High Functioning Bipolar Disorder

high functioning bipolar

High Functioning Bipolar

High Functioning Bipolar

The term “high functioning” often brings out the idea that people with bipolar are usually more productive than others. However, this is not the case. People with bipolar disorder are just as productive as individuals without any mental health diagnoses. People with bipolar disorder can have episodes of both mania and depression. Characteristics of these episodes vary per person, but commonalities include heightened energy, sleep disturbances, and risk-taking. Since people with bipolar disorder can experience both depression and mania simultaneously or consecutively, the same individual may appear highly productive (mania) as well as unproductive (depression) at different points in their lives.

Bipolar Disorder

People with bipolar disorder can experience both depression and mania simultaneously or consecutively, the same individual may appear highly productive (mania) as well as unproductive (depression) at different points in their lives.

The high functioning definition is often used interchangeably with the term “bipolar.” However, some mental health professionals prefer to use this term because it separates those who are able to function well despite their illness from those who aren’t.

People with bipolar disorder can experience both depression and mania simultaneously or consecutively, the same individual may appear highly productive

How Bipolar Disorder Affects Productivity?

In bipolar disorder, you experience low energy. Your lack of motivation can be a symptom of your depression which can lead to feelings of fatigue and an overall lack of energy. Your low energy levels mean that there are fewer resources for you to utilize in order to complete tasks, so everything seems much harder than it actually is. “Depression can also cause you to have very little or no energy at all. You might feel like it’s impossible for you to do anything because of how sluggish you feel”.

Other than that you experience distractibility. Because it’s hard to focus when you’re depressed, you might find your mind wandering away from the task at hand towards something else that either has nothing to do with what you’re doing or makes the situation worse (i.e.: feeling even more depressed). “Depression can make you think twice about everything, which makes decisions seem impossible to make.”

The symptoms of depression might make it difficult to concentrate on work or school projects. “Lastly, depression may lead to bad time management skills and difficult focusing on one thing at a time.” Because of your lack of motivation, you might find yourself losing interest in hobbies and other activities that used to give you pleasure.

Ways Bipolar Disorder Affects Your Life

how bipolar disorder affects your life

Having bipolar disorder affects your life in many ways. These are the most common-

Neglecting Your Partner

You may neglect to spend time with them or sleeping next to them, which can cause problems in the relationship. This eventually leads to a lack of intimacy, tearfulness, tension, and even more depression. “A depressive episode often comes hand-in-hand with feelings of apathy within oneself; this usually results in a sufferer neglecting their own personal appearance (such as hygiene), letting themselves go physically.”

Increased Irritability & Aggression 

“During a manic episode, you might find yourself in a paranoid state and constantly on edge. This can lead to aggressive behavior and outbursts of irritability towards the people closest to you.”

Problems With Communication

This tends to occur when one partner is in depression and the other is healthy. “This, in turn, may result in your partner seeming uncaring or even rejecting of your feelings. In an attempt to pull themselves from depression, sufferers may resort to anger or threats.”

Distancing Yourself From Loved Ones

Sufferers will often try to shut people out who don’t understand their disorder. They feel more comfortable coping alone because they believe nobody else will be able to assist them through their depressive state. 5. You have trouble remembering things

“Both depression and bipolar disorder can cause memory loss, but this is often more apparent in bipolar sufferers .”

Difficulty In Expressing Emotions

The pressure of trying to repress your symptoms during manic episodes can trigger the urge to isolate yourself further away from loved ones.

You May Perform Harmful activities

This occurs when an individual is experiencing symptoms of mania. “During these periods, people may become obsessive about what they do, resulting in dangerous physical risk-taking (like reckless driving), overactivity (like excessive exercise) and even self-harm.”

No Motivation To Do Anything

Some people might believe they are worthless or feel guilty about what they have done in the past, which can lead them to feel even more depressed.

Hyper-sensitivity During Manic episodes

“This means that you may overreact to things that usually wouldn’t bother you otherwise.”

Impaired Memory

During a depressive state, memories of good times may become forgotten and pushed aside, while bad memories seem to get stronger. “Mood swings experienced by sufferers can affect their ability to focus on tasks at hand, making it difficult for them to remember information learned previously.”

Symptoms Of High-functioning Bipolar Disorder

symptoms of bipolar disorder

“You might also experience some mood swings and episodes of euphoria or mania. When you’re in a manic state your productivity levels could be very high and your motivation, creativity, and energy levels can go up, but when you’re in a depressive state this could all change. ”

“The problem is, you might go up and down so fast that it becomes difficult to concentrate. Your productivity levels change with your moods.”

The Depressive Phase

“A person with bipolar disorder experiences episodes of depression followed by manic or hypomanic episodes. Some people experience “mixed states” during which they feel depressed but are also agitated, anxious, and have thoughts racing through their mind.”

The Manic Phase

“During a manic episode, an individual may exhibit poor decision-making skills. This can lead them to engage in dangerous behaviors including abusing drugs or alcohol, engaging in risky sexual behavior, excessive spending habits, or other impulsive actions that could have negative consequences later on.”

The Mixed States

“A mixed episode occurs when a person experiences both manic and depressed symptoms at the same time. Symptoms during this type of episode can be severe, so it’s important to seek medical attention. If you experience these episodes often or they are accompanied by psychotic features (such as delusions or hallucinations), your doctor might diagnose you with rapid cycling disorder.”

Seasonal Patterns

Some people may notice their mood changes with each season.

Psychotic Features

An individual experiencing psychosis might hear voices in their head, see things that aren’t there, or have other strange thoughts. This is also known as a break from reality.


“Individuals with bipolar disorder have a greater risk of attempting suicide or dying by suicide than those who don’t have the condition.”

Alcohol and Drug Abuse

Some people use drugs or alcohol as a way to “self-medicate” because they think it helps them feel better. In reality, this will only make things worse.

Rapid Cycling in Women

Women are more likely to experience rapid cycling episodes during premenstrual times (before menstruation) and menopause.

Types Of Bipolar Disorder

High functioning bipolar disorder is basically of two types:

1) Bipolar I Disorder

“Typically, bipolar I disorder is diagnosed when a person experiences one or more manic episodes lasting at least a week. In some cases, these manic episodes may even last up to months. In the most severe form of bipolar I disorder, it’s possible for a person with the condition to experience psychosis during a manic episode.” Bipolar I is an elevated mood that presents as manic episodes or depressive episodes. Even after experiencing depression or mania, the individual may experience hallucinations, delusions, and other psychotic features of the illness.

types of bipolar disorder

2) Bipolar II Disorder

This diagnosis is given when an individual has experienced at least one major depressive episode and at least one hypomanic episode.” Bipolar II is characterized by at least one episode of depression and at least one episode of hypomania over the course of their life. Hypomania represents an elevated mood that does not get in the way of day-to-day living. Cyclothymic disorder is characterized by having at least two years of hypomanic symptoms and at least two years of depressive symptoms.

Causes Of Bipolar Disorder

There are several theories about what causes bipolar disorder but none have been confirmed by researchers. For this reason, experts agree that there is no single cause of the bipolar disorder.

Bipolar Disorder May Be Genetic

“Studies indicate that the first degree relatives of people with bipolar disorder are 10 times more likely than the general population to develop it.” Title: Triggers – What Causes Bipolar Disorder? A History Of Addiction In Family Members Can Point To A Higher Risk Of Bipolar Disorder “The presence of addiction in family members can also increase a person’s chances of developing bipolar disorder. Researcher James MacCabe, Ph.D., suggests that alcohol and drug use may trigger manic episodes in some individuals.” Stressful Life Events Can Trigger Symptoms Of Bipolar Disorder “Stressful life events—like the death of a loved one or the loss of a job—can also trigger symptoms of bipolar disorder.”

10 Tips for High Functioning Bipolar Disorder Patients

tips for people with bipolar disorder

1. Find a qualified therapist who can provide you with an accurate diagnosis of your mood disorder, and helps you stay on top of your medication.

2. Establish healthy habits, such as getting enough sleep, eating right, keeping up social routines, avoiding drugs and alcohol, getting regular exercise, having regular medical check-ups.

3. Get involved in something you are passionate about outside of work or family life – volunteer for a local cause, join a club that interests you or explore other hobbies that provide an outlet for stress.

4. Make sure that you have someone in your life that is there to keep you accountable for taking medications and practicing good self-care habits while understanding the difficulties in doing so.

5. Stay on top of your treatment, medication, and self-care. Staying organized is key – note-taking may be helpful for this.

6. Ask for help when you need it! Don’t try to hide any part of your life from friends or family, even if you are afraid they will judge you. Keeping things bottled up only adds to the stress.

7. Surround yourself with supportive friends and people who can understand what you are going through – don’t keep it a secret! There are support groups out there that can provide an outlet for venting, sharing stories, and coping strategies. You might also consider online support forums that have users dealing with mood disorders similar to yours where you can share tips and encouragement.

8. When you’re feeling down don’t be afraid to speak to a trusted friend, family member, or even your doctor. This doesn’t mean you have failed in self-care! If things get out of hand though and you realize that you can’t control it. Then this is not the time to be ashamed about reaching out for professional help.

Diagnosis of High Functioning Bipolar Disorder

Diagnosis of High Functioning Bipolar Disorder

A person who is high functioning may be diagnosed with bipolar disorder. However, this does not mean that there is a true bipolar disorder diagnosis. The person has a mood disorder that leads to the symptoms of bipolar disorder but does not actually warrant a diagnosis. There are three types of bipolar disorders: bipolar I disorder, bipolar II disorder, and cyclothymic disorder.

There are also several other conditions that can mimic bipolar disorder. These include schizophrenia, schizoaffective disorder, borderline personality disorder, and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). All may be diagnosed with bipolar I if psychotic features are present during the depressive or manic states. People with borderline personality disorder tend to act on their impulses more often than those with bipolar disorder do; however, many people with bipolar II will act impulsively during their hypomanic phases due to increased energy levels.

ADHD is also being diagnosed more frequently. During depressive states, it may be difficult to tell the difference between ADHD and depression. However many people with ADHD will continue to suffer from symptoms while depressed. Do not take your diagnosis or prognosis personally – no one chooses mood disorders such as bipolar disorder (or any mental illness). And the fact that you acknowledge the impact it has on your life means that you are taking your condition seriously.

Treatment of High functioning bipolar disorder

Treatment for High functioning bipolar disorder must include a combination of medications and psychological interventions. The most effective treatment option is psychotherapy or talks therapy combined with psychiatric medication. However, if this approach fails then hospitalization is in consideration in order to provide stabilization. Hospitalization can help an individual who is experiencing psychosis associated with mania or depression to get their mood swings under control. So that they are able to function in daily life without causing harm either to themselves or others around them. Sometimes electroconvulsive therapy (ECT) is used for patients who do not respond to medications.

Lifestyle Changes

lifestyle changes

Leading a positive lifestyle help prevent or at least minimize episodes of high-functioning bipolar disorder. Stress avoidance and maintaining a healthy lifestyle may help manage the symptoms of this disorder. It is recommended that people with bipolar disorder not go on long periods without sleeping as sleep deprivation can trigger manic episodes. Exercise, meditation, yoga, and other relaxation techniques have been shown to reduce anxiety and lower stress levels so regular practice is important for individuals with manic depression. Healthy eating habits can also be beneficial by minimizing mood swings due to changes in blood sugar levels from food consumption.


“Psychotherapy is most effective when it’s combined with medication. It provides sufferers with the chance to explore their feelings in the company of a professional. Because medications for bipolar disorder can take 4-6 weeks before their effects start showing. Individuals should never stop taking the medication without consulting their doctor first. “Electroconvulsive therapy (ECT) is another form of treatment for people whose symptoms aren’t managed by medication or psychotherapy alone. Complementary treatments make up an increasing percentage of options available to those who suffer from bipolar disorder. “Some sufferers manage to reduce the severity of their symptoms by using methods such as essential fatty acid supplementation, avoiding stimulants like caffeine and nicotine, taking therapeutic doses of vitamin D, participating in yoga or other forms of meditation, and adhering to a strict sleep schedule.”

One of the most popular forms of psychotherapy is Cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT), which helps people understand how their thoughts, beliefs, and attitudes affect their moods and actions. It teaches them to think about events in a realistic way instead of reacting irrationally. Therapy also teaches people new ways of reacting when they encounter difficult situations which may trigger impulsive behavior like self-harm or suicidal ideation. CBT can help patients develop independence through goal-setting activities. Some other types of talk therapies include family -systems therapy, group therapy, couple’s therapy, art therapy, and music therapy.

Cognitive Behavioral Therapy

Cognitive Behavioral Therapy

Dr. Rubin Naiman, an American clinical psychologist hired by the University of Arizona Health Network said in a Psychology Today interview. “That cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) is “a form of psychotherapy that focuses on how people’s thoughts, beliefs, and attitudes affect their moods and actions”. Therapy may be taken in an individual or group setting. CBT helps patients recognize how their thinking patterns are affecting themselves and their relationships with others. It teaches them how to think about events realistically instead of reacting irrationally. Therapy also teaches people new ways of reacting when they encounter difficult situations which may trigger impulsive behavior like self-harm or suicidal ideation. CBT can help patients develop independence through goal-setting activities. However, complete treatment is not possible without the use of psychiatric medications.


The most effective type of medication is mood stabilizers like lithium and anticonvulsants like sodium valproate (Depakote). For patients who respond well to antipsychotic medications, quetiapine (Seroquel) maybe also in the regimen. Benzodiazepines can also help individuals with mania or hypomania; however, they are not good prescriptions for long-term use due to their addicting properties. Common side effects of these medications include nausea, vomiting, weight gain, tremors, and sexual dysfunction. Some medications may increase suicidal risk in teens or young adults. So doctors should take extra precautions when determining whether an individual should receive psychiatric medication.

Don’t feel bad, if at first medication therapy isn’t working. There are many options and combinations. So there is a chance of an adjustment before finding the right fit for treatment effectiveness.


If you are seeking therapy or treatment for overcoming negativity in your life. Mantra Care is a suitable healthcare organization. We have several experienced, licensed therapists that will help you attain good mental health. And will help you get rid of any negativity, social anxiety, trauma, or fear.

For more information, please contact MantraCare. Bipolar disorder is a mental illness characterized by extreme shifts in mood, energy, and activity levels. If you have any queries regarding Online Bipolar Disorder Counseling experienced therapists at MantraCare can help: Book a trial Bipolar Disorder therapy session

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