Bipolar & Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD)

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Ashley C
Regular Member

Date Joined Mar 2006
Total Posts : 95
   Posted 4/3/2006 5:02 AM (GMT -7)   
I have noticed that generally I am more depressed and gloomy through the winter months and when spring and summer hits I am very happy (manic).  I watched the video here on healingwell about Seasonal Affective Disorder and I also found out that those of us who suffer from Bipolar Disorder may be especially prone to having SAD.  For those who don't know what SAD is a disorder that makes people very depressed in the winter (from lack of sunlight) and feeling much better and happier in spring and summer (from increased sunlight). 
From others posts that I have read there have been comments about having depressed episodes in late fall winter/ and then becoming manic in spring/summer.  From what I have read, this affects us with bipolar disorder greatly.  With me, if it is nasty, cold, and gloomy outside I seem to be more likely to be in a bad mood and have depressed tendencies.  When it is sunny, I am extremely happy and motivated. 
The video that I watched said that the north eastern part of the US is where the most people suffer with SAD because of the weather.  I live in Louisville, KY on the border of the affected areas...Indiana.  My parents moved to Tampa Florida recently from Louisville and they say Tampa is one of the sunniest cities in the country.  My parents know an older gentleman who moved from Chicago to Tampa because of SAD and he said he feels 100% better.  I wonder if being in more sunlight would help us who are bipolar.  Does anyone want to share their experiences?

Regular Member

Date Joined Mar 2006
Total Posts : 27
   Posted 4/3/2006 7:24 AM (GMT -7)   
I notice the same thing with me. I also notice that I become more sensitive to becoming more angry at sunset. The sunshine is definitely a factor in my moods. I am much happier this time of year, and I used to think I hated summer because of the heat but now I can't wait. I was out in the sun yesterday playing with my kids and I can't remember when I felt happier but once the sun went down I barely could function. Isn't there a part of Alaska where the sun is up for like 24 hours a day for 6 months? Maybe all affected by this should think of relocating and start our own little community. cool

Veteran Member

Date Joined Oct 2005
Total Posts : 4031
   Posted 4/3/2006 8:06 AM (GMT -7)   

Hey guys (or gals),  I had to throw my thoughts in on this subject, ya know?? 

I wish I could watch some of those videos like you posted here Ashley but currently I think my sound card has taken a leave of absence.  So I am without sound on my putter sad .  Hopefully, I will have this fixed soon but in the mean time I am enjoying the quiet......

I too notice a huge difference in my moods between the seasons.  I live in Missouri (not just cows here) (well... mostly anyway tongue  ) and the seasons of spring and fall are always so beautiful and by far my most favorite.  I also tend to have more depressive periods in the winter when it is gloomy all the time and cold.  Plus your being weighted down with all those heavy winter clothes and coats.  So I am much happy it is spring now and you can shop for cute summer clothes and sandals.

Mommasox - you are so right about Alaska.  During the summer months they have a long period of like the sun will come up a 4am and set at 10pm.  BUT...during the winter months it is mostly dark and they only have day light for a few hours during the mid day.  I have a friend that goes there to hike or mountain climb and he says that you could easily fall in love with the beauty of Alaska but one long winter and you could live anywhere....I cant even imagine what it would be like.

ways to help support healing well:

Ashley C
Regular Member

Date Joined Mar 2006
Total Posts : 95
   Posted 4/3/2006 9:33 AM (GMT -7)   
Thanks for your replies! I hope that you can get your sound card fixed Els. I am not sure but as far as I remember I think that there is articles that you can read about SAD in the articles part of healingwell. I agree with you mommasox about getting angry when the sun goes down. My husband gets ready to go to work around 8 and the sun has been setting around 7:00-7:30 here. Many of my manic/suicidal episodes happen between 7:00-9:00 in the evening...when the sun is going down or is gone. I hope that the researchers find out more on this!

New Member

Date Joined Apr 2006
Total Posts : 15
   Posted 5/11/2006 12:36 PM (GMT -7)   
Hi, I've been doing some research on SAD and suffer from it to extreme in the winter.  I live in central Sask. where our nights in the winter are longer than our days for many months.  One thing you may try is a light box.  It can give you exposure to the light you are missing regardless of where you live because you can suffer from SAD anywhere.  Our mental health programs have information on trials here maybe they do there too.  Nan

Ashley C
Regular Member

Date Joined Mar 2006
Total Posts : 95
   Posted 5/14/2006 10:41 PM (GMT -7)   
Thank you for your reply, artifical light is supposed to help!
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