Questions about my Dad

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Date Joined Dec 2005
Total Posts : 3238
   Posted 2/16/2007 6:34 AM (GMT -7)   
Good Morning!  My dad was diagnosed bipolar about 6 years ago.  He dilligently takes his meds and sees his therapist regularly.  It never fails though that he has a major manic episode around every May of each year.  Can the seasons changing have an affect on bipolar?  I am trying to understand his condition better. 
Just a little background...we knew something was a little off after his mom (my grandmother) passed 7 years ago.  Then my dad went on a binge....ran off out of town, spent tons of money, locked my mom in the house and forcibly kept her there.  He had a short stay in an institution until we could figure out what was going on. 
I also know that he has gained a ton of weight since his diagnosis that really bothers him.  He is working on it but it worries me.
I guess I am asking all these questions now b/c I have tried to avoid the fact that my dad is bipolar.  I have put my parents up on this pedestal b/c they have been so good to me that I don't want anything to be wrong with them.
Anyway just wanted to share my story!  Thanks!!!
5mg pred whoo hoo!, 100mg Azathioprine, 2 Fibercon, Multivitamin, Colazal-9 a day, acidopholis pearls

Co-Moderator UC Forum

Regular Member

Date Joined Nov 2006
Total Posts : 215
   Posted 2/16/2007 7:23 AM (GMT -7)   
I don't know that seasons have such an effect on bipolar, but things that happened in a given season might. Is May the anniversary of a major life event for your dad? Did someone important to him die in May? Did he lose a job in May? I suspect that something big happened in the month of May that this is a recurrent theme.

Does his therapist know about this yearly problem with the month of May? Given that this is only February, now is the time to talk to the therapist and voice your concerns, though not in front of your father. The therapist probably knows a lot about your dad by this point and may know what the problem is, but not understand what happens the same time each year. His therapist cannot disclose to you what the issue is, but they should listen to you voice a concern like this. If he/she asks if you have brought this up to your dad, tell them what you told us...that your dad is great and has done a lot for you. You feel like bringing this up means you don't appreciate your parents, when actually you do. I am sure you are especially proud of the way he is handling his illness. Most bipolar people are not quite so diligent. I think this is because he loves you and values you, too.

As for putting parents up on a pedestal, please remember we are only human. We make mistakes when we are doing the best we know how. Kids don't come with instruction booklets and I am afraid, being an adult doesn't come with one either. You will be an adult (if you are not already) and you know that you make mistakes and feel that you are being less than you could be at times. THis is the human condition. Let them be real to you as I think you are real with them.

You sound like a gentle caring soul. Don't change that.
The Lady Dragonfly
Yes, it was me...I know because I was there when I did it. Lupus sufferer, bipolar II sufferer. Currently on Indocin for chronic pericarditis related to lupus, and cherishing every deep breath without pain. Currently in graduate school for mental health counseling, class of Fall 2007. Vegan and loving it!

Regular Member

Date Joined Jan 2007
Total Posts : 47
   Posted 2/23/2007 9:47 PM (GMT -7)   
Yep. Seasonal Affective Disorder, or SAD. Very common. Actually, 10 percent of people currently have SAD. Characteristically, SAD is onset and remission. Change in light exposure is one of the greatest causes of SAD, which is so weird I know, but true. There is a direct ratio to how much sunlight you get and how happy you get. So, just as there is more sunlight in the summer months, May seems to be the time that he is having his SAD. I'm not saying to cut back the sunlight, lol. But I am saying that if he keeps getting these manic episodes, which can be not content, he needs to find other meds that will work for him.
BP is a varying disease that many people don't often think about as being a completely normal condition. Just like normal people, we have our ups and downs, but there is something in our brain (basically brain misfiring) that is making us do the things we do, or feel the way we feel. Your dad is exactly the same normal person, just with something unique to add to his profile =). Hope this helps.


"Stability is a place bipolar people only visit"
Bipolar II, rapid cycler, severe depression/hypomania, severe anxiety, and lifesaver- Shadley's Titan, nine-year-old reg. Quarter Horse Gelding.
Past: Depakote, Lexapro
Current: Lamictal, Abilify, Buspirome, Minocycline, omega 3, probiotics

Post Edited (allie1644) : 2/23/2007 9:52:44 PM (GMT-7)

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