Which Is Worse: Anxiety or Bipolar Disorder?

September 10, 2014 Gabe Howard

Like many people, I have been diagnosed with more than just anxiety. While it is possible to be diagnosed with just an anxiety disorder, I was not fortunate enough to be one of those people. As I have discussed before in this blog, I have co-occurring bipolar and anxiety disorders.

As readers of my blog will know, each of these disorders is awful in its own way. Occasionally, I’m asked which one I hate more. Sometimes, I wonder this, myself.

I Hate Anxiety Disorder

It shouldn't be a surprise that I hate anxiety disorder. It is a burden to break into panic attacks without notice. It can be embarrassing to explain to the people around me why I am sweating profusely, why my heart is racing, and why all the words coming out of my mouth don’t form actual sentences.

Anxiety has prevented me from doing the things I want to do and it has “whispered” horrible things into my subconscious. Anxiety has made feel worthless, hated, and alone on more than one occasion and, despite my best efforts, it always has a way of gaining the upper hand at the worst times.

I Hate Bipolar Disorder

I have anxiety and bipolar disorders and wonder which illness is worse? I hate both bipolar and anxiety disorder and read here to think which I think is worse.

And of course, I hate bipolar disorder, too. Bipolar disorder has built up my confidence to the point of making me feel euphoric and god-like. The highs of mania have reached such epic levels that I have lost touch with reality. Bipolar disorder has cost me friends and strained my relationships with family members.

Bipolar disorder has also pushed me into the darkness and held me there. It has convinced my brain that suicide is a reasonable outcome. It is has paralyzed me with a sadness so deep that I was barely able to move. Bipolar disorder has literally tried to kill me.

Picking Which is Worse between Anxiety and Bipolar Disorder

It isn’t easy picking which is worse between anxiety and bipolar disorders. Both illnesses have caused me a great amount of pain and suffering. In my case, the disorders have also teamed up on me. Bipolar depression, as an example, is often accompanied by severe anxiety.

The reality is that I am not able to get rid of either one of them, not entirely. I have a good support system, treatment team, and a positive outlook. Bipolar and anxiety disorders seem to have a pretty tight bond, however. I can’t prevent them from working together, but I can be clear that I consider them both to be giant pains.

If I had to pick a “winner” I would say that bipolar disorder is worse. The whiplash effect of alternating between suicidal thoughts and god-like euphoria can be crippling to my psyche.

That said, I really can’t get over the sneakiness of my anxiety disorder teaming up with a more ruthless disorder to ensure it can keep its hold on me. But, ultimately, it is even more amazing how often the winner in all these battles is me.

You can find Gabe on Facebook, Twitter, Google+, LinkedIn, and his website.

APA Reference
Howard, G. (2014, September 10). Which Is Worse: Anxiety or Bipolar Disorder?, HealthyPlace. Retrieved on 2024, February 29 from

Author: Gabe Howard

Sandra Cobban
September, 20 2014 at 10:56 am

Well,I'd definitely suffering from GAD &
PTSD & rapid cycling bipolar disorder...
3 strikes your out......

In reply to by Anonymous (not verified)

Gabe Howard
September, 20 2014 at 10:33 pm

Hi Sandra - I know how hard it is to have bipolar AND anxiety -- so I know having more issues only compounds a difficult situation. But you haven't struck out! You are fighting, doing research, and working every day. I believe in you. Thank you for reading and commenting. ~Gabe

September, 16 2014 at 3:19 pm

I have just anxiety an the thought of another disorder ontop of that is to scary to think about, anxiety has ruined my life for ten years some months ok some months not- I think your very brave gabe an it's people like you that inspire us to keep moving forward. if only there was a magic pill we could take .... I would pay my life savings and then some

In reply to by Anonymous (not verified)

Gabe Howard
September, 16 2014 at 6:32 pm

Thank you, Jade. We are all brave. Every day we fight back against any mental illness we let the world know we are stronger than our circumstances! I do agree with you . . . My lifesaving and then some is a fair amount! Thank you for reading and commenting. It is appreciated! :) ~Gabe

September, 13 2014 at 11:16 pm

Try bipolar with comorbid anxiety disorder. Its fun. Said no one ever.

In reply to by Anonymous (not verified)

Gabe Howard
September, 14 2014 at 11:59 am

Rich - I laughed out loud at that. :) Thank you for reading and commenting. ~Gabe

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