Summer; Seattle’s Hypomania

Happy Monday! The first thing I want to mention is that things have gotten rather stressful in the span of a matter of the last couple weeks, and that is partially why I have had such a hard time updating (and I’m thinking about last week specifically). Of course, I know you’ve all been there!

It is kind of funny to me how the seasons in Seattle can be such a catalyst for the way bipolar disorder operates for me and many of the people I know. The majority of the year is spent in darkness here and (no surprise) rain, which means there is a big chunk of time spent in depression.

As soon as the summer hits (transitioning from June to July, August, and September) everyone is out in full force. Events are scheduled for every weekend day (and some week days) until the better part of September so that we can fully take advantage of the nice weather.

(Fully take advantage of the nice weather, or fully take advantage of the increased mood and energy that comes with sunshine? Eh? Eh?)

I’m sure it is a little of both.

So my schedule has jumped from occupying myself as much as possible to get through the winter to an explosion of parties, parades, festivals, weddings, and you name it. Frankly, if I were to coin any place as one that operates similarly to bipolar disorder (or at least bipolar type 2) it would be here.

You would think this system would be perfect for me, and in a sense when I was younger it was. Having a chance to “make up time” in the summer for everything I lost during the winter is often how I operate when blessed with a stretch of hypomania after a long depression.

These days though, my cycling is ten times as fast. I can have four (or more) episodes or mood shifts in a month. I don’t find myself blessed with the energy and great mood needed to take on an event a day anymore, instead my mood is coming at me more like an unpredictable jazz riff. It can make the weather and “fun” a bit bittersweet, because I can’t saddle it and ride it through the fall.

Likewise, depression is a bit different for me in the summer, and the sense of being overwhelmed is often met with desperation that is fueled by wanting desperately to be around people (hello codependency) instead of isolation.

At this point? I am definitely overwhelmed, but I don’t plan on reading too much into it; that is a feeling that could change any second. I’m also trying not to look directly into the (completely scribbled) calendar and opting to attempt to take things one day at a time.

Goodbye rain, hello world!

5 responses to “Summer; Seattle’s Hypomania

  1. You are singing my song! I live in Oregon’s Willamette Valley and we have weather that’s very similar—fall, winter, and spring are all pretty much the same, but oh, the summers are perfection itself! My moods also follow the weather and light patterns, in fact you could almost set your calendar by them. I hope we both have a warm, enjoyable, and CALM summer! 🙂

  2. Interesting how weather can affect the brain, but then again it’s not surprising how the brain is tunes into the environment. Thanks for sharing as I didn’t consider the impact of the natural environment on Bipolar. Here in Australia we are moving into winter and I will observe any effect this may have on BDP 🙂

  3. Seattles weather has a major effect on me and my moods and I totally agree. My schedule is pretty packed till September and I feel like I have no free time, meanwhile during the rest of the year in our dark gloomy depressing winter I am constantly by myself with nothing to do. Ugh Seattle.

  4. Honestly I feel like I’m struggling with this same thing for the first time. I live across the water in Mason County. Usually the summer is when I get out and do stuff but this is the first time I’ve really had any depression when its nice out. I’m confused and it’s just awful.

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