A Bipolar Catatonic

One uncommon symptom of bipolar disorder discussed is attention span. Personally, I suffer from this greatly!
At times it would seem I’m ignoring someone, though I’m really just lost in thought.

I seem to on occasion experience a form of being catatonic. My family can waive their hands in front of me, and I honestly don’t see it.

The levels of my spacing out is surreal!

I’ve always wondered if I had a form of ADD/ADHD. Though my psychiatrist tells me it’s just a symptom of bipolar disorder.

I’m currently taking: Abilify, Tegretol, Effexor, and Zyprexa.

Although these medications help, I still have difficulty dealing with this lack of attention issue.

I try (per my therapist) to focus on said conversation, as to try to train my brain to stay with the program.

I can honestly say, this is a challenge!

As I mentioned this symptom comes and goes. I’ve noticed it more of an issue when I’m manic.

As with mania your thoughts are fast and rampant. I easily lose my ability to hear when I’m spoken too, or hear when my name is called.

I try to keep track of issues like this in my mood journal. This helps me to see what areas I’m falling short, and need attending too.

My journal also helps me become more self-aware. This too is a challenge but I do try my hardest to circumvent my shortcomings.

Does anyone else experience attention issues? Am I alone?

How do you handle it? Please share your story!

Bipolar Catatonic



Living with type 1 bipolar disorder, PTSD (due to childhood trauma), Rapid Cycling, and Seasonal Affective Disorder. Writing about my life experiences.

5 thoughts on “A Bipolar Catatonic

  • Avatar
    May 12, 2015 at 9:07 am

    My attention issues are “legendary.” I especially have a hard time focusing if the topics or activity doesn’t completely captivate me. Even then I will grow distracted. One task can take me hours to do because I can get absorbed in my thoughts or become distracted by other things.

    Something I do to balance? I plan ahead. I also keep a notebook on me at all times. With reminders. Ideas. I tell my friends “give me on second to write this out and I’ll be right with you.” Communication, careful planning, and management is key for me.

  • Avatar
    May 12, 2015 at 12:02 pm

    Yes I completely understand where you’re coming from. I never really thought of it as a symptom until I read your post but this explains a lot about my spaceyness! Do you ever have serious trouble watching tv or reading? I can hardly do either anymore or follow conversations.

    • thebipolarmaniac
      May 18, 2015 at 9:17 am

      In fact I struggle so much to pay attention while watching tv. I’ve actually cut-off our DirecTv. There was just no point to pay
      each month for something I no longer can really enjoy.
      As for reading, I find it drastically hard to read a book cover-to-cover.
      And following some conversations is hard for me, especially if the person I’m trying to focus on is a high energy personality! I usually excuse
      myself from a conversation if I recognize I just can’t do it!

  • Avatar
    May 17, 2015 at 9:00 am

    Thank you!
    My bipolar husband often checks out of gives me the brush off. The brush off its really bad when I am trying to talk to him about an important matter.
    I’ve recently started asking him if he is hearing me when I’ve felt the brush off. This seems to get his attention and get him to focus. Saved us from a few fights. Thanks for the confirmation that I am not crazy, yet! 🙂

    • thebipolarmaniac
      May 18, 2015 at 9:13 am

      No, your certainly not crazy! My attention level is profoundly absent! I believe the technical term is called: Disassociation.
      Its really hard for me at times to focus on even important discussions. My poor husband has gotten use to when is a good time to discuss
      important matters and when to just let thing slide, due to me spacing out.

      It definitely takes a lot of patience, but know we don’t do it on purpose. It really is out of our control at times.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Think Positive

Dr. Stephen Covey

Every human has four endowments- self-awareness, conscience, independent will and creative imagination. These give us the ultimate human freedom... The power to choose, to respond, to change.

Demi Lovato

No matter what you're going through, there's a light at the end of the tunnel and it may seem hard to get to it but you can do it and just keep working towards it and you'll find the positive side of things.

Elbert Hubbard

Positive anything is better than negative nothing.

Helen Keller

Keep your face to the sunshine and you cannot see a shadow.

Joseph Campbell

Find a place inside where there's joy, and the joy will burn out the pain.

Leah LaBelle

Work hard for what you want because it won't come to you without a fight. You have to be strong and courageous and know that you can do anything you put your mind to. If somebody puts you down or criticizes you, just keep on believing in yourself and turn it into something positive.

Norman Vincent Peale

Change your thoughts and you change your world.

Maya Angelou

I can be changed by what happens to me. But I refuse to be reduced by it.

Oscar Wilde

Be yourself; everyone else is already taken.

Maria Robinson

Nobody can go back and start a new beginning, but anyone can start today and make a new ending.