how a person with bipolar thinks

Understanding How a Person with Bipolar Thinks

Living with bipolar disorder can be a challenging journey, both for the individual and their loved ones. Bipolar disorder affects a person’s mood, energy levels, and thinking patterns, often causing drastic shifts between extreme highs and lows. In this article, we aim to shed some light on how a person with bipolar thinks and experiences the world around them.

The Rollercoaster of Emotions

Bipolar disorder is characterized by two primary mood states: manic and depressive episodes. During a manic phase, individuals with bipolar experience heightened energy levels, intense enthusiasm, and often engage in impulsive behavior. Their thoughts may race, making it difficult to concentrate or engage in coherent conversations. They may feel invincible, take on multiple projects simultaneously, and experience a decreased need for sleep.

Conversely, during a depressive episode, individuals with bipolar may feel overwhelming sadness, hopelessness, and a lack of interest in previously enjoyed activities. Their thoughts may become foggy, making it arduous to make decisions. At times, they might experience suicidal thoughts or struggle with a general sense of worthlessness.

how a person with bipolar thinks

The Racing Thoughts

One common aspect of bipolar disorder is racing thoughts. During a manic phase, a person’s mind may feel overcrowded with a constant flow of ideas, making it difficult to focus on one thing at a time. They may jump from one topic to another rapidly, making it challenging for others to follow their train of thought. This racing mind can also contribute to insomnia and a sense of restlessness.

For example, a person with bipolar disorder may suddenly become fixated on an unusual hobby or business venture during a manic episode. They might spend hours researching and making plans, talking excitedly about their latest “big idea.” Yet, as quickly as they became obsessed with it, they may lose interest just as fast when the depressive phase sets in.

The Intensity of Emotions

People with bipolar disorder often experience emotions more intensely than those without the condition. While this intensity can bring joy and enthusiasm during a manic episode, it also means that negative emotions can become overwhelming during periods of depression. They may struggle with regulating their emotions, leading to mood swings that seem disproportionate to external factors.

It is important to note that just because someone with bipolar disorder experiences intense emotions, it does not mean their feelings are invalid or exaggerated. They genuinely feel the intensity of their emotions, which can be confusing and difficult for others to comprehend.

The Dual Perspectives

Another unique aspect of how a person with bipolar thinks is their ability to see the world from two different perspectives. During a manic episode, they may have grandiose thoughts and believe they can achieve anything they set their mind to. However, during a depressive episode, their self-esteem can plummet, and they may question their abilities and worthiness.

This constant shift in perspectives can make it challenging for individuals with bipolar to have a stable sense of self-identity. They may feel like two different people during manic and depressive phases, often struggling to find a balance between the two extremes.

The Importance of Support

Living with bipolar disorder is undoubtedly demanding, but with proper support, it is possible for individuals to lead fulfilling lives. If you or a loved one has bipolar disorder, seeking professional help from a mental health expert is crucial. Therapies such as cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) and medication management can help regulate mood swings and provide coping mechanisms.

Furthermore, having a support network of understanding family members and friends can make a significant difference in the well-being of someone with bipolar disorder. Educating oneself about the condition and fostering open communication can help navigate the challenges that can arise.


Understanding how a person with bipolar thinks and experiences the world can foster empathy and support for individuals living with the condition. The rollercoaster of emotions, racing thoughts, intensity of emotions, and dual perspectives all contribute to the unique mental landscape they navigate each day. By offering understanding, support, and professional help, we can create an environment where individuals with bipolar disorder can thrive and find stability in their lives.

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