How To Cope With Bipolar And Feeling Overwhelmed In College

September 24, 2013 Alexa Poe

Sometimes I look down at my to-do list or at an assignment that I've been trying to work on for ages, and I just feel like I'm inadequate, stupid, and why am I even in college? I always feel like no one else ever feels this way. I look around at the people in the library, and they're writing diligently and reading with seemingly no problem. So what's wrong with me?

Many college students living with bipolar disorder feel overwhelmed from time to time. Use these tips to cope with bipolar and feeling overwhelmed. Read this.

It's hard for me to say if what I feel is because of my bipolar disorder, or if it's something that is “normal” and that other people experience it, too. I'm sure that there is a rather large percentage of college students who feel the same way – that they just want to give up and drop out, that they can't even comprehend what's going on in class, but do they think of suicide and self-injury as the only way out?

Ways To Deal With Bipolar And Feeling Overwhelmed

  • Know your limits and take a break. When you start feeling that tension in your back and neck, take a break. Feeling like you want to self-injure or cry? Take a break!
  • Find a study method that works well for you. Some of us can read and automatically remember information. Others are hands-on, while others have to re-write things over and over. Find what works for you and this will take out a little of the guess work and stress that comes with studying.
  • Take advantage of university services. A lot of universities (as paid through your tuition) offer tutoring services. If your school doesn't have this, email your class or professor about forming a study group.
  • Don't suffer alone. As I've mentioned many times before, most universities offer free (as paid through your tuition as well) counseling services. If for some reason they cannot help you, they can refer you to outside sources.
  • Create self-care rituals. When I first started therapy, I had somehow beat the idea into my head that I could not take a break from studying throughout the day because I thought of it as my job, just like any other 8-5 full-time job. Over months of therapy, my therapist and I created a “cue card,” which had mantras on it that I liked about the cognitive importance of taking breaks. Now, the scientific definitions of psychological things helps me understand my behaviors and thoughts, but for others, all it takes is to just remind yourself how smart and amazing you are. Write this on a card or something important to you, and look at it whenever you want (Importance Of Self-Care To Your Mental Health).

I know that your own personal academic performance is something that, right now, feels like it's the only thing that matters. You feel like you have to live up to your family's expectations, your own personal expectations, and to how you feel your peers expect you to be... But in reality, while these are important, always remember that you are important. Your mental well being and your mental health are just as important, and that's what counts.

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APA Reference
Poe, A. (2013, September 24). How To Cope With Bipolar And Feeling Overwhelmed In College, HealthyPlace. Retrieved on 2024, June 15 from

Author: Alexa Poe

September, 24 2013 at 9:33 am

Hi Alexa. :) I know what you mean about feeling like everyone around you is coping better and learning more and getting more accomplished. When I was an undergrad I nearly dropped out for a semester. I was overwhelmed and questioned why I was taking the major I was. I spent a lot of time talking to my adviser and friends and finally decided to stay. I also evaluated how much I was doing outside of classes-radio station, sports director, newspaper writer, working full time; it was just too much. I cut back,things got better, my friends supported me and I graduated on time. Hang in there, there's always light at the end of that long tunnel.

In reply to by Anonymous (not verified)

Alexa Poe
September, 24 2013 at 1:39 pm

Hi there! Thank you for stopping by and sharing!
I was in the same boat! This past semester, I had such a bad time... I cried with my therapist for the first time about just how miserable I was, and we came to the conclusion that I should take a semester or two off. Consequently, I stayed and tried to wait it out, and now that I'm graduating (only a semester later than planned), I'm glad I stuck it out.
I'm glad you made it through, and I hope you're doing well!
-- Alexa

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