Isolation and Bipolar Disorder

Bipolar disorder is a very serious mental condition that causes a person to move between times of deep depression and brief periods of mania. Previously known as manic-depression, this condition affects millions of people of all ages, ethnicities and walks of life.

If left untreated, bipolar disorder can lead to a wide range of painful and even life-threatening repercussions, including the following:

  • Substance abuse
  • Broken relationships
  • Loss of employment
  • Compulsive or risky behaviors
  • Poor life choices
  • Addiction
  • Suicidal thoughts or actions

While there is no known cure for bipolar disorder, there are many treatments that have proven to be highly effective in managing the symptoms and minimizing the effects. An important aspect of bipolar management is learning to identify triggers than can lead to depressive episodes.1

Isolation and Depression

Personal isolation is one of the most powerful triggers of depression. Many people with bipolar disorder tend to unconsciously isolate themselves from friends and loved ones from time to time. This isolation fuels feelings of sadness and reduces feelings of optimism.

Some examples of personal isolation include the following:

  • Choosing not to attend parties or social gatherings
  • Not returning calls
  • Spending too much time watching television or playing video games
  • Staying indoors
  • Skipping activities such as church or other outings
  • Sleeping too much

Depressed individuals can feel isolated in the middle of a crowd of people who love them and care deeply about them. One of the most important coping skills for a bipolar person to cultivate is the recognition of early signs of isolating tendencies as possible triggers for depression. Once these triggers are identified, the individual can then act consciously to prevent that result.

Some activities that can help a person avoid isolation include the following:

  • Waking up at the same time each morning and leaving home, even if the individual has nowhere specific to be
  • Getting involved with social groups, such as book clubs, church groups or outdoor activity clubs
  • Calling friends and loved ones on the phone
  • Using social networking sites, such as Facebook or Instagram, in moderation to stay in touch with friends
  • Finding ways to serve others

While simply getting involved with activities may not be enough to completely eliminate depression, it will certainly help individuals feel more connected to others and less trapped in their own minds clouded by depression.

Bipolar Disorder and Addiction Recovery Help

If you or someone you love is fighting bipolar disorder or other symptoms of depression, please call our toll-free helpline right away at 844-675-1221. Our admissions coordinators can answer any questions you have and can encourage you to more effectively manage your emotions.

If you have never received comprehensive bipolar treatment, we can connect you with excellent recovery programs that can help you cultivate skills to live a healthy and happy life. Don’t cut yourself off from those who would love to help you. We’re here 24 hours a day to help. Call now.


“Bipolar Disorder.” National Alliance on Mental Illness. August 2017.

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