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Hello! I'm a writer from central New York who has bipolar disorder. Among other topics, I write about mental illness and writing. I have short stories published in Lynx Eye, Lost Coast Review, The Outrider Review, Sliver of Stone Magazine, The Mondegreen, The Linnet's Wings, Cobalt Review, Breath & Shadow, The Round Up, Postscripts to Darkness, Masque & Spectacle, and several other journals. I have essays about mental illness in The Ram Boutique and Amygdala Literary Magazine, and an essay in Parts Unbound: Narratives of Mental Illness & Health, a book that was published by Lime Hawk Literary Arts Collective. In December of 2016, The Mondegreen nominated my story "Santa Lucia" for a Pushcart Prize. I've written a novel entitled Purple Loosestrife and a novel entitled Hoping It Might Be So, both of which I am submitting to agents and publishers. I'm working on a novel called Dark and Bright as well as a book called Violets Are Blue: Essays About My Bipolar Life. I have a B.A. in English from SUNY Buffalo and an M.A. in English from SUNY College at Brockport. I hope you enjoy your visit to my blog!

Wednesday, June 8, 2016

The Seasons and Bipolar Disorder

According to articles I've read and talks I've had with my psychiatrist, it seems that many people with bipolar disorder are more prone to become manic or hypomanic in the spring and summer when the days get longer and brighter and the temperatures go up. On the other hand, people with bipolar disorder tend to get depressed more frequently in the winter when the days are short and darker and cold (if you live in a cold climate, that is). I live in central New York and our seasons vary widely. It can be like the tropics in the summer and like the arctic in the winter. The differences are radical, and they do affect me.

But strangely, I tend to experience the flip side of what many people with bipolar disorder experience. I usually feel pretty good in the winter. There's something about the cold and dark that make me feel cozy and comfortable inside my house. And I seem to have more time to write, which for me can trigger hypomania or even mania.

In spring and summer, on the other hand, I'm more apt to feel a little depressed. I can get excited and hyper, too, but the depression comes with the additional work that I have to do in the summer (gardening, yard and pool work). I feel overwhelmed, despite really liking gardening and yard and pool work. When I feel overwhelmed, I might also feel down and frozen--unable to figure out what to do first or next.

Of course, I have skills and a lot of help when these feelings come over me. I've got a great support system, good meds, and an excellent doctor. I just find it interesting that the seasons affect me differently than what seems to be the norm. That said, I love all the seasons here in upstate New York. I wouldn't trade them for any other seasonal pattern. Even though I may have some trouble, I love the change of seasons here and having all four seasons.

2 comments:

  1. Though not bipolar I do notice that my emotions are influenced by weather swings. Particularly barometric pressure. Winter or summer, if the pressure changes radically, I get twitchy and have difficulty keeping calm. My anxiety kicks in and sometimes all I can do is just sit quietly, eyes closed and concentrate on my breathing.

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    1. I really do think that weather can have a big influence on mood, even if you're not bipolar.

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