What Is It Like To Have Bipolar Disorder? (Loss of Sleep, Part 2)

unnamed-4The last post on www.SoBipolar.com covered the manic symptom of heightened energy and creativity. Now we are moving onto the symptom that I think is one of the worst parts of mania.

Loss of Sleep

Have you ever gone without sleep for three nights in a row? A person with bipolar disorder probably has, and sometimes much longer. Our language greatly lacks a word to describe the utter exhaustion that is felt from not sleeping after a hyperactive manic week.   The mania causes not only mental and emotional exhaustion, but also physical fatigue.

Imagine you’ve been trying to fall asleep, only to finally fall asleep for five minutes, and then your brain uncontrollably wakes you up as if your brain had a built-in fifteen-minute alarm clock.

From my personal experience, I’ve gone close to five days where sleep was next to impossible. I would fall asleep for 15 minutes, and like clockwork a sudden jolt (the same sensation of falling off a cliff) would wake me. This would happen all night until I would finally just give up and do something else. With my three small children at home, this was not what I would call “good times.” The coffee I would drink to stay awake only made my evening mania worse. It was a vicious cycle.

The depression that follows the sleepless mania is the worst. The body is exhausted and the brain wants nothing more than to forget about life and all its responsibilities. So when a person with bipolar says they can’t get out of bed, there is a very good reason why. I think anybody wouldn’t be able to get out of bed under these circumstances.

The next blog post will explore ‘rapid speech’ as the next manic symptom of bipolar disorder.

Again, please remember, I am not a doctor. Just a so bipolar lady with a computer. 😉 So if you suspect you or someone you know has bipolar disorder, always consult with your physician or psychiatrist first.


I’m so bipolar, and unashamed.

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