Thursday, 12 February 2009

Creatures of the night

I wanted to write about the experience of Bipolars in the darkness of the night. I realized that I had posted something on a forum when I was manic, almost two years ago. Lots of Bipolar people have trouble sleeping or they have strange sleep patterns. See what you think about my nocturnal ramblings. It is a hidden world to the non-Bipolar. Just imagine being awake most nights from 3-4am:

"I think Bipolars are creatures of the night, and not always happily. I used to embrace the night but now I am scared. I can't go in the chat room because I find it is triggering. I learnt a long time back how to cope in the long waking nights. I somehow lost the knack. I haven't been manic in quite a while. It's a lot different having insomnia to being manic at night. The first is boring but the second is dangerous. I find myself coping well. The danger is that you cope too well and start thinking like a Bipolar.For example. I was manic in Los Angeles (and UK, Saudi and Singapore!). Los Angeles was well suited for the night lurker. That's what I did quite often. Driving the freeways, sitting in 24 hour diners, just killing time. Occasionally it was fruitful, as in looking for a diagnosis.

There are not many 24 hour diners in the UK, even less in my small town. I don't drive so I stay in my little apartment. Computer time, recorded TV from previous evening, breakfasts, try to sleep. In a way, I would like a 24 diner round the corner.

Many people have shared my fear of dark nights. Some can't even get out in the day. That's why the chat rooms are so valuable. It connects these Bipolars in many countries. The time of day barriers melt away.It's fun to post when I am manic. I tend to say too much when I am in chat. My usually nice British wit becomes caustic. I apologise for that. I mean no harm. I am a nice person, honest. I have this compulsion to shock people, not maliciously, almost playfully.

If anyone wants to comment. I just find myself with no one to talk to. I have to control myself and not call new found phone-a-friends. I once called everyone in my phone book, even the ones who were in bed. That was 27 years ago in my first pre-diagnosis mania. I hope this makes sense and I hope you like it."

That's much as I wrote it. The other thing about my manias was the incredible hungers. I used to stock the fridge with burger materials in case I needed a snack. It didn't matter what time of day it was. Then there were the power naps, 2 hour naps where you woke up fully refreshed and raring to go. Of course, after a few weeks you crash unless the needle in the bum gets you first. There is no free lunch and manias normally end with a miserable depression.


  1. Clive, I'm not bipolar, but boy can I relate to all of that. Randy is up all night and sleeps most of the day. I have found that when he keeps this sleep pattern, his moods are better. But when he's forced to be up or starts getting up in the day, he's starts going into hyper mania mode. He also deals with the hunger. Most of his nights he trys to fight the urge to constantly eat. He even eats in his sleep. He's not so worried about interacting with others. He prefers to be alone most times. He watches tv, surfs the net, plays games on computer, and reads. He never goes into a chat room, he doesn't care for them. We have spent many awaking night hours together quietly while he does what he enjoys doing.

    We have an all night cafe close by and have gone for a walk many nights to get some fresh air and him out of the house. We don't stay there, we just go, get what we want and head back home. But it gets him out. Plus, I'm addicted to their coffee!! Tim Horton's rules!!!

    Your blogs are going great Clive. Please keep sharing.


  2. I have learned a great secret when I get the urge to eat, I have a cup of tea with a little cream and honey or splenda and I can sometimes head off a binge that way. I just switch the flavors around so I don't get bored.

    I am enjoying your log and you are inspiring me to work on mine. I have been dealing with my children being sick so everything else has been on hold. ( I'm stealing a few minutes to catch up on your blog)

  3. I too have that problem of being up and sleeping for a couple of hours at a time. It gets hard at times, but I deal with it. I reached a point earlier where I felt drugged I was so exhausted from not sleeping right. I did find music to listen to that helps me relax before going to sleep. I hope that it keeps helping me. Good blog.

  4. I also have that urge to shock people and it's gotten me in trouble many times.

  5. Hi. From the boards. Do you think the hunger stems from meds? I am up at 1 am eating and reading your post. I often can't sleep!


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