A Closer Look At The Effects Of Bipolar Disorder

Impact Of Bipolar Disorder On Daily Life

One way to start learning about bipolar disorder is by looking at the various symptoms. However, it is important to keep in mind that it isn’t as simple as a list of symptoms. When a person is diagnosed with bipolar disorder, keep in mind that this person is simply trying to work on their well-being, in the same way that most other people are as well. At PCH, we look at bipolar behavior as a mood pattern that affects daily life and see it as more than just a diagnosis. If you’re interested in disability news, you can check out Ability Today.

We will take a look at how bipolar disorder impacts a person’s life in 8 main areas:

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

Mood Regulation

Bipolar Disorder is essentially a mood problem, the biggest impact of this disorder will be on the person’s ability to emotionally regulate. People who are diagnosed with bipolar disorder typically swing between the two extreme emotional states which are depression and mania. According to the particular type of bipolar disorder that they are diagnosed with, the episodes can last between days, weeks, or even months before changing.

Manic episodes are determined according to feelings of high energy, euphoria, inability to make good decisions, racing thoughts and talkativeness, etc. Depressive episodes are identified by strong feelings of sadness, issues concentrating, low energy, disinterest in life and typical activities, hopelessness, etc.

Unfortunately, it is impossible to predict when these episodes will occur as well as how intense they will be. So, a person who has bipolar disorder could easily go to sleep in a manic episode and wake up in a depressive state. Unfortunately, they have very little if any control over their moods even if they know what is occurring.


The people in the life of a person with bipolar disorder are affected as much as the person who actually has it. Persons who live with a diagnosed person would find it impossible to determine or predict changes in their moods as well as their standing with that person. Romantic relationships and friendships are quite difficult for persons with bipolar disorder as they have issues sustaining them over the long term due to their mood fluctuation. This makes it very important that they communicate clearly about their moods and ask for help when they need it.


People with bipolar disorder often find themselves either very focused while working and productive or uninterested. Due to this, it is quite challenging for persons with bipolar disorder to keep a full-time job or be focused on their career, especially if a high degree of effort and focus is constantly required. It is possible that there would be periods of weeks and months where they are highly motivated and productive and then the next day, they can barely put on their work clothes.


In a similar fashion to work, persons who have bipolar disorder may suddenly become interested in a particular activity or hobby and then suddenly lose interest when a depressive episode starts. However, hobbies are a great way for them to handle manic energy. Unfortunately, in a depressive episode, the same hobby can become resented or a reminder of the energy they once had for life. This can cause lots of negative thoughts.


One of the main physical symptoms of bipolar disorder is poor sleep patterns. When a person has a manic episode, they typically barely sleep and may not even have a desire to sleep. On the other hand, in a depressive episode, they may have hypersomnia or insomnia where they oversleep or feel exhausted due to not getting enough sleep.