How Often Do Bipolar Episodes Occur
This can depend on a lot of things, such as:
- your exact diagnosis
- how well you’re able to manage your symptoms
- whether certain situations or experiences can trigger your episodes (for example, you might find that getting very
- little sleep while going through a stressful life event could trigger an episode of mania)
- how you define an episode personally
What’s normal for you can also change over time. However, many people find that:
- mania can start suddenly and last between two weeks and four or five months
- depressive episodes can last longer sometimes for several months
You may be told your bipolar is rapid cycling if you have experienced four or more depressive, manic, hypomanic or mixed episodes within a year. This might mean you feel stable for a few weeks between episodes, or that your mood can change as quickly as within the same day, or even the same hour.
Currently, rapid cycling is not officially considered a separate type of bipolar disorder, but more research is needed to know for sure or to better understand it.
For more information on rapid cycling, see the Bipolar UK website.
“It’s a lot harder coming to terms with being stable than I could have imagined. I’ve had to struggle with a ‘new’ identity and way of life after spending so many years thinking the ups and downs of bipolar are ‘normal’.”
Treatment Of Rapid Cyclinglithium
A statement that is commonly made in the literature on bipolar disorder is that rapid cyclers are refractory to lithium prophylaxis. This notion dates back to the classic paper by Dunner and Fieve8 in which the concept of rapid cycling was introduced. These investigators reported a failure of lithium prophylaxis in 82% of rapid cyclers and 41% of nonrapid-cycling bipolar patients, a statistically significant difference . However, their comparison was actually flawed. In fact, failure of lithium prophylaxis was defined as the occurrence of at least 1 new episode during an observation period of at least 6 months, not considering that rapid cyclers are by definition more likely than nonrapid cyclers to have a new episode during any observation period, whether or not they are treated.
In that same article, Dunner points out that it may take a long time before the mood-stabilizing effect of lithium becomes apparent in rapid cyclers. This observation calls our attention to a potential bias of those studies in which an experimental drug is added to the mood stabilizer that the patient is already receiving , a protocol that has become very fashionable. The improvement that is sometimes observed in these studies, and ascribed to the drug that has been added, may actually be caused by the delayed effect of lithium.
Can Someone Have Borderline Personality And Bipolar Disorder
In short, yes. But I am very careful before I diagnose both of these as someone with bipolar disorder can look like they have borderline personality disorder while they are in the midst of an episode, and people with borderline personality can easily be misdiagnosed with bipolar disorder, as above, if one does not attend closely to the time criteria of bipolar disorder.
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Who Can Develop Rapid Cycling
As many as half of all people living with bipolar disorder can do a quick bike ride sooner or later. For many, fast cycling is a passing event. For a few people, the example of cycling can go on uncertainly. While there are no strict standards for who will create the fastest cycling, it can be responsible for creating ladies. Bipolar is also the same for both sexes.
The Reason for The Fast Bike Ride Is Not Clear However, a Few Ideas Have Been Presented:
Back To Rapid Cycling Bipolarwhat Is It Exactly
Most people with bipolar disorder alternate between long stretches of depression and mania. For example, they may have depression for months or years at a time.
With rapid cycling bipolar, a person experiences four episodes of mood cycling in one year. This could include any combination of mania, mixed mania, hypomania, or depression. Usually these shifts take place over the course of weeks or months, but some psychiatrists report having patients who can experience shifts lasting just a few days.
It is estimated that 12 to 24% of patients at mood disorder clinics have rapid cycling bipolar, so mood cycling of this sort is a fairly common thing. It also explains the pop reference to someone whose mood goes up and down or back and forth as bipolar, even if they dont technically have the diagnosis.
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How Is Bipolar Disorder With Rapid
Although the symptoms of rapid-cycle bipolar disorder are the same as traditional bipolar disorder, timing distinguishes the two. Rapid cycling is not a diagnosis itself, rather, it is a course specifier or descriptor of bipolar disorder. To be diagnosed, you must experience episodes lasting between 3 days and 12 weeks, with four or more of these episodes within one year.
This pattern can be difficult to identify because a single mood episode can wax and wane without fully resolving. In this case, they do not represent multiple and distinct episodes. Many people with rapid-cycling bipolar disorder are misdiagnosed with unipolar depression because they tend to spend more time depressed vs. manic or hypomanic.2
Por Qu Los Bipolares Te Ignoran
Aquellos de nosotros con trastorno bipolar creemos inconscientemente que no somos dignos de amor ni merecemos las amistades y las relaciones, lo que hace que actuemos en forma fantasma. El estrés y la presión para explicar las razones del rechazo crea ansiedad que es donde entra en juego el efecto fantasma.
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A Treatment Program For Bipolar Disorder Drug And Alcohol Abuse
Apart from the fact that there is no cure for bipolar disorder in cycling, a few different practical solutions and pharmacies are compelling in its treatment. Similarly, drug and alcohol abuse remains constant but can be treated with increased recovery and long-term psychotherapy. At a time when these two issues are problematic, patients are urged to choose a rehabilitation program that can effectively treat both problems simultaneously, allowing them to find a consistent path in correcting both sides.
Contact us now at 615-490-9376 to study the choice of a loved one in Dual Diagnosis treatment and recovery. We are here to help you through your journey of rapid cycling bipolar disorder.
Characteristics Of Rapid Cycling Bipolar
Rapid cycling bipolar is when there are four or more episodes in a one-year period. Episodes could be mania or depression, or a combination of the two. Typically, rapid cycling bipolar is characterized by dramatic swings from high to low repeatedly with little time in between of “normal” mood.
Rapid cycling bipolar in bipolar type 1 patients may be episodes of extreme mania, deep depression, or both. Rapid cycling bipolar in bipolar type 2 patients may present more like episodes of deep depression. People in rapid cycling bipolar are at higher risk of suicide and hospitalization.
Rapid cycling bipolar can be extremely difficult to deal with. You may feel euphoric one day and in the depths of depression the next. The rapid rollercoaster that you find yourself on during rapid cycling bipolar can be emotionally and physically exhausting for you and those around you. It often makes coping with society, work and school, extremely difficult if not impossible.
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What Are The Symptoms Of Rapid Cycling Bipolar Disorder
The main symptom of rapid cycling is the unusually frequent transition from mania or hypomania to depression and back again.
With bipolar 1, manic episodes last at least seven days fewer if they are severe enough to require hospitalization. Bipolar 1 may also include depressive episodes in some cases. Its also possible to have mixed episodes that include symptoms of mania and depression at the same time.
With bipolar 2, depressive episodes alternate with hypomania rather than full-fledged manic episodes.
Rapid cycling involves having four or more any kind of episode within a period of 12 months. These mood swings happen randomly and can last for days or weeks. Some may be much shorter or longer than others.
These patterns of rapid cycling vary from person to person. Some people start out with rapid cycling. For others, it comes on gradually. Either way, this pattern of bipolar can make it difficult to function.
How Is Rapid Cycling Bipolar Disorder Treated
Bipolar disorder, including rapid cycling bipolar disorder, is treatable with medication. But it may take some time to find the right one.
Your doctor will work with you to find the right medication or combination of medications to manage your symptoms. During this time, they might make occasional adjustments to your dosage and treatment plan.
Some types of medication used to treat rapid cycling bipolar disorder include:
- mood stabilizers
- atypical antipsychotics
Any antidepressants you already take may need to be adjusted or discontinued. It may also take more than one medication to get symptoms under control.
While the mood stabilizer lithium is often used to treat bipolar disorder, it may not be helpful for people experiencing rapid cycling. Valproic acid, an anti-convulsant, may be more effective for rapid cycling.
Its important to carefully follow instructions regarding these medications. Stopping them or altering the dosage without consulting your doctor can have serious unintended side effects.
Other treatments that may help include:
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What Is Mild Bipolar Called
Many experts say cyclothymic disorder is a very mild form of bipolar disorder. No one is sure what causes cyclothymia or bipolar disorder. Genetics play a role in the development of both these disorders. People with cyclothymia are more likely to have relatives with bipolar disorder and vice versa.
Debate Within The Research Community
A review paper in Psychiatry Research mentions a study that found switches to manic-associated moods were more likely to happen during the day, while switches to depressed mood were more likely to happen at night. However, theres little research on this specific topic. In general, much of the published research on ultra rapid/ultradian cycling has taken the form of clinical case reports, which arent considered a strong level of evidence as far as research goes, so it becomes difficult to draw reasonable conclusions.
A critical opinion published in Current Psychiatry argued that the constructs of ultra rapid and ultradian cycling have not been properly validated. The authors expressed concerns that that the terms may end up being misused to describe mood lability specifically rather than the full constellation of symptoms associated with a mood episode. Another concern was that they may be used inappropriately to describe the variability that can occur within a mixed episode. This supports the status quo DSM-5, which makes no reference to ultra rapid or ultradian cycling.
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What Are The Risks Of Rapid
Those suffering from rapid-cycling bipolar disorder are at a greater risk of alcohol and substance misuse. Many people with this condition self-medicate to cope with or alleviate their symptoms. Theyre also at an increased risk for suicide and self-harm. Generally, because mood swings occur at such a high volume, rapid cyclers find it difficult to commit to a set schedule, which makes it almost impossible to get or keep a job.3
How Is Rapid Cycling Bipolar Disorder Identified
Bipolar disorder is diagnosed after someone experiences a hypomanic or manic episode along with multiple additional episodes of either mania, hypomania or depression. Rapid cycling in itself is not a diagnosis, but rather a “course specifier” or descriptor of the course of illness. In bipolar disorder rapid cycling is identified when four or more distinct episodes of depression, mania, or hypomania occur during a one year period.Ã
Rapid cycling bipolar disorder can be difficult to identify, because a single mood episode can sometimes simply wax and wane without resolving. As a result, they don’t necessarily represent multiple separate and distinct episodes. Rapid cycling may seem to make the changing mood states of bipolar disorder more obvious, but because most people with rapid cycling bipolar disorder spend far more time depressed than manic or hypomanic, they are often misdiagnosed with unipolar depression.
For example, in one study of people with bipolar II disorder, the amount of time spent depressed was more than 35 times the amount of time spent hypomanic. Also, people often don’t take note of their own hypomanic symptoms, mistaking them for a period of unusually good mood.
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Potential Causes Of Rapid
Experts are unsure what exactly causes traditional or rapid-cycling bipolar disorder. However, many of the potential causes or triggers of rapid-cycling are similar to those of traditional bipolar disorder.
Here are five potential causes or triggers of rapid-cycle bipolar disorder:
- Various somatic and mental health disorders
What Is The Difference Between Dysthymia And Cyclothymia
Dysthymia often co-occurs with other mental disorders. A double depression is the occurrence of episodes of major depression in addition to dysthymia. Switching between periods of dysthymic moods and periods of hypomanic moods is indicative of cyclothymia, which is a mild variant of bipolar disorder.
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How Can I Support Someone With Rapid Cycling Bipolar Disorder
If someone you care about has rapid cycling bipolar disorder, there are a few things you can do to support them. When offering help, try not to appear judgmental, even if something theyve done bothers you or rubs you the wrong way. Chances are, their behavior is a symptom of their condition, not anything personal against you.
Other tips include:
Qu Tan Comn Es El Ciclo Rpido Bipolar
Un patrón de ciclos rápidos puede ocurrir en aproximadamente el 10% al 20% de las personas con el trastorno. Las mujeres y las personas con trastorno bipolar II tienen más probabilidades de experimentar períodos de ciclos rápidos. La mayoría de las personas se encuentran al final de la adolescencia o al comienzo de los 20 años cuando comienzan los síntomas del trastorno bipolar.
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Other Apps Of Interest
Up! Depression, Bipolar & Borderline Management: the app is a highly automated mood diary designed for individuals with bipolar disorder, rapid cycling or mixed episodes, borderline personality disorder, cyclothymia and recurrent depression. The UP! mood diary automatically keeps a journal of physical activity, work-life-balance, sleeping habits and social activity and implicitly implements psycho-educative and CBT approaches. Users’ personal early warning signs for hypomania, mania or depression are automatically displayed when they report an unusually depressed or elevated mood, and the app also provides customizable reminders and reports. The app also has options to connect the user’s profile with health professionals and/or friends for communication.
Mood Tools: this free app is designed for individuals struggling with clinical depression and provides six CBT-based tools to improve users’ mood and functioning: psychoeducation about depression guided meditations and inspirational talks a Thought Diary to guide users to observe and change problematic thinking patterns an activities log with suggestions for increasing healthy behaviors a mood tracker with an electronic version of the PHQ-9 test and a safety planner that lets users store a set of resources should they find themselves in crisis.
In , 2016
Who Is At Risk For Rapid Cycling Bipolar Disorder
Research studies have been done to try to identify what makes someone at risk of developing rapid cycling bipolar. They have found that rapid cycling is more likely to occur when the diagnosis of bipolar is made at or around the age of 17 or younger. Studies have also found that people with bipolar type 2 and women are more likely to develop rapid cycling bipolar.
There have been some theories that antidepressant use in bipolar patients kicks off a period of rapid cycling. However, these theories have not born fruit in research studies. More research is needed to determine if this is a possibility. However, it is usually recommended that bipolar patients do not take antidepressants, as they are often not helpful compared to the risks.
Resolution Of Rapid Cycling Bipolar
Rapid cycling bipolar usually resolves with treatment within about two years for most patients. The diagnosis of bipolar 1 or bipolar 2 is permanent mental illnesses with no cure or resolution for most patients. However, the rapid cycling bipolar that you may experience will not last throughout your lifetime.
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Who Is Most Likely To Develop Rapid
Although it is difficult to identify who is most at risk, there are several common risk factors associated with rapid-cycling bipolar disorder, including the following:
- Sex: women seem to be at a higher risk for developing rapid-cycling bipolar disorder. This may be attributed to hormonal changes during menstrual cycles or postpartum.
- Age: people who develop bipolar disorder at a younger age are more likely to develop rapid cycles.
- Type of bipolar: those people diagnosed with bipolar 2 may be more likely to experience rapid cycles.
- Depressive episode at onset: those who experience a depressive episode at the onset of their bipolar disorder are more likely to develop rapid cycles.
Bipolar Vs Borderline What’s The Difference
Photo by Sasha Freemind on Unsplash
As one of the top most befuddling topics in psychiatry, distinguishing bipolar disorder from borderline personality disorder can be a challenge even for the most experienced of practitioners. The lack of this diagnostic clarity often results in a large number of “Bipolar II” and “rapid cycling bipolar disorder” diagnoses, and subsequent misuse or over-reliance on medication for treatment.
Even at Stanford University where I did my residency, we didn’t get much education on this topic. I imagine it’s equally unattended to at most other institutions. Sure we learned about each disorder individually, but the topic of distinguishing them one from another was left to experience.
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