Grandiosity: A Bipolar Symptom That Doesn't Fit Me

October 15, 2013 Alexa Poe

A common bipolar symptom that often occurs in manic episodes is that of grandiosity – having an inflated sense of self, believing that one has special powers, spiritual connections, or religious relationships. This is a simple definition of grandiosity, but I find that in my personal experience, as many people do, that I do not perfectly fit into this textbook definition.

Grandiosity Makes Me Feel Isolated

Oftentimes while in class, for example, when going over philosophical things, I feel as if I always have many of the same philosophical topics swirling around in my head that seem more realistic to me while others discuss them as if they are foreign ideas. Some peers, when discussing these topics during class, even go as far as calling them “psycho” and “crazy,” while I'm sitting there feeling as if I'm thinking on an entirely different level with an advanced level of understanding and perception.

Grandiosity in bipolar disorder is a symptom that often occurs in manic episodes. Are my grandiose thoughts a symptom or a personality trait? Read more.

Please don't get me wrong here. I do not believe that I am superior to anyone else. I simply feel as if I'm different and isolated from everyone, as if my brain works and thinks in different ways, differently than anyone else's.

Grandiosity makes me feel isolated and alone, as if no one understands me. I find it incredibly difficult to even verbally express these things to others. I have these grand ideas in my head, but as soon as I open my mouth to share, I get stuck. I feel ridiculous and stupid, and again begin feeling as if I'm losing my mind because I cannot share what's going on in my head.

Is this grandiose behavior? Are these feelings even considered grandiose ideas? Or are they simply grievances that I dwell on? Am I one of the only one who feels this way, or is this a common maddening symptom that many other people living with bipolar disorder experience as well?

What do you think?

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APA Reference
Poe, A. (2013, October 15). Grandiosity: A Bipolar Symptom That Doesn't Fit Me, HealthyPlace. Retrieved on 2024, July 25 from

Author: Alexa Poe

June, 1 2018 at 7:15 pm

I feel grandiose now and I am feeling as if I have so much self confidence that I can offend people.

September, 29 2017 at 7:32 am

Can these thoughts be more petty and simple versus big on the spectrum? Such as, I am big into cars, and I think I have the BEST car around more than anyone else at times, when I know I don't. But if someone else gets another car, I will get laugh and think they are pitiful for thinking they can get a car better than mine. Like they purposely went out just to try to get a car because of my car. I hate thinking that way once I'm not in this state, but it's always a thought of mine when I get in this state.

October, 22 2013 at 12:07 pm

I think because I am male, I was slapped with the Narcissistic Personality Disorder label for awhile at 18. Because I used to talk down to therapists and I have empathy, guilt and shame so I don't really meet criteria for that... they considered borderline or antisocial at one point too but I was immature so I wonder if there is any true reason to diagnose a personality disorder in 18 year olds.
I get manic delusions like ruling the world and the such. I am cocky because I speak several languages but I am not overtly grandiose about it.

Kathleen Brannon
October, 19 2013 at 8:25 am

I thinkk maybe what you describe is a trait that is like being grandiose but very introverted at the same time. I felt like you when I was a child and teen. So self-conscious I couldn't bear people looking at me, but thought I understood things way beyond my age and had a special relationship with God. There was a lot of truth in it! I really was on a different level philosophically and intellectually. (They tested me and made that conclusion.)
But as an adult with bipolar II, it has morphed into feeling clearly superior intellectually to everyone else and needing to demonstrate it. I develop a "mania" for something and get obsessive about it and "educate" everybody on the details. I also think I foresee events, and am out ahead of everyone else in my analysis of news, culture, etc. I am very persuasive too! I have talked people into doing stuff they really didn't want to do. It's only long after it's faded that I realize it was hypomania.
Maybe you are gifted in those areas! Being bipolar doesn't make it wrong. In fact, bipolar is associated with real creativity and of its few benefits. A psychiatrist asked me when I was 20 if I had any "grandiose" thoughts and I said that sometimes I think I'm a genius. He brushed it off, saying "well, maybe you are a genius." It's a fine line!

October, 19 2013 at 1:20 am

For me, grandiosity is not just believing, but KNOWING, that I am smarter, faster at doing everything and better looking than everyone around me. This leads to some potentially dangerous decisions/situations. Then, when I crash and burn a couple of months later, the feeling that I have made an idiot out of myself really adds to the ensuing depression.

October, 16 2013 at 6:14 pm

I think it's perfectly normal to think of yourself as different from other people. I'm sure everyone else thinks that they're different too; no two brains are fully alike. I wouldn't say that's grandiose thinking, just a part of the human condition.
However, if it's something like, for instance, believing that you are a scientist who has found the cause and potential cure of autism when you have absolutely no medical training and little knowledge of the disease (as has happened to me before), then it's most likely a symptom of mania.
Either that or I have some really awesome untapped talent.

In reply to by Anonymous (not verified)

Alexa Poe
October, 18 2013 at 5:38 am

Hi there! Thanks for commenting!
I hear so many different opinions on this. A few people have told me that it could be mania or just a "bipolar thing," while other people say the same thing as you. Who knows -- maybe I just over-analyze everything!
Again, thanks for sharing, and I hope you're well!
-- Alexa

October, 15 2013 at 12:48 pm

I believe all of our brains work on different levels, sometimes in high gear and sometimes not. We do seem to become more self-confident when we are manic, thinking at the speed of sound, and accomplishing more. Grandiosity is probably different for each person, but I do understand the feeling of not being to get out the mouth what is swirling around and looking for an exit from our brains. I don't think it is abnormal, just one of those quirks we have in our bipolar lives. I hope this makes sense. Enjoy the week. :)

In reply to by Anonymous (not verified)

Alexa Poe
October, 15 2013 at 5:11 pm

Thank you for sharing! It does make sense, and I agree with you!
I hope you enjoy your week, too, and I hope you're well!
-- Alexa

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