As you start reading through these quotes on bipolar, you will discover:

1. Bipolar disorder? You are not alone!

2. That even acute mood disorders such as bipolar are characterized by humor, genius and triumph as well as tragedy.

3. Personal mantras that inspire, comfort and enrich.

The more and more you browse these quotes on bipolar, the more and more interested you become.

Slowly your problems take on a new perspective.

You discover with wonder fresh insight on bipolar lives.

Famous quotes on bipolar

Melancholia is the beginning and a part of mania . . . . The development of a mania is really a worsening of the disease (melancholia) rather than a change into another disease.

– ARETAEUS OF CAPPADOCIA (c. 30-90 AD – source of our earliest quotes on bipolar)

Black Dog

What a creature of strange moods [Winston Churchill] is – always at the top of the wheel of confidence or at the bottom of an intense depression.
– LORD BEAVERBROOK (1879-1964)

Madness is to think of too many things in succession too fast, or of one thing too exclusively.
– VOLTAIRE (1694-1778)

My recovery from manic depression has been an evolution, not a sudden miracle.
– PATTY DUKE (1946- )

Evidence is strongly suggesting Bipolar Disorder – previously known as Manic Depression – may be dramatically increasing in modern society.

(If your own favorite quotes on bipolar are not included, please submit them using the form at the bottom of the page!)

Bipolar and Sex . . .

A period of lewdness and shamelessness exists with the highest type of [manic] delirium.

[Sexual excitability] is increased and leads to hasty engagements, marriages by the newspaper, improper love-adventures, conspicuous behavior, fondness for dress, on the other hand to jealousy and matrimonial discord.
– EMIL KRAEPELIN (1856-1926)


A very common symptom in maniacal conditions is erotic excitement. This varies from mere coquetry, a somewhat extended application of the command “love one another”, an undue attention to the opposite sex, and so forth, up to the extreme of salacity, when the mind is wholly occupied by the urgent sexual appetite, and all restraint is abandoned.
– DANIEL HACK TUKE (1827-1895)

Again judging from my own experience, the sexual symptoms of the manic state seem to be the most powerful and important of all . . . . The normal inhibitions disappear, and sexual activity, instead of being placed, as in our Western Christian civilization, in opposition to religion, becomes associated with it. This release of the underlying sexual tension . . . seems to me to be the primary and governing factor of all the ecstasies and many other experiences of the manic state.

It’s amazing how many of the most fascinating quotes on bipolar deal with sex and money. It is also amazing how old some these particular quotes on bipolar are. To me this is striking evidence that financial recklessness and hypersexuality are probably the two commonest signs of a full-blown manic episode.

Bipolar and Money . . .

[Mania’s] premonitory signs are . . . . unusual acts of extravagance, manifested by the purchase of houses, and certain expensive and unnecessary articles of furniture.
– BENJAMIN RUSH (1745-1813)

I spent a lot of money on booze, birds and fast cars. The rest I just squandered.
– GEORGE BEST (1946-2005)

When I am high I couldn’t worry about money of I tried. So I don’t. The money will come from from somewhere; I am entitled; God will provide. Credit cards are disastrous, personal checks worse. Unfortunately, for manics anyway, mania is a natural extension of the economy.

Weekly $25,000 shopping binges at Barney’s and “high end” boutiques for clothes I barely wore were the norm. So were lavish meals with friends where I picked up $1000 tabs. These high-priced activities were within my limits because I was extremely successful financially, a testament to my manic behavior, not to mention my involvement in illegal activities.
– ANDY BEHRMAN (Author of Electroboy)

Bipolar and Suicide . . .


Suicide is what the death certificate says when one dies of depression.- PETER D. KRAMER (1997)

Quotes on bipolar and suicide:

Then I overdosed at 28, at which point I began to accept the bipolar diagnosis.
– CARRIE FISHER (1956- )

I’m going to be a superstar musician, kill myself, and go out in a flame of glory . . . I want to be rich and famous and kill myself like Jimi Hendrix.
– KURT COBAIN (1967-1994)

I’m not worried about what’s going to happen when I’m thirty, because I am never going to make it to thirty. You know what life is like after thirty – I don’t want that.
– KURT COBAIN (1967-1994)

I don’t like standing near the edge of a platform when an express train is passing through. I like to stand right back and if possible get a pillar between me and the train. I don’t like to stand by the side of a ship and look down into the water. A second’s action would end everything. A few drops of desperation.

The patients . . . often try to starve themselves, to hang themselves, to cut their arteries; they beg that they may be burned, buried alive, driven out into the woods and there allowed to die . . . . One of my patients struck his neck so often on the edge of a chisel fixed on the ground that all the soft parts were cut through to the vertebrae.
– EMIL KRAEPELIN (1856-1926)

It is only when he depression is lifting, often some weeks before the morbid and self-accusatory ideas have disappeared, that the possibility of suicide is less remote. Unfortunately, at this time a tendency to project the inner distress on the environment leads to complaints and pleadings, so that relatives, noting the improvement,
agree with the patient that the hospital restrictions are prolonging the illness. the patient is removed when he is potentially more suicidal than at any time before.


[E]very seventeen minutes in America, someone commits suicide . . . Mostly, I have been impressed by how little value our society puts on saving the lives of those who are in such despair as to want to end them. It is a societal illusion that suicide is rare. It is not.
– KAY REDFIELD JAMISON (1946- ) (From her book “Night Falls Fast”)

I am by temperament an optimist, and I thought from the beginning that there was much to be written about suicide that was strangely heartening.

– KAY REDFIELD JAMISON (1946- ) (Night Falls Fast)

Bipolar & Medication . . .


First, do no harm.
– THOMAS SYDENHAM (1624-1689) Often, but wrongly, believed to be part of the Hippocratic Oath sworn by doctors.

(OK – so the above may not seem to belong explicitly in quotes on bipolar. However – to me it is one of the most significant quotes on bipolar because of the terrible harm done through misdiagnosis.)

I know that without treatment I would not have never been able to harness my creativity in such a successful way.
– PATTY DUKE (1946- )

I finally came to terms with manic depression and lithium. I’ve taken lithium regularly for the past few years and have had no further bouts with manic depression.
– CHARLEY PRIDE (1938- )

I have often asked myself whether, given the choice, I would choose to have manic-depressive illness. If lithium were not available to me, or didn’t work for me, the answer would be a simple no… and it would be an answer laced with terror.
But lithium does work for me, and therefore I can afford to pose the question. Strangely enough, I think I would choose to have it. It’s complicated…

Women who put on a few pounds after starting lithium sometimes say the cure is worse than the disease. The weight gain shoots them straight into depression.
– PATTY DUKE (1946- )

Lithium, don’t want to lock me up inside.
Lithium, don’t want to forget how it feels without…
Lithium, I want to stay in love with my sorrow.
Oh, but God, I want to let it go.
– Lyrics from “Lithium” by band EVANESCENCE (2006)

I’m so happy. Cause today I found my friends.
They’re in my head. I’m so ugly. But that’s ok.
‘Cause so are you. We’ve broke our mirrors.
Sunday morning. Is everyday for all I care.
And I’m not scared. Light my candles.
In a daze cause I’ve found god.
– Lyrics from “Lithium” by band NIRVANA (1991)

Of all our conversations, I remember most vividly [Robert Lowell’s] words about the new drug, lithium carbonate, which had such good results and gave him reason to believe he was cured: “It’s terrible, Bob, to think that all I’ve suffered, and all the suffering I’ve caused, might have arisen from the lack of a little salt in my brain”.
– ROBERT GIROUX (1914- )

Bipolar Creativity . . .

If a man comes to the door of poetry untouched by the madness of the Muses, believing that technique alone will make him a good poet, he and his sane compositions never reach perfection, but are utterly eclipsed by the performances of the inspired madman.
– PLATO (428/427 BC- 348/347BC)

Had [Winston Churchill] been a stable and equable man, he could never have inspired the nation. In 1940, when all the odds were against Britain, a leader of sober judgment might well have concluded that we were finished.
– ANTHONY STORR (1920-2001)

We of the craft are all crazy.
– LORD BYRON (1788-1824)

Mad, bad and dangerous to know.
– LADY CAROLINE LAMB (1785-1828) (describing Lord Byron)

All poets are mad.
– ROBERT BURTON (1577-1640)

[W]hen a superior intellect and a psychopathic temperament coalesce . . . in the same individual, we have the best possible condition for the kind of effective genius that gets into the biographical dictionaries.
– WILLIAM JAMES (1842-1910)

One must have chaos in one, to give birth to a dancing star.

You can have manic-depression without having an ounce of creativity.
; – PATTY DUKE (1946- )

Bipolar disorder can be a great teacher. It’s a challenge, but it can set you up to be able to do almost anything else in your life. – CARRIE FISHER (1956- )

Many excellent quotes on bipolar and the links between bipolar disorder and creativity can also be found be Kay Redfield Jamison’s wonderful book “Touched with Fire: Manic Depressive Illness and the Artistic Temperament”. As well as some great quotes on bipolar on creativity, this great book provides historical evidence and scientific analysis of the connections and beautifully addresses the resulting ethical questions. Like all Jamison’s books, it is a must read.

My all time favorite quote!


Isn’t it nice to think that tomorrow is a new day with no mistakes in it yet?
– L. M. Montgomery (1874-1942)

What is this doing in my quotes on bipolar?

Don’t worry – I am NOT suggesting that the beloved Canadian writer Lucy Maud Montgomery was manic depressive, or that her delightful character Anne Shirley from the Anne of Green Gables books was even the softest of soft bipolars.

However, I DO LOVE the concept “there are no mistakes in tomorrow”.

It belongs in quotes on bipolar because bipolar people know better than most the true meaning of regret and have a strong need to believe in the miracle of a new beginning.

The psychiatrist who finally correctly diagnosed me used to say it to me all the time when we first met and I was suicidally depressed: “there are no mistakes in tomorrow”.

Eventually the power of this concept sunk in – these words really did change my life! They instilled courage and optimism in me again.

This will always be my favorite of the many fascinating quotes on bipolar.