5 Positives of Living with Bipolar Disorder (Besides Creativity)

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Having bipolar disorder is certainly a tough illness to manage, but that doesn’t mean there aren’t any positives that come with it. We hear a lot about the connection between creativity and bipolar disorder. While many people with bipolar disorder are creative, what about the rest who aren’t? We asked our volunteers about other positive qualities that come with living with bipolar disorder, and here’s what they had to say:

1. It Gives You Strength, Tenacity, or “Chutzpah”

“Having bipolar disorder means I am a fighter and a survivor. I have been through things other people couldn’t imagine, but I am a stronger person because of it.” – Olivia Fuller

“Bipolar has given me Chutzpah.  That is a Yiddish word that means a great many things…tenacity, moxie, audacity” – Susan Schlesinger 

2. It Makes You More Proactive About Your Overall Health

“A huge part of managing bipolar is being proactive about my physical health: what I eat, how I exercise, and how I sleep. It’s important that I stay away from processed foods (helps to manage moods), practice yoga and meditation every day (to keep my anxiety/depression at bay), and sleep a solid 9 hours (inadequate sleep often results in worsening symptoms).” – Lyndsay Marvin

“In order to take care of yourself mentally, you have to take care of your overall physical health. Exercising and eating better helps you stay more positive in the long run.” – Sarah DeArmond

“I have incorporated various practices into the start of my day to begin in a more grounded yet energized way.  My morning activation (routine) consists of meditation, intention statements, and yoga.  If I wasn’t diagnosed with bipolar disorder I don’t know if I would have these practices incorporated into my mornings.” – Scott Walker

3. It Gives You Empathy For Other People

 “I feel like I’m more sensitive to others and less likely to judge after what I’ve personally been through.” – Sarah DeArmond

“I believe I’m more empathetic towards everyone as a whole. For instance, if someone lashes out at me, instead of getting defensive or wondering what their problem is and being angry for the rest of the day, I’ll think more so about how they could have some issue I know nothing about. They may not be coping well. I should probably make efforts to ease their stress a bit more in the future and maybe ask how they’re doing more often.” – Briana Hedgepeth

4. It Helps You Know Who Your Real Friends Are

“It gives insight ln who is really there for you in your weakest and will abide your side. It proves how much some people love us unconditionally to stand by our side through thick and thin.” – Zeina Adel

“I’m able to tell who my friends are a whole lot quicker than most people.” – Briana Hedgepeth

5. It Gives You The Ability To Help Others Who Have Bipolar Disorder

 “The best part is being able to help others” – Jessi Lepine

“I am a Case Manager for Individuals with Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities and suffering with bipolar myself can be difficult, but I think it help me be able to relate with individuals on my caseload at times better. I have “been in their shoes” so to speak. It definitely doesn’t work with all consumers since everyone is so different, but it helps with rapport and trust.” – Lori Krausen

 “I was able to help my own child when he was diagnosed with bipolar disorder, he felt comfortable coming to me, because I never hid it from anyone, including my children.” – Terri Smeigh

“I would like others to benefit from my struggles with bipolar disorder” – Shannon Yazurlo

This article was written by our Advice and Support Community, a group of about 50 volunteers who contribute their advice based on their experience living with or caring for someone with bipolar disorder.

International Bipolar Foundation is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. Never disregard professional advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read or received from the International Bipolar Foundation.

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