Bipolar Disorder Makes Getting Stuff Done Extremely Difficult

I have type 2 bipolar disorder, and I struggle to get anything done.  Let me explain.

Bipolar disorder imparts upon me varying degrees of productivity.  Science has helpfully illustrated this with the following graph:


The cycle of I-can’t-get-shit-done.

Let’s examine this in greater detail:

Mood: Bat-Shit Crazy

I’m starting here because this is me… right now.  Paradoxically, despite an incredible amount of energy, and my brain red-lining at 10,000 thoughts per second, I can’t get anything done; Hell, it took me 10 minutes just to write this paragraph.


Because I have 16 browser tabs open (and they’re actual honest to goodness articles… not just 16 porn videos!)  Because I’m thinking about the novel I want to write.  Because I’m thinking about that other novel I want to write.  Because I just had another idea for a different blog.  Because AFRICA is playing in one of my tabs and I can’t find it.  Because my thoughts wont shut the hell up!  It’s hard to get anything done when you can’t even start anything because you’ve got 500 ideas of what you should be doing.

Listen to Arcade Fire’s song Everything Now

This phenomenon of racing thoughts which I characterize as a “loud mind” is so central to my experience of bipolar disorder that I named my own bipolar disorder blog after it.

I used to medicate this type of mood with booze to try to at least be sort of normal – until I gave that up… but sobriety is a whole other story.

Mood: Hypo-manic

Ah yes, the golden zone.  This is where I get stuff done; this is where I’m brilliant; but let’s face it, this is also where I’m kind of a dick.

Like this without the lava or the horribly disappointing screenplay.

10 thoughts on “Bipolar Disorder Makes Getting Stuff Done Extremely Difficult

    • I can relate with you; my mind was so loud these last three months that I had to get hospitalized. These last three months were one of the darkest periods of my life. I was out of mind, listening to people only I could hear, smelling smells that I could only smell– and crying every day because I just couldn’t see a way out of my hell.

      It is hard to do things, when we have several projects that we wish to undertake. I am currently reading a book called “Grit”, and it is a great book. When we have so many goals, we have to realize that our time and effort is limited. We can’t do everything we want to do all the time. Best way to start working on this problem is to prioritize projects. Which ones would you really enjoy immersing your self in– and which ones are not as important. This simple idea really helped with my anxiety. We need to keep our focus on the things that really matter; just like in life. Forget the bad spells, if you think about it–I bet you also have also had great experiences that you can thankful for. Focus on that, and you won’t be as depressed. You can’t feel both depressed and thankful. One is healthier than the other.

      Hoping you feel better soon!


  1. I cracked up at your graphics. I will have to cut and paste the graph for future use. 🙂 I *think* I have BPII, never formally diagnosed. I don’t get the bat-shit crazy. I love the hypo-mania, which is difficult to explain to people, so I don’t try. I’ve often wondered it my hypo-manic bit is other people’s normal. WTF *is* normal? Loved the song. Only 16 windows open?

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I know exactly what you mean about having 500 ideas of what you should be doing but not being able to focus on any one of those ideas long enough to get anything done. It’s unbelievable how jumbled up and distorted those ideas can become during the “bat shit crazy” phase. I’ve written poems that seemed amazingly profound and creative to me at the time (bipolar delusions of grandeur), then I’ve looked at them the next day and had literally no idea what I meant. It looks like you were a long way from “bat shit crazy” when you wrote this article.

    Liked by 2 people

    • I never actually do go full, completely manic. I have bipolar type two, so really I just have hypomania – it’s just that sometimes it’s a lot worse than other times, and it’s like “super” hypomania… which sort of sounds like an oxymoron I suppose but whatever. Thanks for reading 🙂


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