I work at home. My wife (who has bipolar) works for the local school district. Several times during the year are difficult for us. It seems, for example, that when we “spring forward” for daylight savings time, we almost invariably spring into mania. We do okay over the summer. When she returns to work in the fall, sometimes we do okay, sometimes not. The Christmas break is also usually a bad time.

In part, I blame this on seasonal shifts, changes in workload, and holiday stress, but I think some of it is also due to the fact that the household dynamics change. Accustomed to spending 8-10 hours a day working alone, when school lets out, I suddenly have someone around nearly 24/7. Whatever balance we’ve achieved as individuals or a couple is suddenly gone, and we have to work on establishing a new balance with a whole new set of rules. 

Do you and your partner have to deal with similar transitions? Do you feel they cause enough strain to fuel a mood episode? What do you do, if anything, to try to smooth the transition and reduce the stress?