Last Updated on January 29, 2024 by Beth Skwarecki
Untreated bipolar disorder can take over your life. The highs and lows of this condition can be hard to predict, and difficult to manage. Every individual has a different experience, but the frustration that comes with it remains the same.
Sufferers of bipolar disorder and tinnitus have the same puzzling experience – completely random things that only the individual can experience. And just like tinnitus, getting help for bipolar disorder is easy for those that seek it. A person with either disorder can never quite put into words the full experience. But more importantly, both conditions are a drain on your mental energy.
The big difference here is that being bipolar means that running low on mental energy will lead to a higher chance of manic episodes. Without proper treatment, these episodes can happen multiple times a day.
Bipolar disorder is hard for the sufferer to deal with. For outside observers, being around someone with this condition is not a pleasant experience. It is a harsh reality, but the support system for those with bipolar disorder takes a toll on personal relationships. The biggest mistake is when the people you love consider the disorder a phase rather than a mental illness. Bipolar disorder is quite real, and can easily blindside those that aren’t aware of your situation.
With bipolar disorder, the rapid mood swings can play havoc with the reward system in your brain. You never feel like working out, and even after a good workout, the dopamine rush is not what you expect. And since this is bipolar disorder, the opposite can also be true. Sometimes during an episode, you can workout like a maniac to the point of dehydration! If you don’t take care of your mental health, then your body will always be the first thing to pay the price.
The actual ‘high’ of a manic episode is so severe that it becomes difficult to sleep. Imagine driving a fast car at its top speed and then screaming in horror when you discover the brakes don’t work. Laying down during a manic episode is the most unwinnable battle that a human can fight. After a few days of inconsistent sleep, the wear and tear of bad sleeping habits heightens the worst side effects of your bipolar disorder.
The best way to handle stress is to have full access to the logical parts of your brain. That way you can always find a tactful way to deal with any situation. When access to that part of the brain is limited, small things turn into big slights.
A child rolling their eyes at you feels the same way as a boss yelling in your face. And the stranger that cut you off on the interstate fills you with the same rage as the inoperable copying machine. It isn’t uncommon for it to feel like the entire world is out to get you. The truth is that bipolar disorder is limiting your tactful options, and your brain is fighting to find a solution.
Bipolar disorder takes away your calm and replaces it with chaos. It is a big deal to wake up each day and not have a feeling of balance. To gain control, seeking professional help is the only way forward.
Beth is Cloudmineinc’s senior health editor and a certified personal trainer. She has over 10 years experience as a science journalist and is the author of two books. She deadlifts over 315 lbs.