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Bipolar Type II: Work and Pacing Yourself

reaching the summitIn my experiences with bipolar type II disorder, the concept of pacing myself has become something that needs constant attention. When I’m clear or moderately hypomanic, I can often become incredibly productive, but it doesn’t come without cost.

Sometimes, the charge of energy that comes with my hypomanic episodes is so strong that I forget that I need rest in order to operate. While I sometimes find this aspect to be a welcomed influence (for example, when I’m cramming to meet a deadline), most of the time it leads to a zombie-like state where I continue to operate without full comprehension of my actions, which can cause trouble. In a worst-case scenario, the energy drain leads directly to a depressive breakdown.

It can be very difficult to manage my time due to the variation in my moods. I get used to producing as much as possible during my clear and/or slightly hypomanic states. These are the only periods in which I am capable of being an effective worker, which translates to being the only times I can earn money (the green devil that I despise).

Usually my moods change so often that I don’t get the chance to “burn out” before I become either too hypomanic to function properly, or depressed and without any energy. In a way these swings act as safeguards so that I don’t overwork myself (a minor positive to the plethora of negatives) but also cause me to “let my guard down” when it comes to over-stretching myself, and so I had not been aware of the fact that, from time to time, I will work myself into psychological vulnerability.

I’m lucky to have noticed this, and I’m now attempting to be more aware of the pressure that I’m putting on myself when I feel “functional.” I can’t spend all of my “able time” working and expect to have no negative psychological effects. However, it would also seem that, since I’m reaching burnout more often, then I might be functional more often than in the past (fingers crossed). It’s also possible that I’m not recognizing more severe bouts of hypomania and I just continue to work through it, but I prefer the more optimistic option.

Good vibes,


Photo by Steve and Jemma Copley, available under a Creative Commons attribution license.

Bipolar Type II: Work and Pacing Yourself

Steven Pace

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APA Reference
Pace, S. (2011). Bipolar Type II: Work and Pacing Yourself. Psych Central. Retrieved on March 26, 2019, from


Last updated: 30 Sep 2011
Last reviewed: By John M. Grohol, Psy.D. on 30 Sep 2011
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