Since my first diagnosis was Bipolar I, it is only fitting to mention that CRAZY.MANIC time is upon us: Spring. As it gets warmer (when will it?? PLZ.NOW), I notice my moodiness lift as the frigid air of winter dissipates. The sun starts showing its face, and my mood is generally up. I track it with a nice app called Moodnotes and regularly check in with myself to get a sense of how I am feeling each day. Here are my thoughts and opinions on mania, depression, and the role the weather plays.

What is a manic state?

Basically, I see it in the form of an upped mood, heavy in pleasant and productive feelings, also high in agitation and restlessness. I used to lose sleep, work like a racehorse in the final stretch, and think I was queen of the world in my grandiose thoughts. It doesn’t last (for me, no more than 3-5 days) and it comes with a pretty heavy CRASH&BURN.

In greater detail, mania is marked by some of these symptoms:

  • rapid thoughts
  • fast speech
  • aggitation
  • elated mood
  • risky behaviors
  • lots of energy and activity

What is a depressive state?

For me, it is major anhedonia, or a lack of desire to do the things I enjoy doing. I don’t want to go for a run or exercise, I don’t want to eat well, I struggle with daily tasks that were once second nature like getting the laundry done or tidying up. The depressive states bring me SMH.

Other depressive symptoms may include:

  • low activity
  • loss of desire in enjoyable activities
  • hopelessness
  • forgetfulness
  • thoughts of suicide
  • excessive eating or loss of appetite

Why am I concerned about SPRING.FEVER?

Well, because I think the weather affects my mood and mental well-being a great deal. I have been tracking my mood fairly regularly for about 10 years now, and find that often I would feel depressed in the winter, and more manic as spring came around.

Why is mood change important?

I plan on keeping fluctuations in my mood in check as I remain in a sort of remission from my major health struggles. The more aware I am of how I am feeling, the better prepared I can be for a dip or rise in mood. With any luck, all the extra effort of keeping my life balanced will benefit me in the way of avoiding and preventing major episodes down the line.

So, my advice to you is this: keep it cool this summer, don’t get caught up in SPRING.FEVER — and if you struggle with a mood disorder like bipolar, try out a mood tracker for that extra bit of preventative care. Good luck!

Check out more on bipolar disorder at NIMH.

This post is meant to raise awareness of bipolar disorder, and by no means is a substitute for professional support. Please contact your doctor in the event that you are struggling. And always remember, you are not alone.

There are a lot of studies that suggest a higher rate of creativity in bipolars than the general population. — Kay Redfield Jamison