Lost Days Because of Bipolar Disorder

November 12, 2017 Natasha Tracy

Bipolar disorder forces lost days on you. But what is a bipolar lost day and how do you deal with lost days because of bipolar disorder?Bipolar disorder makes me lose days. Whole days lost to a disease of the brain. And when I say “lost,” I mean lost. I mean I can’t find myself during lost days and I can’t find the lost days once they have passed. All I have a recollection of it losing them. Bipolar disorder causes these lost days and I hate it.

What Is a ‘Lost Day’ Because of Bipolar Disorder?

A “lost day” is a day where absolutely nothing gets done and you barely move – perhaps only to go to the bathroom and maybe eat something. Lost days are when you try to get things done like writing or vacuuming but, instead, all you find is sleep and immobility. It’s a day that has no productivity whatsoever. And even though you might think of this as a day of rest, you’re not particularly rested during or after a lost day. A lost day is just a day of nothing. It’s a wasted day of life.

Lost Days and Bipolar Disorder

Everyone has lost days; I fully acknowledge this. I fully acknowledge that some days any human can awake to find him or herself binge-watching Netflix while eating nothing but cereal in pajamas all day. This is a normal experience and happens now and then.

But lost days in bipolar disorder are different – they are different in that they are more frequent and I feel decidedly bad about them. It’s not that I don’t understand that lost days are normal – I do, it’s that I can’t afford them and they happen far too often.

You see, I work every day. Yes, yes, someone out there is going to tell me how “bad” that is. But for me, it’s the only thing that works. I have very few hours per day that are functional and I have to use those hours to be productive – and that means working. I have to make a living. And unlike someone else who will work eight hours a day, five days a week, I can’t work eight hours in a day so I must work seven days a week to make up for it.

A bipolar disorder lost day really messes up my life.

Why Does Bipolar Disorder Produce Lost Days?

I’m not sure why so many of my days are lost. I think it’s just the exhaustion the bipolar disorder naturally brings. Bipolar disorder rears its hideous head some days and simply will not be denied. And I don’t even binge on Netflix eating cereal during a lost day. I actually can’t do much by lie on my couch and enjoy the sound of my cat’s purring (which I do appreciate, by the way). My brain simply won’t allow stimuli, even stimuli as innocuous as Netflix reruns.

I suspect bipolar disorder produces lost days because I’m so busy trying desperately to survive on all the other days that it needs a break. It needs a break from all that trying all the time.

Dealing with Lost Days in Bipolar Disorder

Lost days in bipolar disorder tick me the heck off. I hate a day that I look back on and see nothingness. I hate a day when all I did was stare at the ceiling, or the wall, or at nothing. It really, really makes me mad. I needed that day. I needed to be productive that day. I needed to get things done on that day. And because they weren’t, it just makes the future days all the harder.

All that said, I recognize that lost days will happen in bipolar disorder and there’s nothing I can do about it. Trying to fight during a lost day leads to great upset and a worsening of mood. I know this. So I have to suffer through lost days. I have to admit that with a broken brain, some days are just for staring at the ceiling. And I have to admit that these things will happen at the least convenient times.

So, yeah, I hate bipolar disorder-related lost days. But I suspect I need them and I suspect they will continue to make their presence known.

APA Reference
Tracy, N. (2017, November 12). Lost Days Because of Bipolar Disorder, HealthyPlace. Retrieved on 2024, April 19 from

Author: Natasha Tracy

Natasha Tracy is a renowned speaker, award-winning advocate, and author of Lost Marbles: Insights into My Life with Depression & Bipolar. She's also the host of the podcast Snap Out of It! The Mental Illness in the Workplace Podcast.

Natasha is also unveiling a new book, Bipolar Rules! Hacks to Live Successfully with Bipolar Disorder, mid-2024.

Find Natasha Tracy on her blog, Bipolar BurbleX, InstagramFacebook, and YouTube.

Keilah Johnson
November, 2 2019 at 5:56 am

I just had a few lost days, in which my mother told me I was pretty much the worst human in existence....all of this because I slept and I did call out of work for a day. Which I'm already pissed at me for doing and didn't need her adding to this. Every year when it turns cold, I slip into my own darkness. I have done this for well over 20 years. Meds, therapy, yoga, meditation, and all the other jedi mind tricks in my basket just don't cut it. I need sleep, or to lay there and just play dead. I don't need everyone who claims they love me to pick this moment to start a fight and tell me all the horrible flaws I possess. I really would be quite fine with zero human interaction but since I'm currently staying at my parent's house I guess that isn't an option. Just once it would be nice if the family I have would just try and be like, there, for me instead of making me out to be a monster. The villain that ruins their lives....because ya know I went to sleep for 3 days.

November, 15 2017 at 1:11 am

Sometimes it hard to tell whether it is adrenal fatigue (mostly due to chronic stress at work), the bipolar depression (with SAD, affective disorder overtones), an unhealthy lifestyle, or the sedating bipolar 1 medication I have to take (that mostly suppresses mania and does little to nothing for depression) that causes so many of my lost days. After work I am totally burned out with no energy left to do even the simplest of things that regular people do with ease

November, 12 2017 at 9:47 am

Unfortunately lost days are all too common for me and too numerous to count
The fall and winter months are the worst
Not looking forward to's just so physically, mentally, emotionally, financially, etc a HUGE drain on my limited energy financial resources. Far too many expectations. ''Tis the season to be jolly, really???... All that fa la la la la bullshit just intensifies my misery. I can only manage small doses of it at a time

Leave a reply