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Bipolar 1, Transitioning into Spring, and Horrific Mood Cycling

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I'm hoping there are others who hate the transition from late winter into spring as much as I do. Here is this topic summed up: do you suffer from very rapid and intense mood cycling when winter slowly blooms into spring? I honestly feel as though my mind is in sync with the transition of the death of winter into the explosion of life that is spring time.


I'm diagnosed as rapid cycling bipolar 1 disorder (I think I have schizoaffective bipolar type due to hallucinations, delusions, visions, and intense paranoia but I don't care to be officially diagnosed). The slow transition from late winter into spring always hits me very hard. Simple put, I experience very intense cycling. The mood cycling is filled with mania, mixed episodes, plenty of insomnia, depression, bouts of crying...you name it. 


I apologize if this is a waste of crazyboards time and server space. It would just be nice to know that there are others going through the same kind of an almost purge of the conscious and sub-conscious. Thanks for taking the time to read, and if you are experiencing heaven and hell during this time of the year, I wish you the best in coping. This time of the year is what initially sent me into the hospital and I'd imagine things get intense for other people with bipolar 1 disorder or otherwise. 


Lastly, is it my ungrounded thinking or do we individuals with bipolar disorder express a metaphorical yet very human representation of seasonal change? Stay tuned for more nonsensical writing (don't worry, I will not be flooding crazyboards with topic after topic, only kidding).



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I certainly have a big mood swing around March 15th every year.  I live north, in the northwest, and there is pronounced change in the light.  I don't generally rapid cycle, though I have experienced it.  It is a miserable state and I hope you have a very good doctor.

Do you adjust your meds at this time of the year?  I sometimes must tweak them.

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Spring has always been my worst time of year.  Always.  You'd think that going from the cold and drab winter that spring would be welcome.  It isn't for me.  Never has been.  I see the bulbs poking their heads out of the soil and I know the crazy isn't far behind.  For some reason, with me, it seems to coincide with Easter.


Several years ago I started increasing my meds in February to see if it would help with spring.  To my surprise, it did.  I'd increase from 1200 mg of lithium to 1850 mg.  If you know for a fact that spring is rough on you, you might want to consider discussing doing something like this with your pdoc.

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I'm in the southern hemisphere, so we're moving into Autumn right now.  However, I had VERY bad time in September (our spring) last year and had to have some emergency med adjustments.  If you haven't already done so, please speak to your pdoc about it asap.

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I completely know what you mean. My most dreaded time of year is the transition from winter to spring. I have bipolar II so for me it's a lot more mild than what you describe, but it still leaves me transitioning from terrible depression to hypomania to depression faster than normal. I dread this time of year. The rapid transitioning is what made me seek out this board, to find other's going through this too. I hope you find a doctor or meds that can help you get through this without having to feel this way every year. I hope we all do.

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It seems to happen for me starting right from the first week of January, but I do notice that when unmedicated, my cycles tend to go berserk like that.  I cycle ridiculously fast, but it was the beginning of January a few years ago where I discovered what particular flavor of hell that ultra-ultra-rapid or ultradian or severe rapid cycling whatever the hell they call it this week is and it sent me to the hospital as well.   I can look and see patterns of where in the year the wheels usually come off like that, but it's hard to pin down to the weather changing or just the emotional events from my past at that time.


That said, I'll join the choir in saying to ask your pdoc about it if you can.  Maybe there's some med tweaking or adding a bit of a different mood stabilizer that might help to slow the roller coaster down.

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Thanks for the support guys, it really does mean a lot. I'm glad I posted this. I'm currently in a rather euphoric manic state so of course everything is grand at the moment. But confusing mood states aside, all of these replies is helping me feel worth through this psychotic mess. The mind is certainly taking me to places stranger than...something. You never really know where you'll be in the end.


And the ultra rapid cycling you guys are talking about. This is the belly of the beast in my case. I know minute to minute mood swings like the back of my hand. I guess I'm used to dealing with it in a way. This time is what initially sent me in to the hospital. I couldn't grasp the sheer insanity. I've learned some of the healing is letting yourself purge your ecstatic circuitry of your brain. Ride the waves and let them set. Or maybe I'm just delving into it. 


Anyhow, I do have a plan. I've explained to the doctor that this time is a psychotic mess for me. I went off my meds recently and really dived into my visions of past, present, and future, as well as alternative avenues of being. I got a side of intense rage. We all know what a tricky game these pseudo-hallucinations are. I have to admit I like the exploration of the mind, even if it's disturbing at times, to say the least.


My plan is simple and effective and proven. Experience ultradian and/or psychotic mood cycling? Just add more Risperdal (or your favorite flavor of atypical)! 


I apologize for getting carried away but writing feels damn good. I know this is serious business, and I'm sorry if I offend anyone about my views of the bipolar 1 (or schizoaffective or whatever label sticks to the shirt) and mood cycling, as well as severe psychotic symptoms, but making a little light of this mess helps me cope with an imploding consciousness. 


Most importantly, thank you for all of the support. To the existence of a euphoric mania that never ends. 

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My worst time has usually been the transition from spring to summer, when the days start getting really long (I live in the northern hemisphere, in Canada). I become most psychotic in the summer. Hopefully this year, I won't experience that because I'm on the maximum dose of Abilify this time around. 


Then, the transition from summer to fall brings hypomania. 


I read in the book, Surviving Schizophrenia, that spring and summer are the times when most hospitalizations occur. 

Edited by Parapluie
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Parapluie, maybe that's because in Canada we don't really have a spring.... we have bad winter, better winter, summer, and almost winter.  what is this spring of which they speak?  heh.


seriously though yes, things go bad for me this time of year.  i can already feel it coming on, but thankfully it creeps in slowly, increasingly hypo until around easter (me too, sylvan), when things REALLY start to pick up and head toward mixed-land.  last year i made it all the way to June before going IP for a month.  the year before that, i spent the month of May IP.


this year i'm hoping the addition of lithium will help squash it (planning to increase it real soon).  i'm also hoping parnate will be less activating than the meds i've been on in the past (though parnate is rather speedy so maybe not).  if not, it's seroquel/zyprexa time again.  i like sylvan's idea of being proactive if you know this is a bad time coming.


my pdoc says also that this time of year, the wards get extra busy (the beginning of spring, the beginning of fall, and the holiday season are the busiest).

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I know my thoughts should be disregarded because I'm drifting in and out of reality, but I just want to take a time machine, because I really do think our brains have a spark, a touch of genius, that allows us to truly soak in the sway of life. If I had a large sum of money I would bet this is going to be proven. It's so good and so bad. When you examine natures transition into spring, when things really start to bloom and life is literally sprouting into full form with all of the flowers and such, this transition in itself is quite messy. It's the same way in my eyes. It's so beautiful because things that were dormant for so long are given the gift of making their presence known. 


But again, these are merely words. Even though over the course of these next weeks I'll be nearing the real test of my will, and my ability to let my ego dissolve, as a result of experiencing very intense episodes and psychotic symptoms, I still marvel at our minds. But I'll be honest, it kills me to think there are many experiencing more intense symptoms, because I know it can get our of control very quickly. I feel selfish in a way that I enjoy some of the psychotic symptoms that cripple so many. 


I can deal with hallucinations, cycling, and visions, but words cannot express the most pure form of fear and dread I get when I start to feel as though any person that can be picked up on via sensory circuitry, has full access to my make up, every thought, action, anything. The delusions too. 


Now, I have an idea. I don't want to place my feet on ground that isn't mine but I think this thread could be a good place for people to seek help concerning intense symptoms arising around this time of the year. I'd really like to connect more with others who deal with this horrible transition. I don't know, I'm in a state where everything makes sense, and is the best idea, while also being a shameful and bad idea. Anyhow, this thread has really helped me, reading all of your posts, and I'd love to read more of anyone's thoughts on this matter. 

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I have more pronounced swings when spring appears, it's like I get a high just from seeing the sunshine and the warm temperature. last spring I got myself a Seroquel bump because of it. Hoping I have enough in me now that it won't happen this year.

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I just got diagnosed with BPII, in part because I told my pdoc that I was "due" for a major episode. It was about Feb 10 this year, Feb 20 last year (the years with warm winters here), and March the two years before that. I totally relate. I feel like I'm rapidly shifting moods all the time right now. I'll be all like "Wow, spring is so nice," and then, "RAHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHRRRHHHGGH," and then, "I'm going to sleep for the next week, thanks." My tdoc says she agrees with the diagnosis. Big shocker there.


I mean, if some people have SAD in the winter, which is deeply connected with the sunlight, why wouldn't people on the bipolar end of the spectrum have rapid shifts when the seasons are changing? 


ETA: Your writing is really lovely. I hope you have an okay transition to spring, and that your lows don't hit too hard. 

Edited by hoko_onchi
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