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Bipolar Disorder Community
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2010625 tn?1329372056

Rapid Cycling?

How do you know if you are rapid cycling bipolar?
7 Responses
Avatar universal
Yes it is. Rapid cycling bipolar is 4 or more episodes in a year. Ultra rapid cycling or ultridian cycling is when you have moods spaced in hours or days. It has to last for a while is my understanding and switch between manic and depressed, but we are each so individual.

When I was ultridian cycling I could literally feel my mood change. I would be at the grocery store shopping like a mad woman, and be crying by the time I got home. It was confusing and horrible and the worst thing I've been through. I would rather be purely depressed. Mind you I don't get 'fun' manic. I used to. last episode I got anxiety ridden, irritable, forced energy hypomanic followed by guilt ridden suicidal thoughts depression.

If you are rapid cycling you'll know because it is like being on a rollercoaster of emotions. Up down. Up down. Never ending ride.

Bleck. Just thinking about that time in my life makes me emotional.
2010625 tn?1329372056
Is it possible to be manic for half a day?
3136619 tn?1345387321
Absolutely.  I am an ultradian cycler and often have mania and depression in four to five hour intervals.  Sometimes shorter.  Sometimes they crash into each other and I have a mixed episode that hospitalizes me.  Luckily my meds have kept me out of a mixed episode for over a year.  I am fortunate to be on two mood stabilizers that work with few side effects.   I have tried 7 atypical antipsychotics with not so good results, lots of side effects.  So I am happy to be on anticonvulsants that work.  Everyone is different though.  I have heard on these boards that many people tolerate different AAPs and are helped by them.
3108832 tn?1341771606
I have those as well. I've been a rapid cycler for years. I am also more likely to have mixed episodes as a result and those usually leave me suicidal with the energy and increased mental acuity to carry it out. I get into trouble really quickly that way. When I feel a mixed episode coming on, I call my doc immediately.

But as far as simple rapid cycling, that is very possible. I'm living proof. Within a given day, my mood can change several times. This type is also the most challenging to treat. It has turned out that way for me at least. Anticonvulsants work much, much better than typical mood stabilizers and  antipsychotics.
1985196 tn?1402190098
Hi , could ultra rapid cycling be something related to border line personality disorder ? because i seem to have this nowadays some times with the flat moods and high anxiety levels , but i guess i was wodering because my good friend she has borderline personality disorder and her symtoms are very simmilar to mine of bi polar 2 / possibly schizoaffective bi polar type .
2010625 tn?1329372056
I don't think it can be related to that. However sometimes people can have more than one mental illness. If she has alot of bipolar symptoms then she may be bipolar as well. Maybe it is something she should talk to her doctor about if she thinks she might have it.
3236191 tn?1451021479
Borderline personality disorder can involve mood swings happening within the same minute.  Borderline personality disorder and bipolar disorder can be easily mixed up at first glance.
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