A ponder about boredom

My youngest brother has just gotten diagnosed with Bipolar 1. His diagnosis makes sense to me. The way I see it, the kid has had a manic phase that has lasted 21 years and it spiraled far out of control this past 20 months.

Yesterday he has called me at least 9 times… the same complaint each time… “I’m bored… I’m bored… I’m bored.” I’ve been trying to be patient, but this kid is killing me.

But I have to admit, I sort of remember when I was trying to pull myself together… I was bored all the time too. The excitement of mania, the scramble of the mind, the hallucinations, the confusion, it was… anything but boring.

But then my mind grew quiet and predictable… it was boring. Just like a quiet ocean, no turbulent waves… no surfing fun.

How can mere contentment and predictable stability compare to manic euphoria?
I’m trying to remember how I dealt with boredom.

First… I guess I had to figure out what was making me bored… Some of it was due to over sedation, lack of interest and stimulation, and confusion at why I couldn’t feel that natural high again.

Then meds got adjusted just right, I ended up trying to make up for lost time…. Then I was too busy to be bored. Now I’m fairly happy with my life… that’s not boring. But it took time and healing.

Back to my bored little brother… I guess I can start trying to help get him out more, finally stop being a wall and encourage him to reconnect with the family (ie our kid sis)… I could be more patient and remember how bored I was to have a quiet mind when I had one…
Or I could go stomp his cell phone. :stuck_out_tongue_winking_eye:

But I am taking boredom seriously. When I hit a bad stretch of boredom… that was when I was more likely to quit my meds and reach for other recreational substances. That doesn’t mean I needed someone around to entertain me 24-7. (send in the dancers :clap: :clap: :dancers: )

But back then I sure wish I would have had someone explain to me that euphoric mania, or that energy rush just before a break for me… was a bit addicting and I had to learn to cope with it the same as any addiction. That boredom was just like an unnamed flavor of depression… like bland dry salmon and cheep badly made vanilla ice cream.


When I was first recovering from the episode after which I was first put on antipsychotics, I tried an Mmorpg. It might not be as good as human contact, but it helped to alleviate boredom.


This is pretty much how I felt every now and then too, when I was bored with being symptom free I wanted to quit my meds to get some mental excitement, even if it was negative. I still sometimes feel this way, but I think of my husband now and how he would suffer if I go off my meds, and it keeps me going.

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Did he have any healthy hobbies he enjoyed when he was younger? So sport, art, music or anything that just interested him, so a topic he enjoyed? Maybe encourage him to reconnect with them? Maybe there is some classes near by he can attend (sorry I have no idea what is near by for you in the states)? Or online courses?

Maybe he needs some nudging to get out more, I know it’s not long since he’s been out but is there any clubs for people with mental illness in your area? So art classes, recovery skills etc? Or do you think he won’t be open for that?

He could do some energy burning exercise? So fast pace walks, even learning to jog, swimming? Something that someone else could join in on but then wean off so he feels ok? I mean he may be ok in the first place but I’m not sure how he’s feeling. Voluntary work?

I haven’t really reached the bored stage yet, but I know I’ve kept occupied with doing my degree online, voluntary work and I’ll be starting art college in September two days a week, I’m gradually building up how occupied I am. I’ve only been manic a few times, but I know coming down is hard and being manic as long as he has is bound to hit hard. So try and make him connect with the things that naturally stimulated him before all this?

Sorry if I’m not being of much help.
Take care,

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Yeah, after all the agitation and after my life as a practicing addict I WELCOMED boredom.


I do like how you think, I’ve mentioned all those ideas to my brother… but I really am beginning to see his “boredom” as a mild depression. It reminded me that first… to get rid of the boredom, I had to find the motivation.