Bipolar Disorder and Messiness: Is There a Link Between The Two?
We all want our space to be clean and mess-free, but there are times when you just can’t control the messiness that you, inadvertently, might make. Sometimes, messiness can be a sign of genius, but other times, it can be a sign of something more than just being disorganized.
There are instances where you might not feel motivated enough to clean or declutter your space, such as when you’re depressed, or when you’re struggling with bipolar disorder.
Yes, just like your mood can plummet in depression and make you unable to do more than just exist, mood changes in bipolar can also impact your motivation and can leave you unable to complete certain chores like cleaning.
One of the aspects that spark conversations is the link between bipolar disorder and messiness. Messiness, taking care of your hygiene, and even how you organize your space can all be signs of severe mood swings, especially during bipolar disorder, but not always.
In this blog, let’s look at the connection between bipolar disorder and messiness, how it affects your mood, and how you can manage “messiness” when it happens during bipolar disorder.
Bipolar Disorder And Messiness: The Link
Messiness, in itself, can be subjective. Some people, like me, live in “organized chaos”, while others find peace in keeping everything in order and clean. If you’re living with bipolar disorder, then the relationship between your messiness and mood episodes can be quite complicated.
Messiness isn’t a definitive sign of bipolar disorder, but changes in how you manage clutter can be an indicator of mood swings. Mood episodes with depressive features, hypomania, and mania, can impact your energy, motivation, concentration, and even cognitive features. These changes can cause you to be more tired, distracted, and uninspired.
However, messiness can be a sign of something more. In obsessive-compulsive disorders (OCD), messiness can be related to hoarding. Did you know that in a 2018 study, it was found that almost 34% of people who were diagnosed with bipolar disorder were also diagnosed with OCD?
Messiness in Depressive Episodes
When we talk about bipolar depressive episodes, you might experience a lack of energy and motivation during these episodes. This can manifest itself as trouble keeping a clutter-free space. The feelings of sadness and fatigue during depressive bipolar episodes can even make simple tasks, such as cleaning, impossible.
Messiness in Manic Episodes
On the other hand, during manic episodes of bipolar disorder, you may experience a surge in energy levels and even impulsivity. This can make you feel extremely creative, but can also cause disarray and messiness.
Rapid thoughts and impulsive behavior might take your attention away from daily tasks, such as organizing your space and creating a messier environment.
What’s the Link Between Cleaning And Mood?
The link between mood and cleaning can be bidirectional. While mood swings in bipolar can impact tidiness, the reverse can be true too. When you clean and organize your space, it can positively affect your mood. A clean and clutter-free space can give you a sense of control and calmness, alleviating the intensity of bipolar symptoms.
Some researchers believe that cleaning and keeping your space tidy can improve concentration, improve your mood, lower your anxiety levels, give you a sense of accomplishment, and give you a sense of control over your living space.
Tips to Manage “Messiness” in Bipolar Disorder
So, now that you know the link between bipolar disorder and messiness, let’s take a look at the ways you can manage “messiness” with bipolar disorder;
1. Set goals and get to work
There are benefits to setting goals, especially when your mind is already in a messy state. Setting goals can become an anchor. Try to break down your tasks and take one task at a time. This can make the workload more manageable, and give you a sense of accomplishment each time you finish a task.
2. Set a timer
You can also try to set a time when you get to work. This can help you finish your tasks faster and effectively. Start with a 5-minute timer and do whatever you can in that timeframe.
When the timer is done, give yourself a pat on the back or congratulate yourself. This can help you avoid getting overwhelmed during your mood episodes.
3. Work with a support system
Next, you can reach out to your friends and family for support. If you are prone to messiness during your mood episodes, then try to contact your support system, so that they can help you with your chores and provide a sense of security. You can also reach out to professionals such as your mental health therapist for mental and emotional support.
4. Add mindfulness to your routine
Amid all the chaos aka messiness, you might feel anxious and stressed, especially if you are already going through your mood episodes. Here, you can try to add mindfulness and other relaxation techniques to your routine.
These practices can take off the pressure of messiness and give you a calm mind to think and work through it all.
5. Celebrate small wins
Don’t forget to acknowledge and celebrate your small victories. Made your bed, great job; organized your work desk, be proud! You need to celebrate your small wins to feel order and stability in your life.
These simple accomplishments can be your stepping stones, so acknowledge them and see how it helps your mood.
Messiness might not be a conclusive or definitive sign of bipolar disorder, but there is a connection between bipolar disorder and messiness that might impact your mood. Knowing the interplay between the mood episodes and your tidiness can help you understand how to manage your mood effectively.
Remember, if you’re struggling with your mood, messiness, or any other symptom of bipolar disorder, then you can reach out to a professional for help and support. With self-awareness and the right tools, you can feel a sense of control and stability in the seemingly endless mood swings and episodes.
I hope this blog helped you understand the link between bipolar disorder and messiness and how to keep your space organized during mood episodes. Let me know what you think about this blog in the comments below.