How many of you diagnosed with Bipolar disorder have been told that you are a rapid cycler? And if you are, how long do your episodes usually last? and do you ever experience psychotic symptoms the entire time???
thanks for reading!
i am a rapid cycler too. But mind you this is due to my old pdoc who erroneously put me on antidepressants (anafranil) which provoked all nasty things, starting from mania and accelerating mixed episodes and rapid cycling.
A good MS for that is lamotrigine/lamictal
when one cycles it varies from a person to another. some cycle 4 times a year only. I was cycling in a matter of a few days. When you cycle you definitely approch mania thus come a bit or full psychosis especially when in between you pass through the worst of all, mixed states.
In my view, one is not born cycler except in serious cases. But the intervention of drugs worsen the outcome if not studied well by a good pdoc.
pdocs differ, 30% out of them use antipsychotics only for BP which is wrong except when in need only i.e. when psychosis are present. The established theory is to use an MS. My own theory - gathered from my readings - is to use one MS along with one AP. It does some kind of equilibration. For instance lamictal + seroquel.
Yes pretty much the same although I have schizoaffective but for the bipolar aspect rapid cycling has always been part and parcel of it. The Clonidine is my mood stabilizer but Lamictal was the best. On day 4 of the patch (right now) there are some racing thoughts and trouble concentrating (it will be changed in a few hours and then back to stability, most people use it for 7 days for me its approved at this rate). I'll be starting a new anti-convulsant that is used experimentally for my physical disability soon and there is a chance it might have some mood stabilization effects. Since its FDA approved I'll post about it more once I start it and my psychopharmocologist sees what's going on. But for a person who hasn't been through the standard medications (which are the best to start with) I did find Lamictal quite effective. It has somewhat of an antipsychotic effect but when a person experiences full psychosis an antipsychotic is needed as well. But all that would be something to talk over with a psychiatrist so they could decide exactly what's best within their knowledge.
I've been diagnosed an ultra-rapid cycler, in the fact that at my worst I can cycle up to three to four times a day. They've bounced back and forth because a lot of people argue that I'm cyclothymic, but my episodes are too "deep" in the emotional scale to match the cyclothymis criteria. I also have a lot of mixed episodes, that kind of 'hide' as a cycle... it's just weird. I fit certain criteria for something at one point, and then a month or so later they second-guess themselves. =/
I go through bouts of rapid cycling and can be psychotic if my meds are not correct at any time. There are times when I am in remission from cycling and others where I have mixed episodes. Everyone is different. Good luck to you.
I've been dx'd with Bipolar II, rapid cycling. My moods are extremely labile and my cycling is what is often called Ultraidian cycling- moods shifting during the day, often blurring into mixed states. Anxiety is always a problem.
I also have longer cycles, like depression that can last for a month, months or years. My hypomanic states are usually dysphoric- agitated, irritable, confused racing thoughts- and rarely euphoric. they can last for days, weeks or months as well, with spikes within the days. Adjusting my MS can help that.
I don't have psychosis but have trouble with distorted thinking. It seems to be hard-wired and I don't think I'll ever be free of it. It's very negative, paranoid and full of self-hatred.
mejeba, What you said, is the same for me too. I can **** during the day and I'm not longer then max a day, as hypomanic. I'm not suffering from mixed or psycotics and my hypomania are more like hypertym temperament.
But most of the time. some 80% of the year I'm depressed.
When I was diagnosed, had psychiatric journals for three years back, as a borderline. A lot of what they thought was dissoative wasn't, it's more like hypomania. I haven't had a hypomania for four days in a row but if I put the days together from a whole year, so I switch something between four to eight days, then in hypomania mood.
I have been on Lamictal for now, three months, and my life is so different. Like life should. Now I can plan for the next day or next week. Things which I couldn't before.
I'm the same. Have been for as long as I can remember. I cycle between one or the other within days and weeks, sometimes I can see the signs before hand, other times not. I've been diagnosed with Bi polar type II and Borderline Personality Disorder with Ultradian cycles. Not in counselling, just have to weather it. Luck to you
I follow the classic definition of rapid cycling. Four distinct episodes of mania and or depression. I usually have mania, then a stable period, then depression, and so forth. At least four times a year is the DSM definition of rapid cycling.
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