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More threads by kelsischanging

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Is it possible to be bipolar and have SAD?? I was diagnosed with bipolar disorder about two years ago and now I'm kinda wondering if I also have Seasonal Affective Disorder. I usually feel my mood shifting in early november and as the days get shorter (less hours of daylight) I really feel my mood go down. Is it that I just always hit a depression cycle during the winter or could it be Seasonal Affective Disorder?? I feel dumb asking my therapist if there's not a possibillity that could be it! Thanks for your replies...
 

ladylore

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Is it possible to be bipolar and have SAD?? I was diagnosed with bipolar disorder about two years ago and now I'm kinda wondering if I also have Seasonal Affective Disorder. I usually feel my mood shifting in early november and as the days get shorter (less hours of daylight) I really feel my mood go down. Is it that I just always hit a depression cycle during the winter or could it be Seasonal Affective Disorder?? I feel dumb asking my therapist if there's not a possibillity that could be it! Thanks for your replies...

Hi Kelseym,

I would just go ahead and let your therapist know. This way he/she can do the proper assessment and also give you the proper assistance and support. If a therapist doesn't know the whole story then they can't offer you all the possible treatments and supports available.

I can't diagnose over the computer so I don't know if you have SAD as well as bi-polar but it is definitely worth checking out. And as far as I know Seasonal Affective Disorder is fairly common.

Ladylore
 

David Baxter

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People with both major depressive disorder and bipolar disorder can experience seasonal variations in mood.

I don't have my copy of DSM handy, but if I recall correctly in DSM-IV-TR, SAD is not a separate diagnosis per se but rather what is called a "specifier".

I found this for the case of Major Depressive Disorder: http://www.aafp.org/afp/20061101/1521.html

Criteria for Seasonal Pattern Specifier
  • There has been a regular temporal relationship between the onset of major depressive episodes in bipolar I or bipolar II disorder or major depressive disorder, recurrent, and a particular time of the year (e.g., regular appearance of the major depressive episode in the fall or winter). NOTE: Do not include cases in which there is an obvious effect of seasonal-related psychosocial stressors (e.g., regularly being unemployed every winter).
  • Full remissions (or change from depression to mania or hypomania) also occur at a characteristic time of the year (e.g., depression disappears in the spring).
  • In the past two years, two major depressive episodes have occurred that demonstrate the temporal seasonal relationships, and no nonseasonal major depressive episodes have occurred during that same period.
  • Seasonal major depressive episodes (as described above) substantially outnumber the nonseasonal major depressive episodes that may have occurred over the individual's lifetime.

Source: American Psychiatric Association. Task Force on DSM-IV. Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders. 4th ed. Washington, D.C.: American Psychiatric Association, 1994:390.
 

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