Friday, March 18, 2011

Why are Bipolar Patients more likelly to get SAD

When you first look at the title you simply think oh they suffer from depression, so of course they are sad.  This SAD is quite different though then just being sad.  SAD stands for Seasonal Affective Disorder.  As I was going through my routine this morning and that includes any interesting topics that I find on twitter.  One tweet really caught my eye that was listed by  Per the article that Child & Adolescent Bipolar Foundation linked, stated that research shows that patients that have bipolar disorder are more likely to display symptoms of SAD.  The full article can be found at

I started thinking about my experience with SAD and this is very true.  I have always hated the winter months because I do seem to suffer more from depression.  I never wanted to go anywhere and I describe it much like a bear that just wants to hibernate for the winter.  Well as you all know this is not very healthy and you do not get much done. All I wanted to do is eat and sleep and of course I would always gain weight.  After consulting my Psychiatrist years ago on this very topic he set me up with Light Therapy.  I was told that this would help 3 things so I would start feeling better and could repeat this each winter if needed.  The three things that it helps is your biological clock or (circadian rhythm), Melatonin Levels, and Serotonin Levels.  My light therapy merely consisted of sitting in front of a light therapy box for about 30 minutes per day to alleviate the symptoms.  The box mimics natural outdoor light and it is surprisingly effective and cost effective.  I will say that in my case it did help and I was a much more functional person in the winter.  It is still not my favorite time of the year and I can't wait for spring but a little trick like this can make the cold winter months a bit more bearable.  As you know with bipolar disorder you really have to watch your extreme mood swings so this light therapy is another key to survive with bipolar disorder.

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