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Seasons changing: What do you do?


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It's that time of the year again (for those on the Northern hemisphere at least), the seasons are starting to change, it's getting colder, less sunny, rainy. All that stuff. I have been pretty good over the summer, but I do notice that the changes are affecting my energy level, not so much my mood though. I have been trying to keep up my high energy summer routine of sports, keeping social (since I tend to stop socializing when my energy is low), eating well, but I do notice it is quite an effort. I'm kind of anxious about slowly sliding into depression. I lived in more temperate climates for a few years now, so I am not used to the kind of change that will be coming.

 

Do others have that too?

What do you do when autumn starts?

Anyone has any luck with those 'just like real sunlight' lamps?

 

 

 

 

 

 

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I tend to like fall so I am usually okay until Dec. hits. The stress of buying Christmas presents is enough to send me sailing. Oddly enough, I have also crashed in spring and summer so it doesn't make much difference. I just try to get out of the house and not wallow, and try not to stress myself out with work or other stuff. I allow myself to stay in bed for half of the day if I am too tired/sad but I try to get up and do things.

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I have been trying to keep up my high energy summer routine of sports, keeping social (since I tend to stop socializing when my energy is low), eating well, but I do notice it is quite an effort.

 

I think this is on the right track, but you need to find a balance. For me, summer involves more activity in the form of gardening and other things I can't think of yet being only 13 days into Spring for the year. Winter is different, lower activity levels, but I try not to be completely sedentary. I go to the football on weekends, through the week I just try to get out. Pdoc is a big advocate for the library, because no one bothers you trying to sell you things etc, but you are around people generally being peaceful non-clingy-company. I kinda prefer to window shop, my budget is limited being on disability, and I find setting myself tasks to bargain hunt for things I need next pay gives me purpose, and human contact without really interacting with anyone. Of course payday comes and I tend to shop online at 3am, but I still feel kinda warm and fuzzy knowing I tried to get the best deal I could

Edited by Hume's doona
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I have used a light box without much success b/c it tends to make me agitated.  But I know they are useful for some people.

 

I think its great to carry your summer momentum into fall.  Stay as active as possible and keep seeing friends and/or family.  I have been trying to get involved in as many activities as I can to stay busy.  You might think about taking a class or pursuing a hobby.

 

I also try to get into the holidays that occur in Fall and decorate for them.  I try to appreciate the beauty of the leaves changing color.

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I am in love with my light box. I would marry it if it were a person (and I were available).

 

I also supplement vitamin D.

 

This year I am trying a low dose of swellbutrin.

 

I'm also working on trying to make sure I get outside even for 20 minutes during the day (though where I live it's very overcast in the winter).

 

 

ETA: I just realized this was in the bipolar forum. The things I do for me might work differently for you if you've got a bp brain. I got the "anxious/depressed" features in my brain.

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I do the opposite. my mood generally takes a turn to the positive in the fall/early winter. I generally feel great and actually am in danger of going hypo through December. Once January hits though, I generally fall through the floor though. Don't think that it has anything to do with the holiday, just think that it is a seasonal thing. I don't think that the darkness affects me until the deep darkness of the year.

I love fall. The gloom and the rain don't affect me. I have lived in the pacific NW for my entire life so I would be in trouble if I didn't love rain. Halloween is my favorite holiday.

I get horribly depressed in the summer months. I am weird that way.

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My pattern has changed over the years. I used to get more and more depressed the closer we got to the winter solstice. I had a light box, but I was skeptical. I usually was depressed for a great deal of the winter.

 

Since I came out of remission, summer is much worse for me. Now my mood *does* change in the fall/winter, but it is irritable hypo, or dysphoric mania. I tend to get a lot of cleaning done in Decembers. My light box now makes me agitated, I tried it 3 more falls, and then gave it to a friend.

 

This year, I feel like I have had low grade depression from June until now. I am definitely getting worse, and I need to call the pain clinic, because I *believe* a pdoc is part of the package. If not, I have do more research, I have called so. many. pdoc. offices. Even the ones that say they have open practices aren't actually taking patients. This feels much more like depression than I have experienced in several years.

 

Usually, I go batty starting in June, peak in late July, and then taper off. Those are generally my worst episodes. I think that this year, the move just threw me off kilter, so I have "just" been depressed.

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I have not gotten a fall mood shift that I have been aware of since my offical DX. But I get a shift from 'spring' into 'summer' about the end of may untill the end of June. What I do is since I know that it usualy comes during the lead up months I make a plan of action. Listing the activitys that make me happy, finding good journal promts to encourage me to get out of my head and get it on paper outside of me. Plan financialy for the extra co-pays for the 2x week therapy. Also be aware that med tweeks may come even subtle changes (i.e. going from 40mg to 45mg of celexa made a HUGE difrence for me) that can realy help. 

 

I had a crummy fall last year but that was becuse of external stressers, so it will be intresting to see if is a pattern mood shift.

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We're just coming out of winter here. I normally get really depressed but this year I didn't. I really think its because of the exercise I was doing. I did running and yoga every day and weights three times a week. I hurt my back a few weeks ago and stopped most of that stuff. My mood has been steadily declining ever since even though Spring is here now.

Hopefully by the time my back heals I won't be so far gone with depression to start running again. I fear it will be :(

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I'm Canadian. Even though I live quite far south in Ontario, the seasons are drastically different. 

I find I settle down and feel better in the cooler weather. In the hot weather (especially the summer we've had, going above 45 C, or 110 F temperatures) I am really miserable, irritable and angry.

I do notice a huge difference with season change. I think I'm opposite of most though!

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My sister is moving to somewhere in Ontario to join a veterinary practice. All I can remember about the town is there's a statue "Husky the Muskie," because how could you forget that? But she specifically made sure there would be sun in the winter, she has SAD, and actually starts taking Wellbutrin around now. She only takes it for the fall and winter.

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I was a teacher for many years, so for me, fall is the mental beginning of the year. It makes me feel happy!

 

I do realize that it gets more gloomy, though. However, while I don't believe in anything as ridiculous as 'turn your frown upside down' (who comes up with these vacuous ideas?) I do try to make this a happy season by mulling cider, making macaroni and cheese, and thinking about tea and hot cocoa. And soups. I love soups. 

 

In other words, I mentally try to pull together all the things I love about fall, and remember that seasonal changes are part i=of Nature's Wheel.

 

However, September is tainted by 9/11 for me, since a goodly amount of my PTSD came on because of it. This year I allowed myself to stay indoors doing fun and distracting things and it didn't bother me much. as for winter, I have a bright light that I need to use more often, when my energy begins to flag. 

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I'm Canadian. Even though I live quite far south in Ontario, the seasons are drastically different. 

I find I settle down and feel better in the cooler weather. In the hot weather (especially the summer we've had, going above 45 C, or 110 F temperatures) I am really miserable, irritable and angry.

I do notice a huge difference with season change. I think I'm opposite of most though!

 

I'm with you on this - I am far, far more stable in the cooler weather than in spring/summer.  We are heading into spring here in the southern hemisphere, and I'm starting to feel anxious about what's awaiting me.  Last year this time I had to have a meds adjustment to cater for the effect the warmer weather and increased daylight was having on my mood.  This year the weather is still persistently cool and rainy, so right now I'm pretty level.

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WHAH.....

 

My light box seems to be having a major malfunction!

 

I will have to look into replacement options... which may include just a couple of full spectrum bulbs.

 

I'm currently drooling over this one that combines light box and sunrise alarm clock:

http://www.lighttherapyproducts.biz/products/sunrise-system-light-box-srs-320.html

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My pattern has changed over the years. I used to get more and more depressed the closer we got to the winter solstice. I had a light box, but I was skeptical. I usually was depressed for a great deal of the winter.

 

Since I came out of remission, summer is much worse for me. Now my mood *does* change in the fall/winter, but it is irritable hypo, or dysphoric mania. I tend to get a lot of cleaning done in Decembers. My light box now makes me agitated.

 

Usually, I go batty starting in June, peak in late July, and then taper off. .

Me too to all of this. How strange! I used to live in the mid Atlantic US and not be this way. Now I live in the Rocky Mountains. It's much sunnier here and I get mixed now. I can't do a light box. This fall we are upping the quetiapine, adding more gabapentin and possibly adding a small dose of lithium.

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  • 2 weeks later...

Fall hits me hard and the darkness holds me until summer returns. Light boxes have not worked for me. I try to get outside for twenty to thirty minutes of sky time every day regardless of weather. This seems to help a little. If nothing else I use it as a mindfulness practice--feeling the water on my face when it rains or basking in the warmth of a late summer sunny day... it's really hard if you live north and have to deal with the darkness!

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  • 2 weeks later...

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