant change in your emotions, but just remember it's not your fault, don't let anyone make you feel guilty just because they don't understand what it feels like to have bipolar
July 16th, 2016 6:01pm
As a bipolar myself, it feels really frustrating. One second I am the happiest person alive, the next I am thinking of dying off somewhere. My sleeping and eating schedules arent the greatest either... Lets just say it isnt a pleasant journey sometimes c:
September 3rd, 2017 3:35am
It's a bit like a soap opera. The good things are really good. So good that you get high on them. The bad things are really bad. They can send you to bed for days or make you want to take your own life. My average day involves both poles. When the meds are working for me I am usually experience less extreme mood changes but tend to average out on the depression side of things. Having support from family and friends, a good therapist, a good psychiatrist and being on the right meds makes all the difference in the world
August 12th, 2016 12:14am
I don't know if i have bipolar or not but we will find out. Imagine that being bipolar feels like you are up and down up and down high and low low low and high high high and low and high and low and high.
October 2nd, 2016 4:40am
Think of your worse moment and then think of your happiest moment.. imagine instantly feeling one way and then the other for no real reason.
November 5th, 2016 1:22pm
It feels like you cannot control your moods and sometime you'll feel like outburst of feelings and sometimes you will be unable to feel anything at all.
January 20th, 2018 9:31pm
it can feel like you're at the top of the hill, everything feels lighter happier better and you feel there's nothing you can't do. The downside is literally feeling you can barely do anything, it feels like a cage a prison and you don't know how much longer you will feel so numb, lost.. Bipolar owns you controls you so much it can either weigh you completely down, wear you out or energize you so you almost feel high. You're either ecstatic over the moon happy or utterly miserable. Some days everything is done swiftly full of energy and then there are days you struggle to even get out of the door. Bipolar is a curse and a blessing.
July 18th, 2016 4:22pm
Bipolar is a rollercoaster of intense emotions. Extreme highs that are usually brief followed by unbelievable depression that lasts for months. Sometimes years. It hurts just to exist when you're that depressed, but with meds, therapy, and coping skills it's possible to lead a normal life.
July 6th, 2017 1:11am
It feels really amazing and really terrible sometimes. It truly does feel like the highest highs and lowest lows. The depressive episodes feel like nothingness, and the manic episodes feel like the lack of inhibition when you are drunk.
November 9th, 2018 12:07pm
When you first learn that you are bipolar you feel betrayed by your own brain. You wonder if all the decisions and feelings and relationships have been based on faulty wiring. You feel as if you have no control over your own brain. If you get so manic that you go to delusions it is scary and you hope you never go there again. However, if you are one of the lucky ones whose bipolar is controlled by a simple lithium pill, in time you learn to accept that you will be alright. You will remain in control as long as you stay on your medication. A medication that is literally life-saving. Finally, after years of living with the disease you do realize it is just like any other chronic disease. If you are lucky like me, once lithium starts working your life is pretty much "normal".
August 14th, 2016 9:46pm
Like your on a roller coaster you can't get off and the weather keeps changing at the same time so you don't know what to do