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Shippy's avatar

A question for bipolar sufferers?

Asked by Shippy (9870points) February 3rd, 2013

I just want to know if any one can relate to any of these symptoms.


When I lack sleep I feel really bad. More emotional than ever, I feel weak and sick. I mean tired from literal lack of sleep. I have gone now maybe 7 days with little sleep. (Or not as much as I need I should say).

Once I am on this no sleep cycle I get more and more resistant to sleep. I become almost scared of it. It’s almost if I lie down I will die feeling. (Do you fight sleep?).

Anxiety increases, phobias (If you have phobias).

Aches and Pains

I get unexplained aches in my legs mostly, but overall I get strange aches which disappear once I am rested.


If you are female are your symptoms worse during the PMS phase of your menstrual cycle?

I’m really battling today, I feel like I am going to have a break down. But if I do sleep that feeling will go. Any feedback or any help or suggestion appreciated. Can’t see my Psychiatrist yet. Thanks.

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6 Answers

Hawaii_Jake's avatar

I understand these symptoms very well. While it’s been a long time since I went days with little or not sleep, I remember it well. Everything was heightened.

Though I was weary, I couldn’t sleep. I understand the fear of it as well. It may or may not be true, but for me the fear of sleep after so many days without it was due to a wish to control or an aversion to vulnerability. When we’re asleep we’re the most vulnerable.

As I mentioned, everything is heightened when I lack sleep: anxiety, phobias, and aches. It’s awful.

I wish you the best of luck. Feel free to send me a private message, if you want.

janbb's avatar

My friend needs to take meds every night to be able to sleep. These make it hard on him in the morning
But he is able to function with the meds. He has PTSD too so they help him minimize nightmares.

Have you tried meds?

TheProfoundPorcupine's avatar

My SO has suffered episodes like this on several occasions and it has often led to it building and building over a number of days until she basically passed out. I have always tried my best to calm her so she can sleep and in particular on the build up to her sleeping as it is also upsetting for me when I see her becoming more anxious and fearful about going to sleep.

I always hope that my reassuring her that everything will be fine does help her even just a bit and I remind her that these episodes always do settle down and her sleep pattern will go back to normal.

I do know from looking into it so I could understand more of what she was going through that it is common to have this kind of thing. (along with the aches and pains that you mention) What I find works with my SO at times is I work harder at trying to ease her anxiety during the day and try to force her into doing something nice for herself each day that is relaxing in the hope that it helps her to, in a way, regulate her sleep by tackling it from another angle. It doesn’t matter how often or how long she has these episodes for as I will always try to do what I can to help get things back on a more even keel.

wundayatta's avatar

It sounds like a typical experience for a manic episode. Your thoughts start going faster and you don’t feel like sleeping. You stay up, doing all kinds of things. You don’t feel tired. You feel euphoric. You think you can do anything. You spend lots of money.

But then the paranoia and anxiety start to build. You think people are watching you. You don’t want to go out because you don’t want to deal with them. Then when you do go out, people seem to be following you, and you can get into trouble or get into a fight and if it goes on long enough, you end up in the hospital.

Where I live, they teach you to develop a plan for these situations. When it is time to go into a hospital, you have a friend notified and they tell the hospital which meds have worked for you and about other things that work.

Of course, depression follows all this. That’s the worst. It’s the thing to be most scared of. Although I’m told by people with bipolar I that their manias are equally scary. Bu for me, since I don’t get that kind of mania, just a low level mania, the depression is the scariest.

Shippy's avatar

@Hawaii_Jake Thank you so much. I know this sounds nuts, but for some reason I never believed I was BP. I haven’t spoken to many BP sufferers.I am planning to change this when I move as you know. I also avoided speaking to them as I was scared I was boarding some train I couldn’t get off. I don’t know if that makes sense? As I type this I realize that I just didn’t want to be BP. So I was just going to ignore it. Then also as I said I doubted it.I know though my behavior is erratic. If one had to ask me to explain why it is erratic I would not know what to say.

I have this other feeling I also would like to ask if you identify with? The feeling when you look back over your life, that really it was like carrying a rock on your back? That at times maybe you manged but it was always an uphill feeling? I am supposed to be on three meds I take one. Which is for anxiety and also the BP. However, there is another specifically for BP (Or seizures).

@janbb I am taking one tablet for sleep. But it becomes a cycle whereby it loses efficiency, if I stop it for a few days it works again. So I have been cutting it down. In order to take more. I know that sounds odd. On top of that because I am scared of sleep at this point (not always) I am scared of the sleeping pill too.

@wundayatta I am BP2 Rapid Cycler. I feel mostly agitated when I am like this. I am not delusional. I do get paranoid but I don’t for example feel people are watching me.(Or don’t recall that feeling). I think that is more BP1 Mania? I never feel great with hypo-mania. Just talk a lot, become animated, or alternatively aggressive. As it is a very uncomfortable feeling. It is like my brain is agitated. (Hard to explain.)
@TheProfoundPorcupine Your girl friend is a lucky person you are there physically to take care of her. It is tough doing it alone at times. I am double alone in lots of ways. I think it does really help to have a supportive partner. Like for example @wundayatta has. Thanks all I am trying to identify I guess. Also not doing so great the last week.

GracieT's avatar

@Shippy, I am BiPolar II rapid cycling also. When I’ve hit my lowest point, the simple fact that I’m BiPolar II and not I usually led to moments of deep dispair. (I feel like I’m a failure and can’t do even getting BiPolar correctly.). I am on two seizure/BiPolar meds now and added to the mix is also an antidepressant used as a sleeping pill. It seems now like I need the medicine to be able to sleep, but I’m grateful for the medicine to me level mood wise. The seizure drugs that actually work best for me are also used as mood stabilizers. I finally admitted to myself that to keep myself from having the major lows and occasional hypo-mania episodes I have to take medicine. Luckily my husband understands my challenges although he doesn’t experience them himself. My therapist explained once that those of us who are “blessed” enough to be BiPolar usually have a problem having our minds calm down enough to sleep.
I’ve never noticed any correlation between my cycle and my moods, but I’ve never tried to compare the two, I’ve been following this thread- I’ve learned from it also!

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