Bipolar disorder and highly sensitive people

Peacock by Rachel Miller

Written by Rachel Miller
Original artwork by Rachel Miller


Early experiences

I’ve always felt like an outsider, so different to everybody else, like I had been dropped off on the wrong planet. Everyone around me, even at primary school, seemed so settled in the world, like living on Earth was the easiest and most natural thing. I felt alien.

I was prone to becoming overwhelmed by school, particularly being in large groups or in noisy environments. I was really sensitive to comments by other kids and how they perceived me and would get upset very easily. Anxiety was my constant companion throughout my school days and later became apparent in the workplace too.

My first depressive episode came at university and was probably the most scary time of my life. I had absolutely no idea what the hell was wrong with me! Why couldn’t I get out of bed, or even leave my room? Why would I lock the door, shut all the curtains and pray nobody came to find me? I would freeze with fear if anyone came to knock on the door. I would sleep all day and think about death.

Bipolar was diagnosed when I was interviewed by a psychiatrist, who determined that I had also experienced hypomanic symptoms before. This was all news to me as I thought I just had a particularly energetic, upbeat personality and was prone to hardcore PMS!


What is bipolar disorder?

In the simplest and most basic of terms, Bipolar Disorder is a mood disorder characterised by episodes of depression (often severe) and mania or hypomania: a highly disruptive state of increased energy leading to erratic behaviour and in severe cases, delusions and other forms of psychosis.


What does it mean to be a highly sensitive person (HSP)?

The term Highly Sensitive Person or HSP was first popularised by the author Elaine Aron in her book: The Highly Sensitive Person. She found that 15-20% of the population could be classified as HSPs through the following commonalities:

  • Being easily overwhelmed by environmental factors such as strong smells, harsh/artificial lighting, loud noise eg. sirens.
  • Getting rattled by having too much to do in too short a time.
  • Being upset by violence in the media and animal cruelty.
  • Needing to withdraw into peace and quiet when overwhelmed.
  • Have a rich and complex inner life.
  • Enjoy delicate or fine scents, taste, sounds or works of art.
  • Often seen by parents or teachers as shy or sensitive.

To find out if you are an HSP, there is a quiz on the site The Highly Sensitive Person.

Common HSP careers include: artist, writer, musician, therapist, counsellor, teacher, complementary therapist, yoga teacher, psychologist, designer.


Being an HSP in a highly stimulating society.

Western society today worships success; success defined by status, money, power, what car you drive, the clothes you wear, how big and grand your house is.

Achieving career and societal status often involves a busy, hectic lifestyle, something which can easily overwhelm an HSP. City-living may also play a part: loud noises, car fumes, crowds of people- the majority of the population can deal with this fairly easily, but this is an HSP’s nightmare.

There are many stressors out there to overwhelm our system.


How is bipolar disorder linked to being an HSP?

Being an HSP is innate- it is a trait we are born with. The degree to which we are affected by a loud noise will be inherent in our biological make up. It therefore makes sense that HSPs will be more affected by various environmental factors that are experienced when growing up. Our nervous systems will be easily over-stimulated and over-worked, therefore making us more vulnerable to conditions such as anxiety and depression, or any genetic conditions inherent within our families.

In my case I believe I was much more affected by harsh treatment and comments than the average child. I also experienced life in a dysfunctional family and teasing/being picked on at school.

Bipolar Disorder is also present in our family history.


The HSP manic connection.

Being easily overstimulated can also come about from more “pleasant” means. I can easily feel “on a high” after attending a classical music concert or ballet, too much high-intensity exercise, or when writing flows easily. This high is perhaps more easily attained as an HSP.

For me, the high comes with inspiration, a wealth of ideas and deeper spiritual experiences. It is wonderful to indulge these ideas creatively which can keep the high going. We might also seek out more inspirational experiences: more concerts, more parties, more movies, more shopping.

More, more, more may end up completely overwhelming us until we become irritable, restless, agitated and then eventually crash, exhausted into depression. Here lies the Bipolar Cycle.

However I would like to stress that not all HSPs are Bipolar and not all Bipolar sufferers are HSPs.

If the traits inherent in an HSP child are adapted to and nurtured healthily, an HSP may thrive. They have been taught that their sensitivity is a gift to be cherished- which it most certainly is!


The gift of high sensitivity

High sensitivity must first and foremost be seen as a gift.

Often HSPs experience the world in delicate subtleties of texture, form, colour and emotion. We may be able to express ourselves creatively with beautiful results: art, music, theatrical performances, writing.

We are often empathic people, capable of helping others with problems in their lives. We can be invaluable as friends.

We may be capable of experiencing greater meaning in our lives in terms of spirituality.

Red Kite by Rachel Miller

Bipolar, HSPs and Empaths

Some of us may come to view our sensitivity from a more spiritual perspective.

I have found more acceptance and “family” in the spiritual community where I have begun to find psychic gifts in my sensitivity that I never knew existed. There are also others like me!

Some HSPs may also be Empaths.

Empaths, without training, may soak up the emotions of everybody around them! Think of the chaos experienced- one minute feeling fine, the next depressed, the next angry, the next elated. No wonder we need so much time alone! No wonder a diagnosis of Bipolar.

Happily, there are methods to protect ourselves which can easily be learned. I’m currently in the process of developing these skills with the help of a wonderful teacher.

Again- not all HSPs or Bipolar sufferers are Empaths, but there is the possibility and if I can point this out to even one person who thinks “wow, that’s me”, then I’ll be very happy.


Changing our perspective

Once we can see our sensitivity as a gift, we are in a position to quit fighting it and trying to fit in with society!  It is OK for us to be different.

We are showing others that there is another way to live life.

We don’t have to be running around like headless chickens all the time!

I’m learning that:

  • It’s OK that I need more time alone, I don’t have to be a social butterfly.
  • It’s OK to be different and like different things. If I want to listen to classical music and it makes me happy, that is what is most important.
  • I can stop trying to look after everyone else. I’m no good to anyone if I don’t look after my health and wellness first!
  • It’s OK to be good at something. Other people feel threatened when you are good at something. I still feel ashamed of showing any giftedness. This is one I still need a lot of work on. I was taught that it’s better to be invisible.
  • It’s OK to withdraw from negative people, including family and toxic friends.

Goldfinch by Rachel Miller

Learning to look after ourselves.

I’m learning to look after myself by:

  • meditating and journalling every day.
  • walking in nature everyday.
  • doing yoga.
  • expressing myself through my blog.
  • limiting my time in the city and crowded, noisy environments.
  • distracting myself when I start ruminating negatively and worrying.
  • asking for help when I need it!!! (Always a tough one for me!)

The best advice I could offer to anyone just diagnosed with Bipolar is to form a good relationship with your doctor which means being honest with them, listening to them, be open to receiving help and trying their suggestions, always sticking to your medication regime, but also remembering that they don’t know what it’s like to be you and sometimes they wont always be right!

As you make your way through the Bipolar journey you naturally work out what works for you and what doesn’t.

If you think you might be an HSP, it can be helpful to do a bit of research (see links below), indulge in your gifts and find like-minded people who can help you to love yourself!


Great bipolar disorder websites:

mcman’s depression and bipolar Web
bp hope


­For the open-minded:

traits of an empath
are you an emotional empath?- judith orlaff md


Artwork credit: Rachel Miller


Rachel Miller is the blog author of Emotional Wellness; moving from emotional chaos to self-love and balance.  She writes informative and personal posts that combines her experiences, spirituality and love for research.

To read all of Rachel’s MHT guest posts, click here.

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  • Ady mills

    A great article written by a great author. A shame there’s not more pieces written on bipolar issues like this.

    • Rachel Miller

      You little star Ady! Thanks for the comment and for checking out the article. Hope you are well xx

      • Gypsymichele

        Wow Rachel I have been following you on Pinterest for a long time now. My ex-husband is bipolar.. I have never known what was wrong with me but I knew from a young age I was different and had issues and gifts. I had a life of never needing anything I was given the world yet a mother that beat me and all kinds of horrible things, so I just chalked up my issues with her doing what she did to me (long story). I have many gifts that I am so blessed to have, since the age of 4. I am an Empath, Clairvoyance, Clairaudience, Clairsentience, Claircognizance, Psychometry.. Everyday one of my gifts are stronger than the others, it just depends on the days.. ♥ I’m glad to figure out what may be my issue.. Thank you, Gypsymichele

        • Rachel Miller

          Hi Gypsymichele- I recognize your name from Pinterest, I think I am also following some of your boards. I love Pinterest, it’s ace!

          Thanks so much for reading my post on Trish’s fab website. I am so glad to have found another kindred spirit! I always felt so different too- I lived in my own little world! I’m really sad to hear what your childhood was like. I hope things are much better now.

          I think I identify most with being an empath- my clairsentience seems stronger than the others. Clairaudience & claircognizance are getting better though!

          Really lovely to hear from you.


          • amazingsparks

            Rachel Miller thank you so much for this post so glad i found it! I’ve been going through a tough time recently that has led me to get diagnosed with bipolar disorder but as I listened to my dr. and researched my self about bipolar i felt like NO! that wasn’t all. I didn’t come from an abusive family but I came from a very poor, single mother up bringing and even after my stepfather came into the picture it was still a very poor household with a growing family. so I always felt the stress and tension around me as a young girl. It was so highly intensified that I would lash out if I was around it (long story) “a lot went on in my youth”. however while doing some research I came across an argument about HSP and Empaths were I read the characteristics first of an empath and crossed all of them YES! that is completely me, then below was HSP and again I said yes to all of the characteristics! Well now I was confused was I indeed bipolar and only that or could I possibly be all three in a bundle? So I dug deeper where I stumbled upon your blog, now I feel too relived that in not alone and that what I’ve felt all the unconditional love and interest have for other, things, etc was real. That i was just bipolar it was because I soaked every emotion I ever came in contact with. One thing I always told my friend was that I felt the need to fix broken people and in which I would mend their broken hearts or spirits in the cost of my own happiness. it was like I was drawn to the saddest person and let them suck out all my happy until they were fixed and there I go moving on to the next. I mean I’ve always been very spiritual as is I cling to my crystals and pendants because they make me feel better. And, my grandmother and mother were both clairvoyant. Its funny because when I was younger I used to think I was a little good witch something mystical and unordinary here to make people smile and change the world.. turns out I’m an Empathic/HSP.

        • Blondeone

          I am also an Empath with a not so nice childhood!

  • Shauna Smith

    Love this article.. I have recently found that I too have some gifts that may very well explain a lot in my life.. I started to research and learn but life has gotten in the way.. I am not far from being able to get back into it and your post here makes me want to start now.. I was told by a friend I was clairsentient, which from what I have learned is really related to being an empath. Feeling what others feel learning by studying someone who is doing something and feeling how it feels to do that and then being able to do it with no real lessons. I learned to drive this way!

    Anyway, Thank you for the article.


    • Rachel Miller

      Thanks Shauna- glad you could relate!

      Clarsentience is exactly the tool of empaths! We so easily pick up everyone elses’ “stuff” that we end up carrying their problems with us and don’t realise why we feel so depressed!

      Thank you for your comment and I’m glad you liked the article xx

      • Shauna Smith

        hey I just read this again and I am now on the look for someone to help me with this Empath gift and the sensitivities that come with it.. Again I just wanted to say thanks for posting this.. It is exactly highlighting my life. 🙂 I am hoping to learn more and get it under control.

  • Madison

    Wow, great article and tipsI have a lot identification with it. I can also appreciate the thoroughness on how you explained bioolar and HSP.

    Thank you,

    • Rachel Miller

      Thank you Madison! So glad you felt you could identify with the article and I hope you can take something positive away with you.


      • hunter

        This has been one hell of a roller coaster ride. You talk about this as being a gift. Its more like a curse. Seeing people for whom they really are, insensitive, aware of nothing but themselves, concerned only with there needs. I avoid exposure to people as much as possible. Its been 55 years of hell. Never understood how to stop all those feelings. So I dropped out of the human race instead. It’s been a lonely life but i do have peace of mind.

        • Jerrica Gwynn

          My name is jerrica gwynn and I am 24 and suffer hsp bipolar and I been stuck in my room for 3 years and finally doing research on it at this moment I am at peace within myself

  • nb

    Thanks for all the information on both bipolar and HSP. Your view on both was
    very interesting.

    • Rachel Miller

      Thank you very much, I’m glad you found the article interesting.


  • Bethany Lee

    Rachel is an extremely talented and sensitive writer. I have followed her blog for many months now and always enjoy her writing. I had never heard of this extremely sensitive trait and so I took the test when I recognized myself in it. Certainly, not surprisingly, I found that I checked off many of the questions. Thanks once again for providing high quality writing on Mental Health Talks. 🙂

    • Rachel Miller

      Thanks Bethany Lee, your comments are very kind and greatly appreciated. Glad you got something positive out of the article.


  • matthew Jantomaso

    This is a great article. I had never heard of HSP before, but I think it is a perfect label for those fortunate enough to be in-tune with the sensations of the mind/matter phenomena. I say fortunate, as they are certainly 2 steps ahead in finding the ability to experience true peace…true happiness. For, the way I see it, the way I have experienced it, is that it is this sensitivity that enables one to observe the truth in this thing we call reality…and lends to the opportunity to transform the way we engage…or interact with it. Personally, i had to reach..for lack of better words…bottom…before taking the steps to using this gift to transform the path in which i followed. I was in the depths of severe mental illness..and had completely lost control…to the point of taking my own life…but it was at that point that i had a conscious moment…a spark of light…that allowed me to take the first…tiny step toward the realization that this misery was not of the world, not of the things around me….but within me…and that i had an opportunity to a make a change…for if there were not that opportunity…i would not be writing this to you today! Much peace to you and much happiness

    • Rachel Miller

      Thank you so much for this great response. It sounds like you’ve been through some really tough times yourself! It’s so wonderful that you’ve been able to go inwards to find your peace too. I think letting go of our ego to do this can often be difficult. We don’t want to believe that we are responsible for our experiences and how we perceive them. It is so much easier to blame somebody else or the world in general- which I still do quite a lot, may I add! I’m learning, al little bit at a time!

      Thanks for visiting my blog as well, I will definitely be over to check out your site too as I’m sure you can teach me a lot!!

  • Lar

    Awesome article. My my children and myself, all have this sensitivity. This is very helpful advice, just need to find our stable ground etc. Bipolar is such a threatening label especially with all the big pharma stuff going on. I prefer homeopathic and flower essence remedies to cope, no chemical drugs. We vibrate at a different speed than the rest of the world, it definitely is exhausting and I think we tend to forget we need to take special care of ourselves. I felt like I was the one who wrote this article, that just goes to show how much of a parallel there is in the whole experience, I believe we have the empathic trait and absorb everything, that is rough too. Diet helps but still have a long way to go to feeling balanced. Thank you so much for writing this.

    • Rachel Miller

      Thanks so much Lar- sorry this reply is so late- I didn’t realise I was still getting comments!!
      It’s good to know there are others out there- it can be quite an isolating experience being an HSP. I think we need some kind of teaching as a child to cope with it all. Thanks so much for reading and commenting, I really appreciate it. Rachel

  • Dianne

    Rachel, your description sounds like it could have been written by me. Nice to now I’m not the only one who has felt this way. I never felt like I fit in, and even as an adult I really struggle in the working world, with all the demands. I get overwhelmed so easily, and everything I feel is so intense. I was diagnosed as Manic Depressive as a young adult, though I never had the true “manic” episodes, but because I had recurring, deep depressions. When I read about HSP it really struck a nerve. Recently I have been going through a number of huge life changes that have been almost unbearably overwhelming, along with mood swings, and I was wondering if HSP was actually BP. Thank you so much for sharing your article!

  • Rick

    Mental anguish or Chaos is nothing but dissonance of many truth (and lies) coalescing toward unity such as is with Nature spiral down like the Fibonacci from infinity gradually and sequentially into 8, 5, 3, 2, 1, 1, 0. Basically when there are many different opinions, the energy itself is also diffused across so many entities or neurons and therefore no-one being able to assert power over the rest. However as the dances between truth and and false draws out toward infinity only the higher truths and the bigger lies will survive. Right before the very end you will have the Highest Truth and the Biggest Lie going head to head. For most people these two are symmetrical – look identical (the study of dialectics)- Truth and Lies are almost indistinguishable.

    Bipolar will reign (Fib 8, 5, 3, “2”) for months maybe even years. Eventually for most people, one side of the brain will overpower the other thus people either sway to the lies or see the truth. Then they will stand up for one cause or the other thus War (mental conflict) is eventually unavoidable! This is all part of the spiritual process or growth however you like to call it; still Zero in Fibonacci of the brain would be either a brain stroke or a heart attack.

  • Stephen

    Thank you so much for this. I was finally definitively diagnosed with Bipolar 2 Rapid Cycling just last Friday. I’m 39 years old and, apparently, I’ve had this order for at least 1/2 my life, if not longer. What you described is so close to who I am, I cried while reading. Looks like a found a solid psychiatrist, and I’m hopeful for the future.

  • Rachel Miller

    Hi Stephen,

    Thank you so much for your positivity, I’m really glad you connected with the article.

    Diagnosis can be difficult to deal with. But the disorder itself is one massive challenge. There are many of us sensitive souls out there, it’s just finding those who are similar and being around them. I’ve found a lovely group who are like me and it really helps me accept my sensitivity.

    I would guess that you are a highly creative/intelligent type and it is important to protect your sensitivity in order to utilize these gifts to the full. It’s ok to be different!! In fact once you accept the gifts you’ve been given and learn to love yourself, it can even be something you’ll cherish.

    I’m glad you found a good psychiatrist and that you are hopeful for the future. I wish you the best of luck. Be strong.

    Thanks again,


  • Leigh

    Insightful articles. Upon reading them I feel less defective. I even understand my condition more. I experience all three conditions (BP, HSP & Emp). I would like to learn more about using these traits as strengths in all areas of my life. Funny, just last week as I sat in quiet time I thought about how I could research ways to use my BP traits as strengths.

    Thanks for such insight.

    • Rachel Miller

      Hi Leigh,

      Thanks so much for reading- I’m really glad the article helped you to feel less defective. You have such a great attitude- to find ways to use your BP traits as strengths. I think the BP is just one side to having a highly intelligent, highly creative & intuitive mindset: it’s just that the BP causes so much damage when it first manifests. We need to take care of our sensitivities & nurture our talents!!

      Thanks for your positive feedback!


  • Linda Graziano

    Hi Rachel,
    Thanks so much for such a great post! I relate to it all! I have bipolar disorder, am an HSP, and an Empath! One of the most important things that helps me most is to tune into who I am and really love who I am….. Self-love is a very important way to sustain my wellness. Day-to-day things I do are to periodically take slow, deep breaths to calm me, journaling about my thoughts and feelings, listen to my intuition, and to give myself nurturing and love when I am feeling down and fearful. I am a life coach and I help other women with bipolar disorder to learn these tools. Please feel free to check out my website!
    It is so nice to connect with someone who has so much in common with me! 🙂

    • Rachel Miller

      Hi Linda,

      Thanks so much for taking the time to comment- we do have lots in common! I’m so glad you enjoyed the post. I use very similar ways to manage my sensitivity too: little “breathing” breaks/grounding, journalling, as well as quite a bit of meditation. I agree that self-love is the key and really nurturing ourselves. How wonderful to be a life coach and be able to give back to people with similar challenges.

      Thanks again- it’s great to connect with you.


  • Paula M

    Hi Rachel,
    Thank you! I really needed to read this today, I have no one that understands the many aspects of my disorder. Yes, I’m highly sensitive, have extreme Bi-Polar 1 and I’m an Empath. I FEEL EVERYTHING and sometimes it overwhelms me extremely. I’ve had to abruptly walk away from many toxic relationships purely for survival reasons and I too have accepted that it is OK; nobody else understands that. I take the prescribed medication for the mania because I can be quite unpleasant otherwise, I do this to protect everyone I love and it keeps everyone, including myself a little happier. I miss the energy and i am just getting re-acquainted with my creativity again, its still there but it took me a while to find it under the umbrella of psychiatric drugs. I agree with staying honest and working with the doctors to better maintain the Bi-Polar but nothing seems to stop the many sensitivities I have. Yes, they are a gift, most definitely! I feel what others feel and always take it on, I have helped many people because of it but sometimes i can’t always handle it. I have to go to a quite place with my little dog and just breath through it and let her love me unconditionally. I too am learning to take time alone to regroup, it has become one of the most effective tools in my personal management program. I was feeling very alone and misunderstood today, your words are the first I’ve read that I can truly relate to. I’m feeling a bit more at ease just knowing that I’m not the only one out there going through all of this, I’d never put all three together before now. I just want to say Thank you for bridging all three, most people just think I’m just crazy but I’m gifted, it makes me different and different is misunderstood!

  • Rachel Miller

    Hi Paula,

    I’m so happy that you felt a little less alone after reading the article and can truly relate. When I wrote this I told myself that if even one person can relate and gain something from the link between high sensitivity, bipolar and empathic ability then that is an achievement in itself!

    I love being with my dog too- they’re wonderful healers!

    I wish you luck on your journey with health, creativity, love & happiness!

    Thanks so much for sharing here.


  • Steven

    Rachel, I must thank you for your wonderful presentation of your web content, I am really glad to find so much information that is extremely good, useful and I do not find elsewhere. As a BP, at times I feel that life is very complex and painful due the difficulty in maintaining relationship with family, friends and society as a whole, especially with the changing economical situation. Perhaps the best way to live is to understand that changing cycles of mood swings. Your blog clearly helps me in finding many who have similar traits as mine, and certainly it’s like finding a shoulder to lean upon. Thank you for your wonderful work.

    • Rachel Miller

      Hi Steven,

      Thank you so much for your very kind comments- I am so glad I could help you in some way.

      Yes, life with these frequent mood changes does make life very complex. I see it as a major journey of looking at how I can be the best me I can be, but also manage to keep myself as balanced as possible. I’ve finally learnt that I was never meant to be like everyone else LOL!

      I wish you luck on your bipolar journey and with your relationships.


  • Jill

    Hi Rachel,
    Your mental state sounds a lot like mine and when i started reading I couldn’t help but cry to know that other people know what I am going through. I have always been scared of just life in general…I am either pissed at the world for all the corruption and unnecessary hurt that is happening to every living thing on this earth. Or I would be so happy with my life and living that I would draw and paint(or hike) for days to express the happiness I felt(usually drawing loved ones or nature). I have dreams that are very vivid and recently I had a dream which my grandfather came and sat next to me and told me “there’s not much time lest, please hurry yourself” and I knew what he was talking about. I can’t just hide away in my room waiting for a prince to save me like I have read in all my fantasy romance books…I need to find my path…well I told him “I know” and cried into his shoulder and then awoke with the feeling of him around me. Then I told my sister and she showed me your website. My sister knows just what I am. I am going to be having back surgery in less then a week, my first surgery. I have a severely herniated disk and I have had it for 7 months….7 months of intense pain did something to my nerves…it seems like now I am always sad, and always lost….Once this surgery is done and I can get out of pain I hope I can find my path like the many people with our gifts have done. Thank you for putting things into place for me at such a dire time in my life.

    • Rachel Miller

      Hi Jill,

      Thanks so much for your comments- I’m so glad that my post resonated with you and helped you to feel- even a little bit- less alone and more connected. We certainly have a challenging life path!

      I very much hope that your surgery goes well and that you can immerse yourself in your gifts!


  • Liza

    There are many factors that determine how being highly sensitive affects a person. If the person has been a childhood victim of emotional and/or physical abuse, that make any relationship much more difficult. That person may be consumed by feelings of inadequacy, guilt and shame, and be critical of others as well as suspicious of everyone’s motives. They may be unable to accept suggestions and unable to completely trust others–even their romantic partners. Best advice–avoid such a relationship.

    • Tina

      I just found this article. All my life I have felt this way. Myself, along with my sister and brother are all gifted. I write, sing, and do pen and ink. These feelings are most severe in me, but my sis is an empath. I need help. I’m 50 now and on disability for bipolar. I have achieved little in life, yet have so many gifts. I get confused and angry. My father was always quite angry and was prone to emotional outbursts. I grew up dreading his loud voice. I try so very hard. I am in a choir, but sometimes I feel lost and want to quite. To hide. My blinds are closed. My heart is closed. I don’t want to be like this. My doctor doesn’t listen. I hate meds cause they make me feel dead inside. I have been on so many. I exercise a lot to keep symptoms of too much energy at bay.

  • Mark

    I have bipolar with HSP, as I found that fit perfectly after reading this article. When I am in this HSP Manic state, I am so intune that I can tap into the afterlife. I have had many visions that seemed very surreal to me. I do have a very deep spiritual connection. I have seen many of these spiritual gifts manifested to me while in this state. For example; I am listening to Mozart… suddenly, I could feel energy coming out of the tips of my fingers and could see and separate ever instrument in composition. I was writing, collaborating with on feature film screenwriting projects that came very natural to me. The one thing I regret is that this all lead to a psychotic break. I remember saying to my wife… after going on my meds, I don’t feel happy anymore, or have the desire to be creative anymore. Where is the silver-lining?

  • Me


    I just want to say that everything you have highlighted rings true. I get worried or shy to be overly confident, I rush my speech and get overly excited a lot… I learnt a technique, breathing technique which seems to be working… I feel others pain and it worries me when I am alone… Everyones pain. I hate hearing about the negativity in the world or listening to discriminatory opinions of others.. I remember every word that someone says around me.. I can’t help it. When I invest my time in someone, I really do it 100%… It gets so much though, that I have to run and hide. It is overpowering when the person latches onto me.

    I hate racism. I hate bullying. I hate corruption altogether. I hate the news and media. I am so sensitive to everything people say or do. I forgive people I love very easily because I hate the feeling of resentment or anger. Life is too short.

    I always felt like an outsider too… Like I don’t belong here… I actually remember quite vividly one day, walking to school.. Another argumentative morning erupting in my dysfunctional household… Times where tough back then.. I was bullied terribly in school, broken home, sexually assaulted, suicidal (in and our of hospital a lot), drugs, drinking etc etc… I remember one particular chilly morning, walking slowly, I had this realisation that I was alone.. It was like my whole world had suddenly changed around me and I could feel the drop in frequency… That particular morning, a little man called me over and gave me a small gold cross. I didn’t think much of it until me and my Mum found him dead the next week. It is a peculiar turn of events.

    I look at some people who really don’t care about anything, who literally only see what is in front of them and I am still undecided whether or not I would prefer to be one of them. Mindless, carefree etc… But to me that kind of individual has to be selfish for them to not consider others opinions/feelings…. Or maybe it is just the fact that we care too much?

    How are you all with “routine”?? Because I am very inconsistent in all my patterns.. Eating, drinking, sleeping… Everything!!!

    Thank you again 🙂 <3 <3 Much love fellow HSP's 🙂 M3

    • Rachel Miller

      Thanks so much for sharing this. You sound very much like me! As far as routine goes, yes, I am very inconsistent too. But I think routine is very good for me (judging by past experience- I just don’t seem to get into one!! My sleep is a bit more consistent than it used to be though.

    • AllanB

      Hello felt compelled to comply as relate very strongly at the moment to your condition
      I strongly recommend you get into meditation using breathing awareness to “still your mind” this will help a great deal. Best done of a morning find a quite room where you won’t be disturbed.
      I have shower first then a cup of tea…then I meditate …after go for a walk reflect on goals to do for the day….This sets you up well for each day after 3 months of this you should fell much better ( see my post for details of meditation cd)
      This will help stabilise the mood swings…..good luck
      When I’m down tend to introvert ( and not much seems possible can get rather anxious to) when flying high am extrovert ( and think every thing is possible… This is when I’m at my creative best) in between I’m rock solid very grounded Al

  • AllanB

    Greetings all!
    my father is HSP more extreme than me, not sure ,
    if he is bipolar… his mother was and I am after some very stressful
    situations both at work and out of work…
    I can relate to most that has been written here…also have ADHD
    Best gift you get from the HSP and BP conditions is creativity and empathy …
    Best way to help yourself is meditation of a morning go for walk to reflect on things to be done for the day/ week /year ahead.
    Then set up strategies to obtain goals you wish to obtain.
    I found after 3months of this the meditation makes you less emotional strips out ego and biases .. As a result you become very
    Objective your thinking has greater clarity…also you become very perceptive helps in gut reactions hence decision making.
    Once went against a strong gut reaction cost me big time financially and emotionally… still carry scars of that. The effects of will last many years though try to put it behind me. Taught me a lesson…I get feelings about some of the people I meet that either I have a message for them or they have for me sometimes it works both ways… You can increase your wisdom rapidly from others experiences in life! Can also help avoid a lot of pain.
    Caution when you meditate “remember to stay grounded” by keeping “one foot on the planet” some people get too carried away …and “become less grounded” as a result…

  • AllanB

    Mark read about the trouble with your medication…
    If I take Effexor to clip the highs I have less energy and not “chirpy”
    This results in me sort of “zoning out”…then life is not so much fun …so take half the dose recommend as otherwise have lost “motivation to do things” My Dr is not happy and am seeing a psychiatrist to see if my medication can be reappraised to help in this matter…If I find myself talking fast and or thoughts racing feeling hyper then take other half of the does to ” keep me in check”. I don’t drink coffee as it will exacerbate this condition.
    Hope this helps Al

  • AllanB

    maybe you should change your Dr /psychiatrist also see comments have said to mark….also explore writing a book or learning a musical instrument .. If that does work try some meditation as well a good cd is meditation for the third eye by Dr Gillian Ross on ABC records…has breath exercises where you focuses on the subtleties of your breath… If all else fails contact me and might try cheering you up with some tantric sex ( sic have never done it …but willing to try ;-))

  • AllanB

    Wish you all the best Christmas new year
    My brother does not fully understand what I’m going through . My mum does to some extent… Have a friend who suffers from Terrets who is empathetic.. my best friend is my female Parsons Jack Russell being. Dog she is non judgemental as long as she’s fed gets a walk some TLC she is a great companion.
    Remember when things are down the only way is back up just may take awhile Al ps information about BP is empowering so let’s look for a “happier New Year!”

  • mysticstar

    Great article! I have been.dealing with ALOT of the.symptoms of Bipolar these past 4 years in which I had my spiritual awakening. Through this journey it has come to my.attention that I am an HSP, Healer and Empath. Learning to.cope and function has been my only.goal at this time. Nice to know there are people out.there that understand what I’m going through.

  • Michael Rhodes

    I am a 65-year old highly sensitive bipolar empath. I was diagnosed in my thirties and had a few misadventures with medications until I found a good doctor in my late forties. That was a difficult time, as I’m sure many of you can relate to.

    It wasn’t until I came to grips with being empathic that I was able to start communicating well with people (which was a big part of my job). I would find myself echoing back people’s feelings, mistaking them for my own, and end up being unsure of why I said what I did. I have been able to counter that to a degree and can at least separate that which is my self from what is going on around me.

    I am still cycling. The only time I ever stopped was while I was on Carbamanzepine, and that was just briefly until I had a reaction and almost died. That was a year ago. It was a wonderful glimpse of what it would be like to be well. My doctor feels terrible about it, but those few days were a gift. It came with a price, though. I now have neurological symptoms to deal with as well.

    My main problem has always been persistent mania. I only go down occasionally and not for long periods. I consider depression to be a vacation, albeit a very bad one. I know it will only be a matter of days before I experience a brief euphoria and then a very unpleasant, very prolonged period of cold sweats, crawling skin, visual distortions, swarms of emotions, and impulsive decisions.

    My doctor and I have agreed to go for a “good enough” medication plan, and this current one is actually better than many. After thirty years of medication plans, I have about run the gamut. There are always things to try, but the near-death experience with Carbamanzepine has made both of us pretty cautious.

    What I am writing about is to find out how people handle sensitive skin. Right now, I am having trouble lying in bed because the sheet feels like it is burning my skin. I can’t stand to have any covers over me and I have cold sweats as well (every bit as bad as it sounds). I am quite high when this happens, of course, so getting to sleep is requires heroic measures. During the day it is just very unpleasant, but at night it is tortuous. Any thoughts on how I can get to the point where I can at least lay down?

    • Trish

      Hi Michael. I am HSP and hyper sensory. Of course, all HSPs have some degree of being highly sensory because of the way we are wired. I have never been diagnosed with bipolar (I was labelled PTSD) but I have experienced mania during a couple of psychotic episodes.

      Do any of your other senses—aside from touch—seem to also be working overt time when you are on a high? If so, I would suggest the high puts you into a state of hyper sensory and/or sensory overload. I experience this everyday so it could be that you are experiencing it to some degree everyday whether you are high or low.

      How I deal with it is sensory deprivation. At the end of the day, I go into my bedroom, black out all the light, put in ear plugs and lie down. I do not have anything that will create a sound or light to interrupt me so I cut out all stimuli. I do this for 2-3 hours everyday and after an hour, my senses have come back to normal.

      Now I realize you cannot lie down but maybe if you deprive your 5 senses in this way, you will find touch is not so excruciating. Of course I am suggesting this when you are in a high state which might be impossible.

      You may want to research autism as one of the symptoms is a great aversion to touch and maybe you will find something that might help you.

      Also, if the idea of sensory overload resonates with you, you may also want to look into sensory diets.

      I also have a book on the subject called “Too loud, too bright, too fast, too tight– what to do if you are sensory defensive in an overstimulating world” by Sharon Heller, Ph.D. I met her through this blog actually and ordered her book but I have not read it so I cannot say if it was helpful. But she seems to have the right idea and has experienced sensory defensiveness herself.

      Much love,

      • Michael Rhodes

        Thank you for the Info Trish. Yes, I am very sensitive to light, sounds, and smells all the time, but unbearably so at the high end. I am lucky to be retired and able to be by myself most days. I find strenuous hikes in the nearby hills to be helpful, I build guitars in my shop and I am able to control that environment, I have one friend whom I see often so I am not totally isolated. That all works until I am so high I am bordering on psychotic and then nothing works. I will check out the diet. It may be that on the high end I will just have to club myself with the old-school anti-psychotic I have been prescribed just for that purpose. Awful stuff.

  • AllanB

    Have you tried Tegrotol for clipping highs; it works a bit too well so halved the dose and if have a bit of a high have the full dose.
    As for crawling skin I developed an allergy to peanuts and that drives my skin crazy so drop out those and foods with peanuts so if that helps ( I never used to be allergic to nuts it was triggered by a cheap soap powder.
    My skins fine now ( unless I eat things with peanuts… Cashews and walnuts seem ok hope this helps Al

    • Michael Rhodes

      Thank you for the reply Allen. I took Tegrotol for a couple of months and it was the most effective medication I had ever tried. Unfortunately, I had an extreme reaction to it (the one they warn you about but is rare). I was very disappointed that I had to stop taking it, it was the first time I had felt well in almost 10 years. Now I am back on the med plan which had failed and led to the Tegretol experiment.

      • AllanB

        Have tried meditation using your breathing as a point of focus for the mind
        If u haven’t done it meditation is a bout making the mind “still for about 20 minutes and is best done of a morning
        It will help smooth out the highs as well as the lows you will notice a big difference after 3 months you need to find a quiet room to do it in >>>> refer to my earlier posts Alien

        • AllanB

          Ps what type of guitars do you make and do you find BP makes you a highly creative type??

          • Michael Rhodes

            I have built four electric and four acoustic guitars. Concentrating on building them has been a good way to constrain my thinking and achieve focus. I do think BP has played a role in my creative efforts. There’s nothing like a good jolt of mania for increasing the word count of a novel.

            • AllanB

              I didn’t build my guitars didn’t know enough…
              I saw a resonanator guitar built using a very small round b’bq plate with slits bought from a hardware store it looked fabulous and sounded great.
              The owner had done the same with a larger plate of the same style while it looked good it didn’t sound quite as good as the second….
              My favourite guitar is the Semi solide Ibaneze it sounds amazing ( art core series )…

  • laina

    would just like to thank the person who wrote this article.

    I have very recently found out about my spirituality and why I have been different
    my whole life. I have abilities.all animals are drawn to me,I know
    things that should not be possible,I sense all spirits,I can ward off
    demons, I can call upon spirits and I can instantly know what is in
    someone’s heart. I was trying to figure out why I was given this
    gift.then I remembered I had a near death experience as a baby and
    wondered if maybe that triggered my HSP. So I googled my question and
    I just so happen to spot this website . (I am also bipolar) so not
    only did I learn that bipolar and HSP go hand in hand but I also
    learned something else from this website. Let me explain:

    my boyfriend and I bought a cigar shop recently and the store came with a couple
    small statues ,one of them being an eagle. Well i felt overwhelmed
    with the amount of decoration so I grabbed the biggest one which was
    the eagle and I places it in the closet. Now I have never before been
    a believer of spirits in statues but as I placed it in the closet my
    gut told me to leave it in the original place because it had a
    connection to me. But I went against my feeling and placed it in the
    closet. (This was about a month ago) then I came across your website
    and saw the same eagle. I looked it up and the eagle represents the
    spirit of nature and she dwells in the statues.This is not a coincidence
    for I have an extreme connection with nature. I am a vegan and use lots of
    my time bettering the life of animals around me.

    I used to think these abilities were a curse but they are not if you
    use them for good and Learn to get rid of the demons that are drawn to
    us. I am only 20 ,I have lots to learn and plan on making a difference
    in other peoples lives by using my gifts to its full potential. These
    gifts were given to us by god and it is our job to do good with them

    • Rachel Miller

      Thank you so much for sharing this Iaina. The eagle is a beautiful spirit guide to have!! It is wonderful that you can see your sensitivity as a gift, especially at such a young age!

  • AllanB

    Bi polar and Schitzerphrenia can overlap under extreme stress I had temporary physchosis… This probably more likely the explanation…

  • Justin


    Glorious website. I am an HSP Bipolar. Always gifted… 153 IQ, multilingual, into art, literature, music and humanities. Been part of the rat race for as long as I can remember trying to get more more more. I am planning a major lifestyle shift to accomodate who I can. I won’t do.the rat race anymore. Good all you other bipolar hsps out there. Lots Justin.

    • Rachel Miller

      Thank you so much Justin. I think it’s fabulous that you are quitting the rat race!! Best of luck!!

  • Tina

    I need help. I don’t know who to turn to. I was diagnosed as bipolar 8 years ago in the States. I now reside in the UK with my Scottish husband. My psychiatrist here disagrees with that diagnosis and says I gave a personality disorder. She doesn’t seem to understand those two things go hand in hand. I am a pen and ink artist since an early age, a photographer, singer, digital artist, and extremely technically minded as well. I’m lost in a seem of like mindedness that I am drowning in.

    • Rachel Miller

      Hi Tina- thank you for getting in touch. It sounds like you’re going through a really tough time. Unfortunately psychiatry doesn’t always seem to help the process of recovery- particularly if the psychiatrists disagree! The most important thing is that you’re on good medication that works for you, rather than the diagnosis. Bipolar and Borderline Personality Disorder are known to overlap in their symptoms. High sensitivity is part of both as far as I can tell! To have either is a great burden and a good support system is essential. If you don’t have one here in the UK yet, start building it by finding a good counsellor. If money is an issue there are many low cost counselling organisations out there. Don’t be scared to ask for help! I wish you lots of luck.

      • Kathy

        Hi Rachel, I wonder if it is possible to be free of medication if you can manage your life right? That is something I would like to aim for. I have some sort of a mood disorder apparently, but not sure what specifically. I’m currently on eplium, but long to be off it. I can’t find a psychiarist that is knowledgeable of the HSP condition though. I’m in NZ.

  • Tina

    A sea of like mindedness I meant 🙁

  • AllanB

    Recently saw a Pyschatrist who put me onto Quetiapine
    anyway with taking that of a night with Tegrotol really allowed my mind to Quieten ( meditation would have help to )down so that I slept well.
    The next day took Tegrotol and antidepressant in the morning.( again meditation would help to)
    Result not nervous anxious or depressed hens able to get a lot done…felt ” grounded” all day. After 3 months seem very back to @ normal” as a consequence now have a ” new life ” and very happy.
    Setting up new career as adventure / travel photographer and writer…
    Great to “explore my creativity”
    Best wishes to you all Allan

    • Rachel Miller

      Hi Allan- I’m so sorry I seem to have missed lots of your comments! I’m really glad you’re active amongst the discussion and thanks so much for your contribution. Good luck with your new career! It sounds fabulous!

  • Heyho

    Stop worrying. Stop judging yourself and allowing others to label you. just live. Throw yourself into creativity and live. Don’t overthink. Analyse your own thoughts and start learning how to redirect them yourself. Realise and understand that every human has anxieties in life. Stop judging yourself is the most important to remember. I am just living my life now. I couldn’t care what anyone thinks or tells me to do or be. I am me, whether anyone likes it or lumps it. & remember you are beautiful and unique as everyone is. Embrace your witty, cool side, at least we are not ashamed to show it and try not to take life and everything so seriously. Just be grateful for what you have 🙂 <3 Sending love your way.

    • Rachel Miller

      “Stop worrying” and “stop judging yourself” are very simple concepts, however tremendously difficult to action for many people. These are goals that can take months or even years to accomplish. I am a few years into the process and still learning. I think it is important for people to realise that it isn’t about just waking up tomorrow and saying to yourself “right, I’m going to stop worrying today”. It is a process which can take a long time. There is no simple “just” about it. Gratitude is indeed important, but not minimising our experiences and their effects on us, equally so. We are all beautiful and unique and it’s wonderful you’ve reminded us.

  • AllanB

    Please understand….
    I don’t judge myself and not over critical of myself….
    I used to …a long long time ago…
    Now I am very happy and very stable. I self monitor myself in a ” detached way”… Do as to see if I need extra medication or not.
    My life is heaps better… Not going through cycles… Therefor stable… Therefor get things done …, therefor I don’t get depressed…. Therefore I don’t get anxious…
    I still have ” creativity” it seems…
    If I want more “creativity just delay taking medication of a morning to get a creativity boost…. However does not seem necessary….
    Don’t be alarmed for me as this is the best have felt long term for over 11 years… Even my brother thinks I’m very good these days .
    Only saw the pyschiatrist 3 sessions (and that was via Skype)… So the exta medication ( I need )has given me the life I want Allan

    • AllanB

      I have had. a relapse and in a depressive state again; going to get someone once a week to clean the house as when I’m like this housework falls behind; I don’t think I find it difficult to achieve gaols when it this ” state of mind”… My dog still loves me she is a great friend regardless of my ” headspace”

      • Trish

        Thank you for stopping by and letting us know what’s going on with you. I’m really sorry to hear about your replapse. Yes, it is a blessing to have a pet in times like these. Take care of yourself and keep us posted.

        Much love,

  • Marie Abanga

    Dear Trish, thank you for posting this from the archives. You know some are always joining the readership late,r and so it may be too much going through all the archives unless you post one every now and then.

    Dear Rachel, thank you for writing this and sharing all this. I know what it takes to type all this and yet I equally know it can be so therapeutic and fulfilling doing so. Now, I am following your blog and I wish you and us all so much well.

    Now, to the entire community out here, I am yet to do a post on my blog to say how envious I am of the way you face this Mental Health ‘Waterloo’ in the West. Yes I know it’s not everybody out there who has a mental problem and admits it or seeks for help. Yet if and when you do, there is a bigger chance that something good or helpful will come along.

    In my country Cameroon and even Africa as a whole, talking about mental problems is simply taboo. I have been blogging for over 2 years now, and have yet come across another blogger from Africa (except South Africa), who dares to talk about it. Needless to talk about available public services/resources, forget about any existing mental health policy cum legislation. Inshort out here, such problems are more in the vodoo and church realms than anywhere near psychiatry, theraphy etc.

    As for myself, I’ve been through shit up till attempting sucide in 2009. Well, that was life. I now know I am a very sensitive, emotional and empathetic person. I am facing it now my own way and with my own best interest at heart. I saw a psychotherapist for my first time in 2014. Slowly but surely, I am learning to self-love, self-give, self-take etc. My only brother whose illness even got me to start researching and blogging, started off with epilepsy at age 11, and died at 33 in the US, after having also been diagnosed with BP and eventually other disorders. As much as I think he was over medicated and was on a very poor treatment protocol, I also think time/energy/resources wasted in the denial and blame phase, plus all other stuffs but the essential which was his wellbeing, also contributed to his demise.

    Therefore, I agree with Rachel’s suggestions on taking care of one’s self first. Yes, I was even selfish enough to ‘abandon’ my 3 children for 4 years while I tried to sort my emotional and otherwise wreck out.

    Kind regards, I hope my comment isn’t so long to be annoying

  • Etja

    Am wondering whether anyone in here has ever been assessed for or considered they might have Asperger’s syndrome? Am being forced to look back into my own past and diagnosis having a child diagnosed Aspergers/HFA – for her age 8 it presents mainly as extreme sensory hypersensitivity, giftedness, highly creative, too much empathy, high levels of energy and anxiety.

    • Trish

      HI Etja

      Though I never sought a diagnosis, I do believe a lot of what I experience could be labelled as part of the Autism spectrum. I am an HSP and was diagnosed with PTSD though I think my symptoms at the time were better described as schizophrenic. I do or have experienced everything you have listed for your daughter. I have researched Autism and its different spectrum disorders and have found various explanations to be helpful, especially when I found that what I am doing is stimming.


    • AllanB

      Hmmm I may Asperges syndrome to its a sad fact if you have one mental condition you may have others

  • Siam Mahbub

    Hi! I am from Bangladesh. this is the best article on bipolar disorder I’ve ever read . I can fully relate with these stuffs. Just loved your writing. I recently found out that i have bipolar disorder. I am having bipolar symptoms since my childhood. I get depressed too fast on someone’s harsh comment, in the same way i get angry too fast. I am taking medications from a doctor but still my conditions are not improving so much. I just cant be normal. I dont know what to do with my life. Im also losing my interest on studies. I just think about death when im alone. I am also tensed about my career a lot from the past few months. I think i wont do well in any job. Im also confused if i should stay or go abroad to countries like USA just to see that if my life faces any positive change. Thanks for reading. Sorry if i did any mistakes , actually i dont regularly communicate in English .

  • Abbey

    Love this article! Really struck home with me! I am an HSP, empath, and have bipolar disorder. Over the past few years I’ve embraced who I am instead of fighting it and am happier than ever. My only regret is that it took me 30 years to realize this. I found your article when googling about my 8 year old son’s sensitivity to smells. He is exactly like me. Luckily I can help him understand at a young age that he is unique and amazing and that it’s super fun to be different! Thank you so much for writing this article

  • Krishan

    This helps me a lot now i know wuts been going on with me my whole life. I knew it was something. Now that I know I’m ready to see it as a gift and its profound effects.

    • Jay

      It is a gift! I believe you can live the life to the extend you are aiming for. It’s not always easy, but you will get control over it!

  • Luci K

    This is an interesting article. I am empathic and bipolar…and for me life can be hell. Before the bipolar diagnosis when I was young, I use to feel like there was someone with a magic switchboard that was randomly throwing switches that determined my mood. Id be perfectly happy and without warning could suddenly find myself somewhere else. But it wasn’t me…I was feeling what others were. Talking to people was hard mostly because i had to learn not to cut people off or speak ahead of them knowing what their response was before they had a chance to say it. Around 13 I started realizing it wasnt all me but others affecting me. You would think this is a major breakthrough but it actually made it more difficult. Ill explain why…after I was diagnosed as BP in my late 20s I learned that when I was experiencing mania or a low, my thoughts were very skewed and my attitude had significant impact on those around me. This in turn feed me more. It occured to me that I dont know that I can trust my own thoughts. I have a hard enough time distinguishing whats me and whats others as far as thoughts and emotions go. Even watching movies etc is difficult because it can affect my mood.
    So I guess I have a question…how is a bipolar empath supposed to learn control and trust their insticts etc when the bipolar makes it hard to trust yourself? How do you learn to function during mania or lows when you already struggle under “normal” times? Isolating myself isnt exactly an option between kids, husband and work but it gets to the point where the only thing i know to do is lock the door and stay in bed so I can save others from whiplash my moods give them sometimes. I stay on top of my health and work closely with a mental health provider. But I feel like no meds on the planet will truly help keep me balanced because of the empathic part of me.
    Any advice?

    • Trish

      Hi Luci K. I don’t identify with bipolar but I am an empath and have been diagnosed with other mental health disorders. I found the trick to knowing which thoughts and feelings are mine is to strengthen the part of me that can observe my thoughts and feelings without reacting to them right away. This can be done through mindfulness practice and/or meditation and there are many resources on the Internet to instruct you in both. I encourage you to do what feels good to you. There are also many resources on the Internet that discuss how to protect yourself from others’ thoughts and feelings as an empath. I personally don’t use these techniques because they don’t resonate with me. What I have found is that being grounded in my body… so aware of what is going on in my body and out of my head… being as present in the now as possible… has helped me to know what others’ thoughts and feelings FEEL like versus my own. Again, it helps to be mindful because it gives you that small window of time to choose whether you react or not. I at one time was extremely distrustful of my thoughts and feelings and sensations. I experienced PTSD from psychological trauma and I was convinced my next thought would prove my insanity and my next feeling/sensation would be the last before I died. It was threw mindfulness of my thoughts and feelings that I learned how to observe them without reacting to them. I really hope that helps.

      Much love,
      Creator of

  • Denise

    Wow, that’s me. 😉 Thank you, this article was very helpful and supportive.

    • Jay

      Wish you the best! I reckon you must be a very kind person with lots of care for others. I hope you are feeling good and healthy?

  • Jay

    Hi there! I just want to say thank you! This article precisely discribes how I felt growing up and still feel today. I’m a very sensitive person and very empathic, social, creative, bassically I’m 9.9 sensitive out of 10.

    Futhermore I also experience the issues that usually come with being bipolar.

    I’ve been through a Depression in combination with being quite confused about what is real and whether I wasn’t sick in my head.

    But anyway I feel this might help my psychiatrist getting a better idea of what I go through and what happens to me in general.

    So I just want to say thank you! I hope you read this, I just want you to know how much this might actually do for me!

  • Alan

    Hi Rachel,

    This pretty much sums me up too – although I would say I’m 75% depressive 25% happy so needing mood stability

    What medication are you using or have used? I’m currently trying Sertraline but it hasn’t had any effect whatsoever not even side effects! I have tried Citalopram in the past too without success

    Cheers Alan

  • Peachy

    Thanks for sharing your experience,I relate to pretty much everything you have said!

    I have never been officially diagnosed with Bi-polar but I know I am bi-polar by my behaviour and it’s cycles over the years (since I was a kid), I am also a HSP as well as a Empath. They all intertwine and for many years I felt as if there was something wrong with me but in recent years I have come to accept this is who I am and I am proud of who I am!

    I do find it difficult to communicate to my family though so I distant myself from them. I do not want to be negatively judged as this has happened in the past and makes me very sad and over-whelms me, especially the judgement from my father (we have always had a rocky relationship and now we do not talk at all). I have felt misunderstood many times and I used to really beat myself up because of that. I am much better at talking kindly to myself as I have gotten older but it’s an ongoing practice! I have a great therapist too and I am truly thankful to have his support!

    It’s so very helpful to read your blog and blogs like yours! The more we share, the more understanding there is, the easier it becomes. I would like to talk in more detail about my life’s experiences so I think I may start a blog too… Thanks for inspiring me! : )

    Love and light


  • David Scott

    you are very special, you are the chosen one.

  • Greg

    I would like to know if I was created this way, or if I have to live with the genetics I was given. Can it be changed?

    • Trish

      High sensitivity is said to be innate. Research studies would suggest that bipolar is genetic. I don’t know if either can be changed but I do know, in my experience, a change in perspective to accepting both can be helpful.

      • Keleborn

        My best guess is that sensitivity is innate, but empathy is a choice.

  • M


    I need a bit of help. I’m certain that I am an HSP. But I am doubtful about bipolar. Here are certain things I do:
    1) I do not want to harm my self but I do sometime ask God for death when I’m depressed.
    2) When I learn something new I start to roam left and right and keep thinking deeply about future.
    3) While thinking about bad events in my life, I suddenly make myself happy and start smiling at one moment and then again back to being serious.
    4) I don’t have problems in sleeping.

  • Re

    Thank you so much for your article. I felt very close to all the words you wrote.
    I am diagnosed bipolar 2 and was an extremely sensitive child and still am extremely sensitive adult. I find a lot of people callous and unthinking and that upsets me. It is hard to live in a world like this, but I have to maintain my mental health by putting up walls so to speak so that people do not drain me. I was so proud that I did not need medication for a few years, but once again I must take medication to help my mood changes because the rollercoaster ride they take me on are frightening.
    Sometimes I wonder if we as HSP or empaths or bipolar are the real, kind people that are good on earth and are being medicated or drugged and the callous, awful people who are considered “normal” keep running the world and we are considered the ones with mental health problems when we are often kinder and more caring. Ironic isn’t it?

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