The Connection Between Bipolar Disorder And Boredom

What is Boredom? Is there a connection between bipolar disorder and boredom?

What Does It Mean To Be Bored?

Boredom is a state of not feeling interested in your surroundings. Also it means to have nothing to do as well as having a feeling that life is dull.

It can be a normal response to a situation you’re not interested in. Boredom happens when you feel energetic, but you have no where to direct all of that energy. As a result, you might have a hard time focusing on a task.

A perfect example might be a boring job. The work you you might be dull as well as tedious, also you may be tired of the same old routine day in and day out. Feeling bored is a normal response and it may be a sign that you need to make a change.

Can Too Much Boredom Be A Sign Of A Bigger Problem?

Boredom can be a normal feeling, but too much of it might indicate a bigger problem.

It turns into a problem when being bored becomes all-consuming and hurts your daily life. It might be the sign of ADHD, PTSD, clinical depression, an anxiety disorder as well as a personality disorder.

It’s interesting to note that boredom is an overlooked symptom of bipolar disorder.

The Bipolar Disorder And Boredom Connection

Bipolar disorder is marked by extreme swings between high (mania) and low (depression) moods. A typical bipolar patient has periods of stability between mood episodes when their treatment is effective.

Sometimes these periods of stability lead to feelings of boredom. Even if you’re doing well in your personal life along with managing symptoms, you might still feel tired (lethargic) or agitated (irritated).

Why Are You Bored With Stability?

Having bipolar disorder results in a low tolerance for boredom.

In a previous post, “Tips For Helping A Bipolar Brain”, we learned that an imbalance of brain chemicals such as dopamine causes bipolar symptoms. When this happens, you may have a hard time calming your racing thoughts down when dopamine is too high. But, when it’s too low, you might feel extreme boredom.

When you’re feeling manic or hypomanic, your mind is going so fast that you don’t have time to be bored. However, during episodes of depression, it may feel like you’re stuck in a dull as well as a hopeless life. Activities that you usually enjoy may now feel dull and boring.

Even when your mood is stable, you may still feel bored. Instead of hopelessness, you may feel a sense of restlessness.

When you’re feeling restless, you may feel always have a feeling that you should be doing something. Also, you may feel guilty for no reason at all and may have trouble controlling impulsive behavior. As a result, you may be vulnerable to self-sabotage if this restless feeling causes you to engage in risky behavior.

Here’s a related post, “Life With Bipolar: Why Am I So Restless?”.

Boredom And Risky Behavior

Boredom is a passing and trivial feeling for most people. It comes to an end when their phone number is dialed or when a boring lecture is over.

If you have bipolar disorder, boredom may be harder to shake. If you’re bored long term, you’re at risk of problems such as depression and anxiety. As a result, you may resort to self-sabotaging behaviors such as drug addiction, binge drinking, gambling as well as overeating. Also, you may make poor decisions that affect your life such as quitting or being let go from a job because of poor job performance.

Long term boredom also leads to problems with feeling hostile, angry for no reason at all and also a decline in social skills.

Here’s a related post, “Bored to Death: Chronically Bored People Exhibit Higher Risk-Taking Behavior”.

How To Manage Too Much Boredom?

When you have bipolar disorder, it may be harder to shake off boredom. However, along with treatment it’s vital to be provided with the tools you need to fight extreme boredom.

These are tools that not only help shake off boredom, but also help direct your energy toward something positive.

Tools Include:

Get Help:

Sometimes too much boredom may be a sign of a bigger problem. The first thing you should do is get help right away. When you’re getting help from a doctor or therapist they’ll know what to do medically.

They can also work with you by helping to develop tools to manage symptoms. Also, they can dig deeper for the connection between bipolar disorder and boredom.

It’s Time To Get Moving:

If you’re boredom prone, there’s a chance that you have a dopamine imbalance.

Dopamine is a brain chemical. It’s made in your body and it’s used to send signals between nerve cells.

Dopamine plays a role in how you feel pleasure. Also, it affects your ability to think and plan.

When dopamine is imbalanced, you may feel extreme boredom as well as depression. As a result, you’re at a higher risk of self sabotaging behaviors such as drug addiction, binge eating as well as gambling.

A holistic way to balance dopamine is to get moving and exercise. 

Overtime exercising helps remodel your brain’s reward system. As a result, there may be more available dopamine receptors to help regulate your mood.

The best exercise for balancing dopamine includes running or jogging. Also, hiking is a great aerobic activity as well.

Shake Up Your Routine:

It’s possible that you’ve grown bored with your daily routine. When this happens, you should try something new to make it less boring.

We learned in the post, “How To Fight Depression”, that sunlight plays a role in how we feel. If you’re feeling bored long term, you may be depressed. Sunlight boosts the level of serotonin in your body. As a result, it boosts your mood and helps fight boredom when you go outside.

Seek Out Your Purpose:

Boredom is a simple sign that you need a change of pace and a new focus.

It’s telling you that you need to set new goals. This may be the result of past goals no longer working out. 

Boredom is also a sign that your life lacks purpose. 

Finding your life purpose creates a sense of meaning in your life. For example, it may be working at a job you love as well as knowing you’re adding something to the world.

Finding purpose is vital for anyone. It’s especially vital if you have bipolar disorder.

It’s harder to find your purpose with bipolar disorder. Due to changes in mood you may feel long term, lingering boredom. Also, you may have an unhealthy sense of self. This means that you have a constant need to reinvent yourself.

Reinventing yourself is vital if something no longer serves a purpose. Due to the bipolar mind being the way it is, you may reinvent yourself all the time. This may lead to self sabotage, especially if it causes you to blow large sums of money.

When your bipolar symptoms are under control, it’s vital to get to know yourself on a deeper level. 

How Do You Fight Boredom?

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