Dealing with Bipolar Disorder Takes Up Too Much Time

May 1, 2018 Natasha Tracy

Dealing with bipolar is extremely difficult and takes up so much of my day. I find myself having to use coping skills to deal with bipolar all day long. And at the end of the day, it seems like I spend too much time dealing with bipolar disorder.For many of us, we deal with bipolar disorder every day and it often feels like dealing with bipolar disorder takes up way too much time. I know I spend a significant amount of time thinking about how and doing things to mitigate bipolar’s effects. I have to. It’s how I function as well as I do (however moderate that may be). And when I look at what I get done in a day, it seems painfully clear that dealing with bipolar disorder takes up too much time.

What Does Dealing with Bipolar Mean?

When I say “dealing with bipolar” I mean anything I do because of the illness. For me, this includes things like:

  • Maintaining a bipolar routine which includes things like going to bed at the same time and getting up at the same time every day
  • Taking my bipolar medication three times a day
  • Purposefully walking for exercise
  • Trying to eat reasonably healthy foods
  • Trying to cook for myself
  • Making sure I set time aside every day just for rest
  • Forcing myself to shower and wash my hair
  • Forcing myself out of the apartment when I don’t want to go
  • Using many psychological coping skills to deal with the symptoms and side effects that present themselves

How Much Time Does Dealing with Bipolar Take?

While I know some of those sound like everyday concerns that anyone might have, these are far harder for me than they are for most people. Most of these things I struggle with every day. And something like coping skills for bipolar symptoms can be an every-minute-of-the-day thing. Trying to control my thoughts is an every-second-of-the-day thing. And I need to do these things. I need to do these things just to function on a basic level. These are the things I need to do to be able to work and support myself. These are very important things.

In other words, bipolar tends to be the first thing I think of in the morning (take pills) and the last thing I think of at night (take pills) and then many, many times in between.

Isn’t that A Bit Obsessive?

So yes, all these thoughts are a bit obsessive. But this is the obsession that is required for me to survive. I’ve learned that the second you stop watching and reacting to the alligator, that’s when he bites you.

Too Much Time Dealing with Bipolar

All of this amounts to far too much time. I hate it. I look at the chunks of time in my day and I realize how few of them are actually productive in a normal way. I realize how few I actually worked. I realize how few I actually did chores. I realize how few I actually just lived. I realize that most of my time, most of my day, is spent fighting with my brain. I hate it. It feels like wasted hours of life – hours of life that I will never get back.

But here’s the thing, these aren’t actually wasted hours. I know they feel that way and they might even seem that way to an onlooker.

But if there’s one thing I know, it’s that if you don’t spend time adequately dealing with bipolar disorder, you won’t be able to do anything else. It’s after the alligator bites you that you really lose your abilities and time.

APA Reference
Tracy, N. (2018, May 1). Dealing with Bipolar Disorder Takes Up Too Much Time, HealthyPlace. Retrieved on 2024, June 14 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.

August, 13 2019 at 9:12 am

I've had this tab open in my phone internet for over a year because it is so meaningful when I am reminded again as I review what tabs I have open. Thank you.

Lizanne Corbit
May, 14 2018 at 6:18 pm

This is such a spot on, and empowering read. Thank you for sharing this honest insight and perspective.

May, 10 2018 at 2:37 pm

Wow, this was spot on for me. Thank you so much.

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