Effects of Seasonal Changes on Bipolar Disorder

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Last Updated on April 25, 2021 by

Some individuals experience weather affecting moods when the weather changes: if the weather goes cold, they can expect to be depressed. They may suffer from mania in spring or hypomania if it’s warm out.

Emotions and psychological functions are managed by the brain. The central nervous system uses chemical signs and answers that are sensitive and intricate. Several congenital and environmental factors can influence this system of weather affecting moods. A person’s mood can be altered significantly as a result of changes in brain chemistry.

The SAD is a form of depression associated with seasonal changes—these weather affecting moods start and finish each year at around one period. Unless you’re like many SAD patients, your signs will start in the fall and persist in the winter, saving your energy and mood. Less commonly in the spring or early summer, SAD triggers sadness.

Light therapy, medications, and psychotherapy may be used to treat weather affecting moods. Do not break the annual sensation as a “winter blues” or as a periodic mood where you must tough yourself. Follow action to maintain the attitude and inspiration all year round.

Brain Chemistry and the Environment

Our inner equilibrium is affected by the world surrounding us. We affect our attitude, our thinking, and our behavior by changing seasons, prolonged or shorter periods, and hotter and cooler climates. People with no known mental diseases will disrupt the climate. If someone has a problem like manic depression, emotional changes may have a much bigger effect.

Signs

In several situations, weather affecting moods and seasonal signs of an emotional disturbance occur late in the fall or early winter. People with the opposite trend less often have signs of weather affecting moods that start in spring or early summer. In both instances, the manifestations can get mild and worse with the development of the period.

Here are Some Potential Indications of Weather Affecting Moods:

  • A depressive feeling almost all-day
  • Feeling disinterested in projects that you used to enjoy
  • Feeling tired
  • Feeling sleep-deprived
  • Feeling hungry or getting fatter
  • Being weak or agitated
  • Being unable to concentrate
  • Sensing unsettled, wasteful, or guilt-ridden
  • Suicidal ideas or thoughts

Winter and Fall SAD

A Few of the Particular Features of SAD During the Winter can Include:

  • Sleeping too much
  • An increase in carbohydrate cravings
  • Gaining weight
  • Fatigue or reduced energy

Summer and Spring Sad

Seasonal Affective Disorder with a Summer Onset, Also Known as Summer Melancholy, can Manifest As:

  • An inability to sleep 
  • Low appetite
  • Losing weight
  • Irritability or fear

Meaning of Bipolar Disorder

Bipolar turmoil is an emotional well-being problem that, as is clarified by the National Institute on Mental Health as “leading to uncommon changes in state of mind, energy, activity levels, and the capacity to complete everyday activities.” This condition might or might not include serious hyper indications and burdensome scenes. A lot of bipolar issues exist, and each includes various indications and levels of every side effect. Any kind of bipolar problem can be influenced by changing seasons and the climate. 

Cerebrum design, hereditary qualities, and family ancestry would all be able to assume a part in the advancement of bipolar problem. This emotional wellness issue frequently creates during an individual’s adolescent years however may not show up or be analyzed until some other time.

Bipolar Disorder and Seasonal Changes

Bipolar dysfunction patients may experience periods of mania or hypomania in spring and summer, whereas they may be more depressed in fall and winter and have weather affecting moods.

The Right Time to Visit a Physician

Feeling down is normal sometimes. In the event you feel depressed for longer than a few days and are incapable of performing everyday activities, you should see your physician if you notice weather affecting moods. This is extremely significant if you have altered sleeping and eating, resort to drinking to make you more comfortable or relaxed, or worry about death.

A Manic Episode Manifests as a Host of Hints and Manifestations:

  • Higher levels of energy 
  • Increased good state
  • Anger or anxiety
  • Thinking and speaking too fast
  • Abuse of others by being offensive or rude
  • Insomnia

Individuals Who Suffer from Depressive Episodes May Manifest the Following Signs of Weather Affecting Moods:

  • Feeling emotionally numb
  • Low energy
  • Suffering or crying for an extended period
  • Oversleeping or under-sleeping
  • The hunger and feeding patterns of the patients are markedly different
  • Distinction from loved ones and friends
  • Thinking about or acting in a suicidal manner

In addition to substance abuse, both manic episodes and depressive scenes can accompany a psychiatric disorder. “30% to over 50% of psychotic persons (bipolar I or bipolar II) will experience a substance abuse disorder (SUD) early in their lives” states the Substances Misuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA). 2 Misuse of substances can mask bipolar symptoms. “The method, testing, and treatment of SUDs is complicated by this event,” continues SAMHSA.

Even so, care can be provided for bipolar disorder and weather affecting moods, and rehabilitation and regeneration, in particular early diagnosis, is likely.” Although bipolar disorder can’t be healed, practitioners in mental health have taken progress in reducing the impact and encouraging people to control mental stability effectively. This typically includes psychiatric treatment, counseling, and training to handle mental causes such as seasonal and environmental shifts.

>>> READ THIS NEXT: Is Treatment for a Mental Health Condition Necessary?

Moods Change During the Seasons, So Why?

We also feel and act differently when the seasons alter. Human life is influenced by both environmental and emotional factors. The following changes with the seasons:

  • We are exposed to daylight every day
  • Exercise is essential to our well-being
  • Our diets have changed dramatically

All are a bit vulnerable to weather patterns. Seasons are more important for other individuals. Winter months and their shortened days will give other people “winter blues” and lead to tremendous and even harmful depression, with cold climates, regular storms, and restricted access to the outdoors.

The arrival of spring, long days, natural air, and daylight may cause side effects of craziness in people who have bipolar turmoil. Such a connection among seasons and mindset can be turned around or experienced unexpectedly—however, regardless of the structure it takes, climate and season do affect bipolar confusion indications.

“People with bipolar disorder are more seasonal than people with depression or stable controls, the Journal of Affective Disorders reported. Also, the depressive non-seasonal population saw about as many fluctuations in the weather as the regular bipolar group with significant effects in bipolar regulation.” 3 Seasons influence more people’s mood than people who have bipolar disorder — including people who are personally linked to weather variations. They mostly don’t affect their moods in periods.

Factors that Cause Weather Affecting Moods

There are a Few Factors that May have an Impact on the Seasonal Affective Disorder.

  • The Person’s Biological Clock: SAD may arise from a reduced sunlight level in the winter. Feeling depressed could be caused by this sudden decrease in sunlight.
  • Levels of Serotonin: Serotonin can be influenced by a decrease in brain chemistry (neurotransmitter), which influences attitude. Decreased sunshine can trigger serotonin to decrease and lead to depression.
  • Levels of Melatonin: Sleep patterns and moods are affected by melatonin levels in the body, as changes in seasons can disrupt its balance.

Factors that Increase Risk

Women are more likely than men to be diagnosed with seasonal affective disorder. Younger adults suffer from SAD at a higher rate than adults of a certain age.

The Seasonal Affective Disorder May be Caused by Factors Such As:

  • History of the Family: SAD patients are likely to be related to people with SAD or depression of another kind.
  • Bipolar Disorder or Major Depression: If you have one of these conditions, your depression symptoms might get worse at certain times of the year.
  • You Don’t Live Close to the Tropics: This may be because there is less sunlight in the winter and longer days in the summer months, resulting in a higher SAD rate in people who live far north or south of the equator.

Complexities

If Treatment is Not Received for Sad, it can Worsen and Lead to a Range of Problems. These Might Include:

  • Withdrawal from social life
  • Problems at school or work
  • Substance misuse
  • Anxiety disorders or eating disorders are other mental illnesses
  • Thinking or acting suicidal

Diagnosing and treating SAD before symptoms worsen helps prevent complications.

Seasonal Depression and Bipolar Disorder Treatment

Your physician may suggest treatments for depression episodes on seasonal bipolar disorder since they tend to be much more critical.

1. Regular Exercise: It may not be necessary to take additional medication if the depression is mild. Rather, you can manage your depression through healthy lifestyle practices, such as exercise. The American Psychological Association suggests you take a walk during the morning sunniest times. Exercise helps even if it’s only for a short time.

2. Manage Your Time: Make sure your sleep, eating, waking patterns all remain the same, Duckworth reports. “You’ll be more comfortable making sure your body regulates on its own.”

3. Therapy Using Light: It may be helpful to use special light boxes, such as the LED boxes, for 30 minutes daily. However, NAMI states that light therapy should only be used carefully, and may work faster than medications in some individuals. Bipolar disorder sufferers may experience a manic reaction after receiving light therapy, according to Duckworth. A brilliant light is especially conducive to mania, whereas a dim light is a depressive symptom.

Recovery from Mental Illness and Addiction

Those who experience severe depression, bipolar disorder, or have had their symptoms increased due to the change of seasons can call our free, 24-hour line. Our facility offers professional and tender care and information regarding therapy for mental conditions and substance misuse. Kindly call us at 615-490-9376 to get information on weather affecting moods.

Sources

Bipolar Disorder.” National Institute on Mental Health. Accessed 8 Aug. 2018.
“An Introduction to Bipolar Disorder and Co-Occurring Substance Use Disorders.” Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration. 2016.
Shin, Karen, et al. “Seasonality in a Community Sample of Bipolar, Unipolar and Control Subjects.” Journal of Affective Disorders. May 2005.