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What does being bipolar feel like?

130 Answers
Last Updated: 01/27/2022 at 6:35pm
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
December 19th, 2017 1:26pm
That depends on the type of bipolar disorder. it can be torment between feeling energetic and lethargic, between times of high risk and times of just hiding in bed. Or it can be a mess of feelings jumbling in to each other and making it hard to pinpoint if what's happening is because of outer sources or because a switch's been flipped over in your brain. It can be very clear and easy to diagnose. Or it can be tough, because it's a mess and hard to see. Either way, it's stressful, sometimes dangerous, and no matter what phase is currently going, it's tiring to stay in control.
January 7th, 2018 10:00pm
Been bipolar makes you feel like crazy ,you feel like you can do anything until later you feel like the world is the worst.Sometimes I feel like dying because I feel like I am not worth it in life ,what’s the point leaving here.But later minutes past and I am like soo happy I don’t have any idea how this happen its crazy .Sometimes I feel like I am crazy because I can not control myself and the worst people see me and maybe they think I am crazy.why is soo hard to control my feelings?? I don’t know and I will never know . Sometimes I cry soo much I can not stop and then my mood changes and then I feel soo happy ..yeah and I don’t like anything sometime nothing makes me happy is the worst part .
February 27th, 2018 7:43pm
Bi-polar is an mental illness that for some is very confusing. you are unsure of your feelings, your thoughts. one minute you could feel all okay and the next you want to just flip. it is something, that you yourself cannot control.
June 28th, 2018 7:06am
It feels like a hurricane sometimes. I feel like my emotions are in all different directions and i cant controll it. other times its like im completely numb to everything
July 15th, 2018 5:41am
It feels like being locked in your own head. Like your mind is a cage and you can't get out. It's like feeling hopeless and empty. And at other times, useless. Like nothing will get better.
January 2nd, 2020 2:08am
Basically, sometimes you're overwhelmingly sad. You have no energy, you sleep all day. Everyone says you're being lazy, and even when you try your hardest to do things you just can't. Then other times you're invincible. Everyone thinks you're charming and funny, and doing seems natural. Suddenly you're convinced you can do anything, and you have the kind of energy that makes others believe it to. Then it's back to being depressed again and all you want is to die, and you hate yourself and everyone else don't understand why you suddenly "stopped trying" and why you have a bad attitude. Typically the depressed periods last for months and the manic one only a couple of weeks. That's my experience at least. I'm sure others have different.
September 25th, 2016 1:54pm
Being bipolar without medication feels like being on a runaway train that never makes stops. With medication you still have a few ups and downs but it's not anything like trying to function in society on your own.
November 9th, 2016 3:26am
It's inconsistent haha. Seriously though some days I feel down in the dumps and some days I feel on top of the world. One common symptom for me is grandiosity.. I'll get these surges of great ideas and suddenly I'll have the belief that I can change the world with this idea. The grandiosity usually goes hand in hand with impulsivity, which then causes me to act on my grandiose idea, causing me to male bad decisions. Physically I feel my head get warm when I'm manic, and a different kind of sinking warmth when I'm depressed..
May 12th, 2017 6:22pm
My bipolar was a roughly 6 week cycle of going from the deepest most hopeless depression through a normal middle time and on into a manic period over and over until I went into remission about 22 years ago. At 67 years old, I am thankfully stable with no manic or (depressed) hopeless episodes but the fear of same is still there occasionally, especially when I get really tired mentally. I am totally blessed but I never take it for granted that I am totally cured.
December 1st, 2017 1:47am
*TriggerWarning* As it's been described by a few people, it's different for everyone. But it mainly follows a kind-of set guideline of moments of mania followed by moments of depression. I say moments because the timing differs for everyone. Some can last for a week some can last for a day and in severe cases, just hours. Mania is basically when the mind and body are very hyper and euphoric with vast amounts of energy. It's usually marked by a feeling of superiority sometimes, anxiety, fidgeting, and inability to sleep. The depression is marked by being very drastic compared to the mania. Usually a person is feeling neglected, worthless, very sad, and it can sometimes be marked by insomnia or over sleeping, binge eating or self starvation, self harm or even just lack of general self care. There are two types of bipolar disorder that are really known. I don't remember very clearly but one is more common than the other as well as one is more severe. I hope this helps.
February 3rd, 2018 8:40pm
Bipolar makes me feel like I am two entirely different people constantly battling a war in my mind to maintain my life. Half of me stays in bed and away from people and the other half wants to see everyone and never come back home. They pop up unexpectedly so I never know how my day will go.
April 13th, 2018 8:07am
You have hectic ups and hectic downs. You’re extremely happy for a while then you just plummet into a deep depression. You’re emotions are also all over the place so you might find yourself change moods drastically in as little as a minute.
May 30th, 2018 7:43pm
It feels like you’re mind is racing and you can’t shut it off when you want it to. Also some days it makes you feel like not getting out of bed.
July 28th, 2018 11:23pm
For me personally, it feels like a rollercoaster you can't get off. Some parts are too fast, some parts are too slow, some parts are scary!! And some parts just feel pretty normal (like being on a train) but all that matters are those who are on it with you
September 5th, 2018 5:57pm
Bipolar feels different to many people, for me it feels like my emotions have voices and when I am feeling manic its like they are screaming and fighting over me. Sometimes I black out because it gets to be too much to handle so my brain has a black out. I usually have a manic episode 1 time a year, but with medication I feel more stable and more in control, I can help better myself and manage my bipolar when I exercise, eat healthy, meditate and more. If you have Bipolar Disorder know you aren't alone or helpless. you can make it through the disorder, if you just believe, its not even a disease its a part of you that makes you beautiful and unique.
February 14th, 2019 9:12pm
In my personal experience with being diagnosed with Bipolar I feel as if I am on a roller coaster that never wants to stop. Some days there are good days but the other days are bad, one minute I would feel terrific but then all of the sudden I would feel as if I was drowning in an abyss that's full of depression. Having Bipolar you will have dramatic mood swings for example with me I have times that I'm very hyper, full of energy, I felt like I could do anything if I set my mind to it and then all of the sudden I would be irritable and extremely tired.
March 22nd, 2019 6:29pm
It feels like you are on top of the world one minute, and the next you come crashing down into depression. The right meds help. But, there may be side effects you have to deal with too. My biggest issue with mine right now is weight gain and feeling a loss of creativity. Still, it beats feeling irritable, angry, depressed, or completely alone. Plus, learning what triggers your moods is a must. Some days, even on meds, bipolar disorder makes me feel exhausted simply because I almost feel like an outsider who has to work extra hard to fit in. Thank God for family and my therapist!
January 10th, 2020 12:47am
I have been diagnosed with bipolar almost 10 years ago. Having bipolar is an illness just as diabetes is an illness. There is a lot of stigma around mental illness and we need to be ambassadors for ourselves and fellow-bipolar diagnosed people that it is nothing to be ashamed of. Someone once told me that having bipolar does not define who you are but is a perfectly manageable illness. Therefore, never say "I AM bipolar" (it is not who you are), rather say "I HAVE bipolar" like you would have told someone you have diabetes (you aren't diabetes). I have read in a book that having bipolar feels like this (and I have experienced it as well): Think of driving a car. You keep your foot steady on the accelerator but the car keeps speeding and you are trying to brake, but the brakes don't work. It doesn't matter what you do, the car will not slow down. Cops start chasing you and your loved ones are yelling at you to slow down. That is normally the mania stage. The opposite, again driving a car and you put pedal to the metal but the car keeps slowing down and nothing you do will make the car go any faster. Eventually other drivers pass you yelling and shouting at you for driving so slow but you cannot help it. This is the depression hitting you. Having bipolar messes up all your emotions and your moods flip faster than a burger on the grill. Normally you don't realise the symptoms until someone close to you like a family member or friend draws your attention to it. Unfortunately we experience feelings we cannot put into words. We feel alone (depressed) and long to go out with friends, yet when they ask we decline to rather stay at home. On the other hand, we feel invincible - like nothing can touch us - and tend to do impulsive things we later come to regret (mania). Having bipolar is difficult but with therapy and medication (yes medication) can help you to "nomalise" these episodes of mania and depression. There are so many medications on the market that it is important to work with your therapist to find the right combination for you as well as the right doses. It takes time, but do not ever give up finding the right medication and dosages. Every human being have their "off" days and happy days but not to the extent that we experience it. Taking medication and going to regular therapy sessions, the illness is managed to, like other people, still have "off" days and happy days but in a fairly normal margin. In conclusion, don't be ashamed, seek professional help, accept support from your family and friends and never say "I Am bipolar" - "we HAVE bipolar". I wrote this from my heart because I HAVE bipolar and I'm not ashamed of it. Yours in recovery, Piekkel ;o)
May 17th, 2020 7:18am
"Bipolar", Well to be precise, usually people down with this disorder suffers from varied anxiety levels, moodswings, sleeplessness, hallucinations, overthinking, suicidal thoughts (at extreme level) etc. Their is no particular age group for this disorder, people of any age group can suffer from this disorder. Their are many factors which can lead to this disorder, i.e., work pressure, isolation, indifferences in relationships, improper self-care, strive for perfection, improper sleeping hours, domestic abuse or any form of it, lack of appreciation, etc. Well this can be treated by taking proper care of that individual by understanding their level of mindset.
July 8th, 2021 4:09pm
Bipolar disorder, formerly called manic depression, is a mental health condition that causes extreme mood swings that include emotional highs (mania or hypomania) and lows (depression). When you become depressed, you may feel sad or hopeless and lose interest or pleasure in most activities. Bipolar disorder is a confusing condition, especially for someone viewing it from the outside. If you have a friend or relative living with bipolar disorder, this person may be reluctant to share how they feel. Because this can make it hard to know how the illness affects them, reading first-hand accounts of other people living with bipolar disorder can help you understand the condition from their perspective.
June 15th, 2016 11:16am
Being bipolar can feel like one of two things: really happy, or really sad; there is no limbo. Regular people have their up and down stages for a few hours, maybe a day, but bipolar people have those stages for weeks and months. It can be painful at times, but as long as you're seeking treatment and taking medication, all should be well!
July 16th, 2016 12:31am
When you are bipolar there are months/weeks where you feel depressed and completely low and that you are worthless but then suddenly it can switch and you feel euphoric in ways, its hard to explain in one comment.
July 22nd, 2016 4:36am
Well, it feels like you're an emotional wreak. Sometimes you'll be super happy, and other times you'll feel like locking yourself away from any person at all. You might even want to yell, and think you need to manage your anger better, but it's too hard to truly do so. When I was 13, my parents thought it was just average mood swings of a teen, but it wasn't. I guess you could compare it to a never ending emotional roller coaster of puberty (just the mood swings).
August 3rd, 2016 1:54pm
I do not know but extreme mood swings is part of it. Ask a professional to confirm if its bipolar. Google the condition and see what you find on it and see if it applies to how your feeling but always double check with a professional
August 19th, 2016 2:55pm
Want to know the truth? I've felt like I was bipolar, when my happiest/saddest moments were always a 100% or even more if possible. Do you feel that way sometimes?
August 19th, 2016 11:28pm
Being bipolar feels so rubbish, it ruined my life at one point I could barley talk to my friends because they didn't know if I was going to be in either a bad or good mood like one minuet I'm so happy thee next I'm crying my eyes out for no reason at all
September 2nd, 2016 3:03am
it feels like you in two worlds but it will get better in time,just let your self know when your mad and you need to calm down
September 3rd, 2016 8:38am
It's hard to know. I have bipolar. It hurts a lot to come crashing down from a feeling of mania and then feeling Like you're stupid for believing your manic thoughts, it make the down periods hurt that much more. But you can get help for it. Nobody deserves to have to live with it but if you do live with it, it is possible to still be happy and enjoy life. I consider myself happy.
September 8th, 2016 9:52pm
It feels like a roller coaster. Sometimes you feel on top of the world and sometimes you feel so low. Having bi polar out breaks is extremely hard to control
September 10th, 2016 10:41pm
Feeling scared and brave at the same time sad but happy in control but also confused it's like being in a room full of people and feeling aloan wanting friendship but dread socialising bipolar is ur friend and ur enemy