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How Everyday Life Is Affected By Bipolar Disorder

While reviewing a symptoms list can help you start to understand the way bipolar works, you need to keep in mind that no one’s life is ever that simple. Behind each bipolar diagnosis, there is a person trying to achieve well-being, like everybody else. This is why we find it helpful here at PCH to consider bipolar behavior as not simply just a diagnosis but as an actual mood pattern that has a significant impact on daily life. On the other hand, check out this spinal injury news resource if you’re looking for that information.

In this article, we will be looking at the way that bipolar affects people’s daily lives in the following eight key areas:

  • Physical Activity
  • Alcohol and Drug Use
  • Eating
  • Sleep
  • Hobbies
  • Work
  • Relationships
  • Mood Regulation

Mood Regulation

Because it is mainly a mood issue, bipolar disorder’s most significant impact on daily life relates to a person’s emotional regulation abilities. People who have been diagnosed with bipolar disorder often swing between two severe emotional states: depressive episodes and manic episodes. Depending on the kind of bipolar disorder that they have been diagnosed with, the episodes may last from weeks up to months before suddenly changing.

Some of the major characteristics of manic episodes include poor decision-making abilities, talkativeness, high energy, and feelings of euphoria. On the other hand, depressive episodes are characterized by feelings of hopelessness, being unable to concentrate, lacking energy, and being disinterested in life activities.

Since it is nearly impossible to predict the intensity and frequency of episodes, having to live with bipolar means a person can be in a manic state when they go to bed, and wake up and experience the onset of a depressive episode and have no to little control over their mood, even if they are aware of what is occurring.


Bipolar disorder usually affects individuals in the person’s life just as much as the person who is struggling with it. For individuals who are living with a person who has been diagnosed as bipolar, it is often nearly impossible to predict what their mood patterns are going to be and know where they stand with the person. From romantic relationships to friendships, people with bipolar may struggle to form long-term relationships and sustain them as their moods are fluctuating. That is why it is critical for people to be open about their mood patterns and ask for help when necessary.


When individuals are trying to live with bipolar disorder, people often are either highly focused on their work and very productive or mainly disinterested. That tendency can make it very difficult to focus on a career or keep a full-time job where they need to be at their absolute best at all times. For weeks or months, a person might feel they are at the very top at work, and then the next week struggle with getting out of bed in the morning.


Similar to the workplace, people with bipolar disorder might suddenly become interested in specific activities or hobbies during a manic episode but then suddenly lose all interest when a depressive episode occurs. Hobbies can offer a healthy outlet for channeling manic energy. However, it can turn into a source of resentment during a depressive episode, and during a manic episode a reminder of having a zest for life. A depressive episode can bring on negative thought patterns.


One of bipolar disorder’s most defining physical symptoms is sleep patterns. As a manic episode is taking place, people with bipolar may get by on having less sleep or might feel like they don’t even need to sleep. During a depressive episode, a person might struggle with hypersomnia or insomnia, where they feel groggy at all times due to oversleeping or lack of sleep.