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Sleep schedule and having a social life

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by bbianaac » Sat Aug 19, 2017 10:18 am

Hi, I'm new to the forum and new to being diagnosed too. I don't know if this is the right place to ask this question but if it isn't I'll delete it, please don't be mad. And by the way, I'm sorry if I make any mistakes, English is not my first language.

I’ve been recently diagnosed with bipolar disorder. I’ve always had problem with sleep both falling asleep and staying asleep. Now along side giving me sleeping pills my doctor told me to keep a sleep routine: go to bed at the same time every night and wake up at the same time every day to minimize mood swings. That’s exactly what I’ve been doing for the past few weeks after a major depression episode threw all of my work down the drain.
I go to bed at 9 PM and wake up at 6 AM so I can go to college on time. The thing is my friend’s birthday party is approaching quite fast and I know it’ll be a staying up all night kind of thing. I don’t know if it’s safe for me to break my sleep routine to attend a party (meaning that I don’t know if staying up all night can trigger an episode). I’m new to the diagnosis and I’m confused. I feel like I’m missing out on my youth and that my friends will resent me for not being there but I’m also scared of the things my mind’s capable of when I don’t take good care of myself. I’m lost. I don't want to have another episode.
Have you ever experienced something like this? How do you manage social interactions like the one I described and bipolar? I'm 22, will it get better with time or after adjusting my meds?
Thank you in advance.
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by hal » Sat Aug 19, 2017 10:44 am

Hi bb, and welcome to our community. Hope you will find what you need here.

Sleep is a problem for me, too. Missing a night's worth has kicked me into mania more than once. So I would advise not staying at your friend's party all night - maybe until 10 or 11 would be okay. But if your sleep routine is working, it might indeed come crashing down if you mess with it. You will have a sleep deficit, and it will have to be made up. Naps during the day would be bad news. Good luck, and best wishes. :)
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by AvantGarde » Sat Aug 19, 2017 10:59 am

Hey bb, welcome :D

I have the same issue, and I decided to put my mental health as a priority. That means no concerts or parties, as they really screw up my mood for weeks afterwards.

I agree with hal, in going to the party but leaving early. You'll notice when you start to get tired, you'll see. I think your friends will understand and they won't resent you. If they do resent you, they're not really good friends are they?

As for social life in general, I now meet my friends during the day. My social life has changed, but like I said, my mental health comes first.

Welcome again.
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by Pancake » Sat Aug 19, 2017 3:05 pm

I've worked night shifts on and off for 20 years. It's not ideal, but as long as I am strict about recovery, I manage it ok.

I'd suggest having a talk to your pdoc and tdoc to find out what the best way to go about it *for you* is. There may need to be some compromises (like no drinking/drugs, or turning into a pumpkin at midnight), but I think with a bit of care and preparation you should be able to figure something out. If you feel like it's not enough, maybe you could organise to do something fun with your friend one day to make up for it. Depending on where your interests lie, skydiving, volunteer somewhere, learn to knit, bake, or make rainbow jelly shots, cycling tour....

How have things been going for the last few weeks? Have you noticed a difference with the medication and sleep routine?
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