They say you can always tell a mad writer from a sane writer. How? By their irregular style, the pattern of ups and downs, and the maniacal commitment –or lack thereof– in a mad writer’s writing. Clearly I haven’t posted anything new in over a week and I will attribute that to my own chemical imbalance and my flirtationship with seasonal depression. Literally, as the snow comes down, so do I. While at this point, it’s not as bad as my Bipolar Depression has been in past years, I do feel irritable, agitated, bored, and fatigued. I noticed my interest is subsiding in everyday things, including writing, which I typically love to do. I notice myself crashing with a bang. How just a couple of weeks ago I was teetering on the hypomanic edge, to now feeling so deflated, I cannot say for sure. The important part is that I recognize these changes. Bipolar Disorder and weather changes tend to go hand in hand. Our mood swings can change just as quickly as temperatures can rise or fall. Living in the Midwest, our climate varies from below zero to above 100 degrees. We endure rain, snow, high winds, high heat, and humidity. It also changes very rapidly. Many people with Bipolar Disorder also suffer from Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD), which is even more common in regions with long periods of non-sunny weather.
I have yet to speak with my psychiatrist about my depression, but I may do so at my next appointment. I also keep in mind that the holidays and the new year could have easily presented a bit of a trigger as well. Nonetheless, there are some things you can do to relieve the seasonal depression. One is to purchase a light box, which mimics the healthy light from the sun. Put it in a spot in your home where you spend a great deal of time, such as next to your couch or bedside. This will boost your serotonin and almost trick your body into thinking that you’ve been outside. Another method to treat this depression is to go on an antidepressant for a short time. This you would need to speak to your psychiatrist about. I have been on antidepressants for just the duration of the winter months, and it has helped me greatly. One tip- it is not uncommon for antidepressant medications to bring you too up, thus triggering you to become manic. I have had this experience, so of course I recommend discussing this with your doctor, and carefully monitor your moods and triggers. And at the very least, imagine sunny skies and brighter days ahead.