20 Surprising Physical Symptoms of Bipolar Disorder

Because bipolar disorder is considered a mental illness — most people focus on how mentally taxing the ups and downs of manic and depressive episodes can be. It may also be common for people to talk about the signs and symptoms, and not what it actually feels like to go through them.

But the symptoms of bipolar disorder can be just as physical as they are mental. And sometimes, the different “categories” of symptoms intertwine.

That’s why we asked our Mighty mental health community living with bipolar disorder to tell us some surprising physical symptoms of bipolar disorder they’ve experienced. Because by talking about everything that bipolar disorder entails, we can continue to deepen our understanding of it.

Here is what they had to say:

1. “Memory loss. I’ve done things during a manic episode that I don’t remember later, wondering how I got to whatever place I’m in.” — Shannon D.

2. “Akathisia. Imagine being in a lecture and becoming really antsy, and you start bouncing your leg. Now imagine being so agitated, you have to bounce or shake your entire body to try to relieve the discomfort. And not for just an hour, for multiple on end, sometimes days. It feels like I’m literally trapped in my own skin, and the only way out is to rip it open or peel it off.” — Meghan G.

3. “Not being able to sleep when in hypomania and not get enough sleep when depressed. Energy levels are erratic. Lack of appetite or starving and eating so much. Body pains and feeling like you need to burst out of your own skin.” — Jazmyne F.

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