Bipolar Disorder Guilt and Sunny Days
Because of the chronic mental illness of bipolar disorder, I have guilt on sunny days; and this really sucks seeing as we’re now into summer. I know this might sound weird to your average person, but I actually prefer a rainy day to a sunny one. Rainy days don’t bring about guilt. Sunny days bring about my bipolar guilt.
Bipolar Disorder Guilt and Disliking Sunny Days
It’s like this: everyone loves sunny days. And why do people love sunny days? They love them because they can get out and about in the beautiful weather and feel great. They love them because they get to go to the beach. They love them because they get to take their children to the park. They love them because of backyard barbecues. People love them because there are so many things you can do in the summer that you can’t do in the winter and this makes everyone happy (Summertime Mental Illness Stigma).
Even weather people assert how “great” sun is and how “dreadful” rain is. Sun is something to “look forward to” and rain is something to dislike. Everyone wants a sunny weekend.
And that’s great. Really.
It’s just that my chronic illness, my bipolar disorder, makes me never want to leave the house and I feel especially guilty about it when it’s sunny.
The Sun Creates Bipolar Guilt
When I look outside, through my window, and the sun is beautifully lighting the planet, I appreciate its warmth and the way it brings colour to life. My bipolar brain, though just feels guilty that I don’t want to go out and “enjoy” it. Mostly because my going out wouldn’t be “enjoyable” at all.
Don’t get me wrong, I do leave my apartment and I do spend some time out in the sun with friends, but this idea that I’m supposed to love sunny days and get out and “make the most of them” just fills me with guilt and disappointment because I know, rain or shine, I will be working and then resting. Period.
Believe it or not, this sunny weather just puts pressure on me to be “happy” because the sun is out. It drives me to appear artificially joyous because of a ball of fire. And, seriously, I do not need any additional pressure on me to “be happy.” Believe me, if I could, I would.
And the glory of rainy days is that no one expects you to “get out and enjoy them.” It’s okay on rainy days to stay inside and binge watch House of Cards or just plain ol’ nap (What's the Deal With Sleep and Bipolar Disorder?)
Bipolar and the Pressure to Get Better
On rainy days my natural lifestyle is not so frowned upon by others.
So yes, sunny days bring about bipolar depression guilt and actually make me feel worse because I know I’m not feeling what the “normal” feel, yet again.
And I want to feel that “normal” way. I do. I want to look outside at the sun and think of all the things I want to do.
But I don’t feel or think that way. Because I just don’t want anything.
Tracy, N. (2016, June 23). Bipolar Disorder Guilt and Sunny Days, HealthyPlace. Retrieved on 2020, July 11 from https://www.healthyplace.com/blogs/breakingbipolar/2016/06/bipolar-disorder-guilt-and-sunny-days
Author: Natasha Tracy
I grew up in the Midwest and struggled with a similar guilt problem. It was cloudy most of the time, so it was a special occasion when the sun came out; I kicked myself for not leaving the house (never wanted to). However, I do love the sun.
I now live in southern Arizona where the sun shines 310 days per year, so if I do feel like getting out there, chances are it will be sunny, and I won't be missing out if I hide in my hole another day.
Thank you. I am on alot of drugs because they found my bipolar when I was 50. I take Seroquel, Lamictal, Lithium, Buspar, and Klonipin and Propanol. It takes all of that for me to be able to work, buy groceries, wash clothes and rest on Sundays just so I can make it though the week, I hate the Sun. I live in Florida haha. On the weekends I close all of the blinds. But I am doing good. Have that Bipolar anger and that is new. So take more buspar.
Absolutely! I don't have bipolar but I did suffer from depression for 30 years and I felt the sunshine guilt very strongly. But I've always loved the rain, particularly thunderstorms!
I recovered from depression and anxiety afer 30 years 5 yrs ago, and I'm blogging about the rebuild of my polymath creativity and life on my blog Creating My Odyssey. Follow my journey on
I'm so glad to have found this article as I couldn't understand why I felt the quilt I was having either. Today was beautiful , but I couldn't bring myself to go out period, and this made me feel guilty that I'm cheating myself out of life. All I want to do now is sleep lately
"Because I just don't want anything "
That statement is 100% relatable. I don't want..nor do I really care.
Sad. However, feeling guilty on sunny days is the least of my worries.
Its good to hear others dilike sunny days. I live in Australia and its sunny 80% of the year needless to say i look forward to winter and rainy days. I lived in Europe for 7 years and kick myself for returning to Australia.
* feeling bad, haha
Funny, I am more depressed in the summer, when Fall comes, my depression starts to subside. Just shaking my head... and dealing with feeling bag. Hugs for you.
Thank you so much for sharing this! I feel exactly the same way, hence the guilt! I also have more anxiety because of the guilt. I don't wish this upon you, but it's nice to know someone else feels the same way! I've been feeling all alone in this. Here's to more guilt free rainy days! Sending caring thoughts your way!
Thank you so much for sharing. I absolutely relate to this. I could have written this myself. Am going through depression at the moment an the only thing that consoles me is that at least it's winter!!
All the best to you, so glad to know we're not alone.
I Sooo get this. The days I do love to go out in the sun and drink it all in turn out to be a little manic. They also just found a Basel cell carcinoma on my shoulder so when I do want to go out I have to stop abd slather down with sunblock #100...I did find a spray-on that works better. Hang in there I think alot of people like rainy lazy days it's just that no one understands we hope for moRe rainy days and do do often dread those beautiful bright sunbeams peering in our bedroom window. Thank you for your sharing so honestly.
Nice article. Thanks to Natasha Tracy for sharing the feelings. very touching
I'm very pale skinned so recenly when I went outside to sun bathe (for two hours!!!) I made sure I used a number 45 sunscreen. When I came inside and changed out of my bathing suit though I noticed I had a red patchy rash under my bathing suit. I was really worried thinking it was the deadly Steven Johnston rash from the Lamictal I've been taking for the last two years. Later, I read that Lamictal can cause sunlight sensitivity. Needless to say I won't be sun bathing again!
Lamictal has been a miracle drug for me drastically reducing my depression symptoms. It is the only drug I am on now as maintenance for my Bipolar 1 and it is the only drug that has ever allowed me to lose weight. I've gone up to 303 pounds on other drugs but was able to get down to 220 solely on lamictal. I am still losing weight on it (I have also been dieting and exercising) and I would hate to have to give it up
So don't feel bad about staying indoors when it's sunny outside. I'd rather stay indoors or at least in the shade instead of in the direct sunlight for extended periods of time than to give up my cherished lamictal!!!
Wow, thank you! I had no idea others felt this way. I'm glad to know I'm not alone in feeling guilty because others can look forward to a whole season I would rather skip!