i know what the definition is. just would like to know if there is anyone on the site who happens to read this that could share some insight on how they dealt with the rapid mood changes. i need help and ive never really met another person who switches back and forth multiple times a day.
Yes I've experienced that. My moods can easily fluctuate during one day. For myself Lamictal was the best medication for rapid cycling but each person is different. Speak to your psychiatrist about it.
I too am an ultradian. There used to be bets at work on how many moods I could go through in a meal break. I am on Lamictal as well and it makes a remarkable difference for me. I've also been working on dialectical behavior therapy (DBT) which is basically being aware of how you are feeling and acting and using coping skills to alter unwanted behavior (I'm sure someone else can explain it better than I can). I've found that simply being aware of my feelings, along with occasional meditation, is extremely empowering. If you're interested in learning more about this there is a book called "Dialectical Behavior Therapy Skills Workbook for Bipolar Disorder" by Sheri Van Dijk, MSW. I, myself, am still working my way through it and have found it to be a wonderful tool. I would also suggest talking to a therapist who might be able to guide you further. I have found that medication can help only so much. Quite often, I have to rely on good coping skills to lead a semi-normal existence. Hope this helps you.
I have suffered ultradian cycling since i was six. I'm 32 now and just 4 years ago i was diagnosed bipolar. over the years i have been on 12 different medications all that had some sever side effects. It seems as though that nothing out there is working for me. So i understand your pain. I'm just glad to see that there is some one out there that suffers like i do. I know that my illness and it's severity has caused me to spend majority of my life alone with out a partner because nobody was able to understand. I do hope some day the scientists will find a medication for us, specified only for ultradian cyclers
I ultridian cycle although it is minor now due to meds. I am on three meds. Lamotrigine, Geodone, Trazodone. I call ultridian cycling the elevator from hell. You just never know which floor that elevator is going to stop at.
At my worst I didn't know what to do. I was so frantic and worn out that I contemplated suicide daily. Even made the plan. It is far and away the worst period of my life. I was told by one pdoc that there was nothing left they could do. I would just have to learn to live with it. Unless you have literally gone through every medication don't believe them. For me getting off Wellbutrin and switching to trazodone helped me sleep and slowed down the cycling. I know know that antidepressants can cause rapid cycling in people bipolar.
I am now working part time. The meds are tough sometimes, crazy is tougher. I am doing pretty well considering where I was at. I am not sure if I will ever be able to handle full time but I am glad to have my part-time job. I am no longer frantic about what mood I'll be in. I can go to family events and not dread them because I am scared I'll burst into tears for no good reason. So things can get better. Not perfect for me but I went from functioning at 20% to functioning at about 75%. I am a lot stronger and healthier and I hopefully will continue to do better. I am getting some therapy to recognize my triggers and work to resolve them or cope better.
Ultridian cycling is really hard to treat, but with patience you can get some symptom relief.
It is very exhausting. I am also glad to see someone who cycles as fast as I do. In my case much loke most of us it is also dangerous for me. I have learned how to cope with it pretty good. I was manic for a couple of days ercently and now I am stable and will likely stay that way for a few days. My last Dr. told me rapid cycling was cycling at least once a week and mixed state was when you cycle daily. I have done both but I always rapid cycle.....good luck. Keep fighting it gets better.
I too am an ultradian cycler. My psychiatrist also termed cycling within a day "mixed state", which certainly didn't seem accurate to me.
For me a mixed state is just that, mixed. There is a difference for me between cycling up and down and experiencing both at the same time.
However, I have read in a couple of research publications where ultradian cycling and mixed state are used to describe both scenarios interchangeably.
I suppose that is what happens when people who have not experienced the phenomenon try to describe it.
I know it is frustrating and exhausting enough to experience, without having someone else try to tell me what I am living through.
My all time favorite was being told 'it didn't make a difference anyway, since a mixed state is treated like mania.'
The bottom line for me has been that my cycling was 'slowed' to three week intervals at one point this year, and then worked back into several times a day.
The only thing that has effectively slowed my cycling was so detrimental to me otherwise that I could not tolerate taking them - atypical antipsychotics (seven different ones). I got side effects that weren't even listed, in addition to those that kept me from being able to leave my apartment.
I finally gave up on AAPs and stayed with two anti-convulsant mood stabilizers. My cycling continued to worsen, with a pervasive depression only interrupted by mania or hypomania for brief periods.
After several recommendations over three years and recognizing that suicide was the next step on the horizon, I am undergoing right unilateral ECT. They say that ECT is the most powerful mood stabilizer out there. I believe it. The first two treatments left me wondering what I had gotten myself into, but after the third one I can see a change. I am no longer in the throws of a dark depression, nor am I shifting erratically during the day from one mood to another.
I will go on through the last 3 ECT treatments and hope I don't have the memory loss some people have reported. So far I just feel SO MUCH BETTER than when I had those drugs in my system. I really don't want to start taking them again. I'm certain my psychiatrist will want me to start taking them again. I do not want to.
There is a chance that this stabilization could last for weeks to years. We will see. I hate to get my hopes up at this point. I am just taking it one day at a time. After all, what else can we do?
Over the past three years I've been searching to find answers to my all over the place moods and thoughts and just overall depression that seem to trigger itself three gets ago. They say it's genetic but also environmentally triggered. Does the lost of a 6+ year job count? I think it does. I've only been getting worse and worse, trying this medication or that medication. My gf knows there is something wrong with me and with my moods all over the place it's like I don't even know what I want anymore!! Do I want to just be alone forever and hide away from people and pray to god that it goes away or do I keep trying antidepressant over antidepressant hoping that my "ultradian" cycling slows the $@&! Down. Because I can go through several moods every single day for weeks and months on end. And technically not even have ONE good day to show for it. It's affected work (just quitting because it's too much!) and relationships where I burst out in anger or irritated like crazy! My gf is at a complete loss on how to "take" me because I change so often. I am no longer the person I was three years ago.
My ultradian cycling happens with unmedicated bipolar disorder. However, when they were treating me for depression and I was not diagnosed as bipolar yet, I was on a lot of antidepressants in my mix bag of psych meds. I was changing moods dramatically more times than I could count and report, and when the environmental or social stress level was high, I could switch moods in seconds. I couldn't keep up with myself. I used to be able to coast through things before the bipolar disorder hit full swing.
When it was determined that the antidepressants was the possible culprit of the ultradian cycling or cycling in general, I was slowly weaned off the antidepressants, and it worked. My cycling was there since I still wasn't on a good mix of meds, but it was much less cycling, where I and others could count only 2 or 3 times. It took a while after that for me to feel reasonably okay. I have not been on antidepressants since the last one was taken off my regimen for over 10 years now. I am much better without them on board and I was managed on mood stabilizers, antipsychotics and anti-anxiety meds for a long time, different combinations and med trials. That went on for over a decade before I was finally stabilized. My treatment was aggressive and took a lot of my time and effort. It is really hard to do with depression. There were times when I gave up, and many more times when I thought I didn't have anything in me to even think about trying to face another day of mental anguish or feeling like I was actually a dead person rotting inside a body gone awry.
Yes, the loss of the 6 year job counts if it wasn't a positive thing and it made things hard for you.
It may help your gf to know others go through what you are going through and that they had partners that also were exasperated and couldn't understand what is going on. It's hard being around someone or being the person who is unpredictable and changing all the time. It did help me that other people went through it. It didn't help my live in bf at the time, because he left because he couldn't deal with it, and I fully understood why he left, because I was having a hard time liking myself. He also didn't have the willingness to go the extra mile or liked the idea of taking care of someone who was, basically, hard to cope with. It was only a commitment that was going to work under the best circumstances with not much tolerance for a long haul illness.
I was a lot better off without him and vice versa. I like endings where there aren't many casualties, and people don't regret things. Ironically, it's a great illness for determining who will be tried and true, who really loves and cares about you above all else, and what courage and determination is all about. I admire the people who stuck with me. I know it wasn't easy and that I put them through hell, and I feel lucky I have people like that in my life. At one time or another, they all felt overwhelmed and lost during my illness, even the ones who had experience with some form of mental illness in their lives within themselves or when they dealt with other family and friends who went through it. The ones who stuck around didn't deal with me by themselves. They used whatever support resources and they sought help.
Look into support groups for you and your gf individually or together. You can find it with the Depression Bipolar Support Alliance (DBSA) or NAMI (National Alliance on Mental Illness) in the USA, or find such kinds of support groups through the internet or from your dr, therapist, mental health organizations or advocacy groups in your area.
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