I am a rapid cycling manic depressive. I've never been on medication and don't want to take any, please don't try to convince me otherwise. I want to know if there are any other manic depressives here that have been able to deal with their illness without medication. I didn't know that I was a manic depressive until about 6 months ago, although I've been feeling the symptoms for years. Sometimes my thoughts race so quickly I have a bit of difficulty having coherent conversations with people, and other times I feel so batshit crazy I can't follow a normal conversation or train of thought without feeling like something is "off" or dream-like. My friends notice that I have different "moods" and comment on how extreme my swings in disposition are. I am not violent, but I definitely shift between being gentle and understanding to boiling with anger at a second's whim. Some days I wake up feeling disabilitated and just stay in my apartment all day, going outside only to smoke. I also have horrible sleep patterns, and end up staying awake upwards of 36 hours at least a few times a month; I find it impossible to sleep unless my body is at the brink of exhaustion. My biological clock is convinced the day is at least 30 hours long, so I never end up going to bed at a consistent time and my schedule rotates constantly. If I am ever able to keep a consistent schedule I become nocturnal for some reason or other. It becomes very difficult to deal with life when you wake up at 7:00pm and don't go to bed until 3:00pm the next day. Being up all night by yourself when everything is closed and all your friends are asleep definitely makes for a weird feeling, I don't think it can be understood unless you've experienced it for at least a few consecutive weeks. I have had these sleeping problems for about 7 years, and they've only worsened with time. Dealing with daily responsibilities is like moving mountains: It's 5:40am as I write this and I have to go to work in an hour and a half. I've already been awake for 16 hours and I have at least a 12 hour day ahead of me. I do plan to go to a doctor soon to try and get sleeping pills. Although I have no real plans of committing suicide, and understand that feelings can change with time and experience, I find myself unconsciously muttering "kill me" or "I want to fucking die" under my breath when I'm down. On New Year's Eve I got drunk with my good friends and a few days later one of them told me that when we were all talking about our resolutions I'd said I wanted to kill myself and the party got all quiet. I do not remember saying this. I feel as if I am losing my mind. Each day I wake up and can feel how astute I am, I can see what emotions are on the day's menu. On my "on" days I am extremely productive and jovial and a blast to be around, on my "off" days I feel paralyzed and useless. I harbor feelings of guilt for not being socially in tune enough on days I feel a bit off, as I'm very social and outgoing when I'm feeling well, and I feel like people get a 2-faced impression of me if I'm forced into a social setting when I'm not equipped to deal with it. I have increasing trouble being able to gauge how articulate I am and how effectively I'm communicating with people, it's becoming tougher and tougher to discern how far inside my head I've retreated. I think I have an exceptional emotional intelligence, and I find it depressing and isolating being around people (the majority of people) who are not as perceptive to other's states of mind as I am. A lot of the time I feel like the only person in a room full of blind men who can see. Going through day to day life is like living in a foreign country where no one speaks the language you speak. It is a recognition in people's eyes that I thirst for all the time. I don't know how to seek it out. My inability to find people to communicate with is maddening beyond anything I can describe. This silent fury is building inside me and I can’t silence it much longer. Does anyone else relate to this state of mind? How do you cope with it?