top of page

What is a bipolar blackout?

During the mania phase of bipolar, some patients experience blackouts. This is an extremely rare occurrence that may never happen except under extremely unusual situations. During mania bipolar patients are more likely to stay awake for long periods of time. Perhaps a patient might get so exhausted that he goes to sleep wherever he happens to be.

Most patients are diagnosed with bipolar disorder in their early 20s.

When someone has bipolar disorder, they may experience two different phases. The two phases are known as MANIA and DEPRESSIVE PHASE. The duration and frequency of these episodes vary for those who have bipolar disorder.

The Depressive Phase

Bipolar patients experience many of the symptoms of depression during the depressive phase. There may be feelings that they are the worst person alive or that they cannot be loved. They may think about death regularly or experience suicidal ideation. They may become angry and blame others for their situation and/or their feelings. The overall feeling in this phase is that life is miserable and mediocre. During this phase, people may not shower, take care of themselves, or respond to phone calls or texts. They may also experience no sex drive or engage in sexual relations during this phase. During this phase, people may also experience feelings of isolation and loneliness, and they may turn to drugs or alcohol to cope with their feelings. It is important to seek professional help as soon as possible to avoid further complications.


The Mania Phase

In the mania phase, life may seem like everything is euphoric. People in mania may experience an increase in energy or become more irritable. They may engage in risky behaviors or experience extreme shifts in ther sleep, activities, judgments, behaviors, and ability to think clearly. Here are a few real life examples taken from Quora chat forums of things people have done while in their mania phase:

  • Uploaded heaps of social media content, most of which was me doing ridiculous dances, doing my makeup, or smoking.

  • I started smoking marijuana and drinking whenever I got the chance. I was finishing a whole pack of cigarettes every day.

  • I felt super motivated to learn anything and everything I could. I felt so intelligent and started a course in Electrical Engineering thinking I would become the next Elon Musk, Steve Jobs, or just some boss female entrepreneur. I stayed up all night brainstorming ideas and businesses that would definitely succeed.

  • I shaved my head on impulse... but only half of it.

  • Worked as a stripper for 3 weeks and got fired for being too immature at work.

  • I went and spontaneously bought two kittens. I took them everywhere with me (cafes, the library, to the airport, and in the car whenever I drove anywhere)

  • I walked 8 miles one morning starting at 3am because I couldn't sleep.

  • I texted by ex-boyfriend who I haven't seen in over a year to see if we could go get a coffee together.

  • I got a tattoo.

  • In my mania phase, I regularly start up conversations with strangers. It's not uncommon for me to make new friends and spend the rest of the day with them. In fact, one time I was even in a cafe and someone told me they liked my makeup. After chatting some, I pulled my make up kit out and started doing their makeup right there in the cafe.

  • I talk really loud and fast whenever I am in my mania phase.

  • I walked into a modeling agency just off the sidewalk and was adamant that I would be their "new face"

  • I went into a ferrari dealer and asked how much one would cost me. They told me I could possibly buy one in about 10 years. I told them to "watch out" because I am definitely coming back.

  • I decided to wear only neon colors and massive earrings the whole week. This ensemble got me several dates with both men and women. I had many one night stands.

  • I texted all my friends and family telling them how amazing I am, what a gift to humankind I have been, and how lucky they are to know me.

While there is no cure for manic episodes, a combination of medication, therapy, and lifestyle changes can help people manage symptoms and avoid triggers. Psychotherapy with a trained mental health professional can help you identify when your moods are changing, as well as identify triggers that lead to manic episodes. This professional can also support medication compliance and provide skills to cope with these episodes and improve your quality of life.

Coping With Manic Episodes

Beyond medication and therapy, a few relatively simple lifestyle changes can help manage manic episodes. Here are some to consider.

  • Make time for exercise. Do your best to get some sort of physical activity

  • Stick to a well-rounded diet and avoid skipping meals.

  • Focus on proper sleep hygiene, including keeping a consistent sleep-wake cycle (even on weekends).

  • Start a journal. You may consider keeping a notebook to record manic and depressive symptoms. Pay special attention to triggers, like a job change, a breakup, a move, or even situational triggers like staying out late, listening to loud music, starting a new project, or going on vacation.

  • Stay on track with doctor appointments, as well as prescribed medication.

Monitor your mood and behavior over time. This can help you identify patterns, so that you can better manage them. Talk to a therapist or counselor if you have any concerns. Taking these steps can help you stay in control of your emotions and improve your overall wellbeing.


bottom of page