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Bipolar Quotes About Living With This Challenging Mental Illness

These Bipolar quotes shed light on what it feels like to live with this illness.

What exactly is Bipolar Disorder? Well, it is a mental illness associated with episodes of mood swings ranging from depressive lows to manic highs. Each of these episodes can last anywhere from weeks to months.

Bipolar Disorder is one of the more puzzling mental illnesses because the cause of the illness is still shrouded in mystery. Most researchers and mental health professionals agree that genetics, environment, and altered brain structure and chemistry may play a role in developing Bipolar Disorder.

There are people who wonder whether being a genius is a sign of Bipolar Disorder, as several brilliant minds were diagnosed as Bipolar. The list of famous people includes writers, artists, and movie stars who are often regarded as the best of the best in their respective fields. Writers Edgar Allan Poe, Ernest Hemingway, and Jack London created some of their most notable works amidst a Bipolar episode.

The same can be said for artists like Vincent Van Gogh and Edvard Munch. Ben Stiller, Catherine Zeta-Jones, and the beloved comedic genius Robin Williams also have Bipolar Disorder. Keep reading these Bipolar quotes to learn more about this difficult and curious mental illness.

Don’t forget to also check out these anxiety quotes to help relax your mind and ease fears.

Funny Bipolar Disorder quotes from people who use humor to cope

1. “I was diagnosed with bipolar disorder when I was barely out of my teens. Like our olive skin tone and caterpillar eyebrows, I guess it just runs in the family.” ― AJ Lee

2. “I just have basically too much personality for one person, and not quite enough for two.” ― Carrie Fisher, Wishful Drinking

3. “I’m bipolar, but I’m not crazy, and I never was. I’m stark raving sane.” ― Emilie Autumn

4. “I wrote a show. Just as a joke, actually, and called it ‘Bipolar, Bath, & Beyond,’ just to bring some humor to it. I wasn’t saying to myself that I’ll ‘come out’ with it. I didn’t think there was anything to ‘come out’ with. I was just writing another one-woman show about my life.” ― Jenifer Lewis

5. “I had been a hurricane all my life. And that was, of course, because I was bipolar and did not know it. And I was – you know, the mania took control. When you’re on stage and when you’re performing, you’re heightened, and it’s an extreme.” ― Jenifer Lewis

6. “If you give a bipolar man a mic, I don’t know what you expect.” ― Damon Dash

Poignant Bipolar quotes about what living with the illness feels like

7. “I live with being bipolar, but it doesn’t define me anymore.” ― Margaret Trudeau

8. “Sometimes when you have bipolar you have days you are grumpy and not feeling yourself.” ― Frank Bruno

9. “Bipolar robs you of that which is you. It can take from you the very core of your being and replace it with something that is completely opposite of who and what you truly are.” ― Alyssa Reyans, Letters from a Bipolar Mother

10. “Compared to bipolar’s magic, reality seems a raw deal. It’s not just the boredom that makes recovery so difficult, it’s the slow dawning pain that comes with sanity – the realization of illness, the humiliating scenes, the blown money and friendships, and confidence. Depression seems almost inevitable.” ― David Lovelace

11. “Except you cannot outrun insanity, anymore than you can outrun your own shadow.” ― Alyssa Reyans, Letters from a Bipolar Mother

12. “Suddenly I wanted to get better. Mania wasn’t fun anymore. It wasn’t creative or visionary. It was mean parody at best, a cheap chemical trick. I needed to stop and get better. I’d take whatever they gave me, I pledged silently. I’d take Trilafon or Thorazine or whatever. I just wanted to sleep.” ― David Lovelace, Scattershot: My Bipolar Family

13. “Bipolar disorder is something that is mine. And it is very difficult to talk about it.” ― Mariette Hartley

14. “People who are bipolar, they kind of latch onto things that are fanatical sometimes.” ― Brad Garrett

15. “Part of the frustration of being bipolar is people don’t understand what it feels like.” ― Alice Ripley

16. “Telling someone who is manic that she’s manic is like telling a dictator that he’s a dick. Neither is going to admit it, and both are willing to torture you to prove their points.” ― Melody Moezzi, Haldol and Hyacinths: A Bipolar Life

17. “It wasn’t uncommon. Treated, bipolar disorder could be managed quite well in most cases. Two of my med school professors had talked openly about having it. But for some people, the medication made them feel flat. Gray. The mood swings and mania were the price they paid for a life full of color.” ― Kristan Higgins

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18. “Yes I’m Bipolar but I’m as normal as you except the times when my mind thinks like two.” ― Stanley Victor Paskavich

19. “One of the things that baffles me (and there are quite a few) is how there can be so much lingering stigma with regards to mental illness, specifically bipolar disorder. In my opinion, living with manic depression takes a tremendous amount of balls. Not unlike a tour of Afghanistan (though the bombs and bullets, in this case, come from the inside). At times, being bipolar can be an all-consuming challenge, requiring a lot of stamina and even more courage, so if you’re living with this illness and functioning at all, it’s something to be proud of, not ashamed of.

They should issue medals along with the steady stream of medication.” ― Carrie Fisher

20. “Bipolar disorder is so swept under the rug as a nation and, I think especially, by black people. It’s not our culture to go get therapy. ‘Give them medicine for what?’ We put people in court, put them in court again, versus really paying attention to what it is they are going through.” ― Trai Byers

21. “Even when I’m in a really great, steady, and stable place… I’m clinically bipolar so that always exists―a darkness always exists.” ― Mary Lambert

Bipolar quotes that offer perspectives about other mental illnesses and treatment

22. “Been under treatment for PTSD and bipolar since 1992. I’m not ashamed of my illness. I’ve been shunned by many and I feel for those shunned, too.” ― Stanley Victor Paskavich

23. “I haven’t beat my mental illness I’ve quit letting it beat me.” ― Stanley Victor Paskavich

24. “I never found out until I went into treatment that I was bipolar.” ― Demi Lovato

25. “I didn’t t realize I actually had post-traumatic stress disorder at the time, but why would I think I had that? Anyway, how would I know which was post-traumatic stress, which is addiction, which is bipolar, which is Libra?” ― Carrie Fisher, Wishful Drinking

26. “Until we come up with an unequivocal blood test or the equivalent, we’re all blowing smoke and don’t know if what we call schizophrenia and bipolar disorder are one disorder or a dozen.” ― Mark Vonnegut

27. “It turns out that up to 35 percent of people with bipolar disorder also have ADHD.” ― Julie A. Fast

28. “Pain, torture or trauma cause bipolar and PTSD and once you have it’s hard to get free.” ― Stanley Victor Paskavich

29. “Bipolar is an illness not a hopeless destination it can be maintained with proper medication.” ― Stanley Victor Paskavich

30. “I’m Bipolar with PTSD without medication my mind wouldn’t be free… Medication works for me but not for everyone.” ― Stanley Victor Paskavich

31. “I don’t find anything upsetting or gross or degrading about fighting with a mental illness: Bipolar or Schizophrenia.” ― Kangana Ranaut

Bipolar quotes about being gifted and special

32. “If you think there is something wrong with Bipolar People, you might want to Google the Famous Bipolar List. Everyone on it had something wrong with them but obviously for all the right reasons.” ― Stanley Victor Paskavich

33. “When it comes to most true bipolars, consider this thought: Genius by birth, bipolar by design.” ― Stanley Victor Paskavich

34. “I admit I’m bipolar but if you think I’m stupid, you’re crazy.” ― Stanley Victor Paskavich

35. “Emotions, moods, impulses, ebb and flow with the tide of my life. Tidal waves, at times, in a bipolar mind.” ― H.G.

36. “Bipolars are the apples that dropped apart the tree.” ― Kostas Gkionakis

37. “Bipolars are made to make love to their destiny.” ― Kostas Gkionakis

38. “Several politicians and wives of politicians have been public about their experiences with depression or bipolar illness, including Lawton Chiles, Patrick Kennedy, Tipper Gore, and Kitty Dukakis. Each made a tremendous difference by doing so.” ― Kay Redfield Jamison

39. “Where would the memoir be without bipolar writers? I mean, that’s what – that whole over sharing thing is really a very clear symptom of bipolar disorder. And I’m not saying that every, you know, I’m not accusing every memoirist of being bipolar. But I think in a way it’s kind of a gift.” ― Ayelet Waldman

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40. “When I harnessed its seemingly uncontrollable might, I realized bipolar disorder’s powers could be used for good. My diagnosis didn’t have to be an affliction. It could simply be the gift of extraordinary emotions.” ― AJ Lee

41. “I want to show people my successful side, but I want to show you my bipolar side, too.” ― Big Narstie

Bipolar quotes from Marya Hornbacher’s Madness: A Bipolar Life

42. “When you are mad, mad like this, you don’t know it. Reality is what you see. When what you see shifts, departing from anyone else’s reality, it’s still reality to you.” ― Marya Hornbacher, Madness: A Bipolar Life

43. “I grew into it. It grew into me. It and I blurred at the edges, became one amorphous, seeping, crawling thing.” ― Marya Hornbacher, Madness: A Bipolar Life

44. “Madness strips you of memory and leaves you scrabbling around on the floor of your brain for the snatches and snippets of what happened, what was said, and when.” ― Marya Hornbacher, Madness: A Bipolar Life

45. “For me, the first sign of oncoming madness is that I’m unable to write.” ― Marya Hornbacher, Madness: A Bipolar Life

46. “My brain sometimes departs from the agreed-upon reality, and my private reality is a very lonely place. But in the end, I’m not sure I wish I’d never gone there.” ― Marya Hornbacher, Madness: A Bipolar Life

47. “I’m sick. It’s true. It isn’t going to go away. All my life, I’ve thought that if I just worked hard enough, it would. I’ve always thought that if I just pulled myself together, I’d be a good person, a calm person, a person like everyone else.” ― Marya Hornbacher, Madness: A Bipolar Life

48. “Here’s the hell of it: madness doesn’t announce itself. There isn’t time to prepare for its coming. It shows up without calling and sits in your kitchen, ashing in your plant. You ask how long it plans to stay; it shrugs its shoulders, gets up, and starts digging through the fridge.” ― Marya Hornbacher, Madness: A Bipolar Life

49. “Soon madness has worn you down. It’s easier to do what it says than argue. In this way, it takes over your mind. You no longer know where it ends and you begin. You believe anything it says. You do what it tells you, no matter how extreme or absurd. If it says you’re worthless, you agree. You plead for it to stop. You promise to behave. You are on your knees before it, and it laughs.” ― Marya Hornbacher, Madness: A Bipolar Life

50. “Madness will push you anywhere it wants. It never tells you where you’re going, or why. It tells you it doesn’t matter. It persuades you. It dangles something sparkly before you, shimmering like that water patch on the road up ahead. You will drive until you find it, the treasure, the thing you most desire.” ― Marya Hornbacher, Madness: A Bipolar Life

More Bipolar Quotes And Sayings On What It Feels To Live With The Mental Disorder

51. “When under the strain of bipolar’s strongest symptoms, we certainly can make selfish decisions, but that doesn’t make us selfish people. In fact, because we have struggled and known such depths of darkness, our compassion runs deeper.” — Lyss Trayers

52. “Creativity is closely associated with bipolar disorder” — Preeti Shenoy,

53. “I feel sorry for every Therapist, Psychologist, and Psychiatrist I’ve ever met. I know I’ve put thoughts in their mind they will never forget.” ― Stanley Victor Paskavich

55. “I have never seen battles quite as terrifyingly beautiful as the ones I fight when my mind splinters and races, to swallow me into my own madness, again.” ― Nicole Lyons

56. “My psychiatrist said “you’re BI Polar. I said “tell us something we don’t already know”.” ― Stanley Victor Paskavich

57. Mental pain is less dramatic than physical pain, but it is more common and also more hard to bear. The frequent attempt to conceal mental pain increases the burden: it is easier to say “My tooth is aching” than to say “My heart is broken.” — C.S. Lewis,

58.  “If I ever get rid of my Bi Polar condition we’ll be so happy.” ― Stanley Victor Paskavich

59. “Most people can only sleep with a nice soft pillow I can only sleep with heavy anti psychotics” ― Stanley Victor Paskavich

60. “There is a dead space between most people and those afflicted with Mental Illness and it’s called Understanding” ― Stanley Victor Paskavich

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Bipolar Quotes To Bring Hope To People Living With The Condition

61. “I could walk through fire if it meant making my dreams come true. That is the gift being bipolar gave me. It blessed me with a lofty imagination, an iron will, and an unbreakable belief in the impossible.” — AJ Mendez

62. “Living with bipolar disorder isn’t about trying to always be happy. It’s about looking up into the sky during your darkest nights and seeing the stars shining down on you. The darker your world becomes, the brighter they shine. They are the hope inside that guides you until the sun rises once more. It is then that you have stolen victory from certain defeat” — Bryce R. Hostetler

63. “To find the connections of these invisible threads that reach from past to present, I accept that no one perspective can make sense of it all. Being bipolar is being alive, just more, living in the moment. Too much more. But all of it – the mania, the energy, the agitation, the obsession, sadness, fear and hurt – are distortions or exaggerations of normal emotions. I’m still me in the end.” — Ahiddibah Tsinnie

64. “Before I die I’d love to see my name on the Famous Bi-Polar list I’m not ashamed of my Illness I believe most of my talent comes from it.” — Stanley Victor Paskavich

65.”Bipolar disorder can be a great teacher. It’s a challenge, but it can set you up to be able to do almost anything else in your life.” — Carrie Fisher

66. “For bipolar in adults, I think there’s pretty good agreement about what this looks like. For bipolar in children, there is some considerable debate about where are the boundaries. At the mild end, are these just kids who are active? Is this the class clown at the very severe – is this something other than a mood disorder?” — Thomas R. Insel

67. “I think one thing is that anybody who’s had to contend with mental illness – whether it’s depression, bipolar illness or severe anxiety, whatever – actually has a fair amount of resilience in the sense that they’ve had to deal with suffering already, personal suffering.” — Kay Redfield Jamison

68. “One of the things so bad about depression and bipolar disorder is that if you don’t have prior awareness, you don’t have any idea what hit you.” — Kay Redfield Jamison

69. “When I taught writing classes to psychiatric patients, I met people whose stories of manic highs and immobilizing lows appeared to be textbook descriptions of classic bipolar disorder. I met other patients who had been diagnosed with the myriad disorders. No doctor seemed to agree about what they actually suffered from.” — Siri Hustvedt

70. “Bipolar disorder, manic depression, depression, black dog, whatever you want to call it, is inherent in our society. It’s a product of stress and in my case over-work.” — Adam Ant

What did you learn from these Bipolar depression quotes?

It isn’t just creative people in the arts that struggle with Bipolar Disorder, although the illness itself is sometimes referred to as the “dark side of creativity.” Winston Churchill, Florence Nightingale, and even Albert Einstein all experienced intensely productive and insightful periods followed by stretches of darkness and despair.

Those bursts of creativity and productiveness happen when some in experiencing mania. That’s because manic episodes include symptoms such as soaring energy levels, less sleep, and loss of touch with reality.

However, those are followed by agonizing depressive episodes. Depressive episodes are the polar opposite of their manic counterparts, resulting in low energy, loss of motivation, and not having an interest in daily activities.

Mania often causes people to engage in behaviors they regret, and then feel guilt for when they are in the depressive stage. Self-loathing and suicidal thoughts are common during this period.

This incredibly difficult disease can be difficult for the person themselves, and their loved ones. However, it is treatable with therapy and medication. There is hope and remember, if you have Bipolar Disorder, that you are not alone. There are people that love you, and there is help out there.

What’s your biggest takeaway from these Bipolar quotes and sayings? Do you have any other favorite quotes to add? Let us know in the comment section below.

Danielle Dahl, Lead Contributor
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