Bipolar: Same Time Every Year


Do you remember years ago there was this popular thing going around where you would stare at this picture that looked meaningless, just like a bunch of random colors on a page…But if you relaxed your eyes and stared at it for awhile…It would turn into a picture right before your eyes?

A hidden picture? That would happen because there were actually patterns hidden in the colors.

Well, there are patterns to life, too. That’s why we do the things we do. Unfortunately, it’s why we keep repeating the same mistakes we keep repeating as well. And if we don’t change our ways…We’ll keep repeating those patterns over and over again, because…As they say…“If nothing changes, nothing changes.”

Well…There can be patterns to your loved one’s bipolar disorder as well. Cycles, if you will.

It’s one of the things you need to watch for as a bipolar supporter – patterns in your loved one’s bipolar disorder and in their moods and behavior.

For example: There’s this woman, Phyllis, and every year at the same time, she goes through a bipolar depressive episode. Why? And why at that particular time? Because it’s a pattern for her. Because at that time, her father passed away. And every year at that time, she grieves for her father. And that begins a cycle for her. She gets depressed, then she goes deeper… Then she gets so deep into the depression that she ends up in a bipolar depressive episode and can’t even get out of bed. Every year at the same time. She feels like she can’t help herself. But the truth is that she CAN. One of the things I always tell people is to watch for episode triggers so that you can fend off episodes before they take hold. So, in Phyllis’s case, every year at the anniversary of her father’s death, that would be an episode trigger for her.

So what do you do when you’re faced with an episode trigger? If you start to experience symptoms of a bipolar episode, you call your psychiatrist right away, so they can help you. If you do that…Usually all it takes is just a temporary increase in your medication to ward off a full-fledged bipolar episode. This way your loved one won’t end up in the hospital or need any major help or anything. And they won’t go into a major episode. But it all starts with noticing patterns. You can watch for patterns in their behavior. Like when the weather changes. Many people with bipolar disorder experience depression during the winter months because there is less natural sunlight. It happens to them every year during the winter months. That might be a pattern for your loved one as well.

Well, I have to go!

Your Friend,


  1. My loved one has bipolar for many years now, and with medication it is controlled, but better than meds is having a purpose and reason for living and that has become his best medication ever. WE have been studying the Bible for 4 years now and not one episode has risen. We pray for Strength and Holy Spirit to help at times that we cannot cope with issures and believe it or not, it has worked. Sometimes we humans cannot be strong and other humans are not smarter that God himself to advise us. Reading the Bible and truths about the past history and other people just like us going through trials and giving God the riens to guide us is the real answer to all not just sick persons. Following the guidelines on how to live our lives the way we should (commandments etc) are necessary for us if we want God to give us holy spirit, and faith to carry on in life. It is a wonderful world, don’t look for all the answers but, “LET GO AND LET GOD”
    Trust me, it works. Alice

  2. i am having bipolar disorder for the past 20 years coming regularly at a certain period of the year. on irregular receipe because of one or other reason like nobody to take care of me and at last i feel my myself that I am in disorder I goes to Doctor and getting treated or I take the medicines prescribed previously.At present also I am passing through a not severe episode of repression after a mood swinging. taking a mood stabilizer Sodium Valproate tab. and an anti-represent Desvenlafaxine tab.

    This communication to you is to get further guidance for my healthy living. Male,58 yrs.,married but separated and having one daughter.

  3. wow! good point on that!

    watching those patterns are very important especially if a particular memory or time or season was of great importance to a person and thereby will affect. I suppose when one watches it happen 1 , 2 or 3 times you try feverishy to prevent a recurring copy or replication as best you can of that experience

    whether it means avoiding a particular event or even how that event is remmebered by particular persons etc. slowly but surely that pattern can be broken. Removing oneself from a recurring pattern has also been proven to work

    there was a lady all her boyfriends kept disappearing around the same time and she alluded it to a particular boyfriend leaving until she stopped thinking of “him leaving” that helped greatly

  4. Thanks dave wow I’m still learning about my illness I go though sleeping disorders where I can’t get out of bed. So I got a dog so know I have to get up to walk her the dog really helps me. To cope when I have these bad days thanks ur friend sharon

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