How Does it Feel to Have Bipolar? Lonely

How Does it Feel to Have Bipolar? Lonely

September 17, 2013 Bipolar blog bipolar disorder

It’s common for people with bipolar disorder to feel isolated. Isolation comes from the person with bipolar choosing to isolate themselves and those around them walking away and forcing isolation on them.

So I commonly tell people with bipolar disorder to reach out. It’s important to reach out to people who will be supportive – because these people do exist. And it’s important to reach out to professionals and support groups so you don’t feel so alone with, what is undoubtedly, a very scary diagnosis.

But even when a person takes that advice, even when a person gets it all together, even when a person with bipolar does find supports, it’s still lonely.

Alone with Bipolar Disorder

And I think it’s because, in the end, it’s just you and your bipolar disorder. In the dark of night, when you’re home alone, flipping through channels on the TV set, it’s just your bipolar keeping your company. It’s because after all those supportive people go home and the support groups are over, there’s still just you – alone with your bipolar disorder.

And this is a very lonely place to be.

Battling Bipolar Alone

It feels like you’re battling a powerful foe, alone. Of course, there are psychiatrists, therapists and other supports helping you, but they aren’t there 24 hours a day – only you are. They aren’t there when you wake up in the middle of the night having a panic attack. They aren’t there when the mania starts to come on and you lose control of your judgement. They aren’t there when the feelings of suicidality are unbearable.

Aren’t We All Alone?

And it’s true, everyone is alone with themselves every day. The difference is, when you have bipolar disorder, you have a constant voice in your head trying to kill you. You’re not just alone with your thoughts – you’re alone with disordered, and yes, crazy, bipolar thoughts. You aren’t just scared of what the monster under the bed will do to you; you’re scared of what an illness might actually make you do to yourself.

The fatal vice of expiation, by Benedetta.

The fatal vice of expiation, by Benedetta.

Loneliness and Bipolar

I find this aspect of bipolar making me extremely lonely. No matter how much I explain to people and try to make them understand they don’t get the unending battle. They don’t get the 24/7 nature of it. They just don’t get what it’s like to have a loud, unending, relentless, torturous voice in your head all the time. They don’t understand that there are no breaks. They don’t understand that mental illness doesn’t relent. They don’t understand how much I have to be on guard.

The loneliness is glaciating.

The only thing to do, I think, is to step back and try to remember all those people who will be there, tomorrow. They’re not there right now, but they will be, just like they were before and just like they will be again. The only thing to do is to combat the loneliness with logic. And remember that while the bipolar may last forever, the feelings of loneliness won’t.


About Natasha Tracy

Natasha Tracy is an award-winning writer, speaker and consultant from the Pacific Northwest. She has been living with bipolar disorder for 18 years and has written more than 1000 articles on the subject.

Natasha’s New Book

Find more of Natasha’s work in her new book: Lost Marbles: Insights into My Life with Depression & Bipolar. Media inquiries can be emailed here.



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