Bipolar Disorder Community
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Rapid Cycling

Has anyone had experiences with rapid cycling, with cycles that last hours or days?  I was extremely hyper and had racing thoughts and was elated the other day, then I felt ok but lazy for a few days, then depressed for a couple of days and super tired, and now I am extremely irritable and I keep getting mad and yelling at people and just about everything.  Yesterday I started digging my nails into my skin without even realizing it because I was so upset that  my husband invited a co worker to lunch with us and I didn't want to deal with people at the moment.  I went and drove out to a roadside park after lunch and just sat there because I was too upset and scared to go back to work.  I feel like I am losing my mind.  Every day is completely different.  My psychologist said he is still trying to sort out whether I am just extremely sensitive or if I have ultra rapid cycling.  I thougt he may have misdiagnosed me as bi polar after I first saw him a month ago but now I am pretty sure there is something wrong with me.  How long will it be before the lamictal I am taking starts taking effect?  I am still working up to a theraputic dose.  I am at 50mg now.  I am worried about my job because I deal with customers all day and I keep being sporatic and rude to people and it is not fair to them or to my boss.  I get really upset when there is too much to do or too many people around and feel overwhelmed and start getting nervous and jittery.  I'm thinking about quiting but I need the money and I don't know what else to do that doesn't involve people.  My job is not that hard.  In fact it is the easiest and most pleasant job I have ever had but over the last few months I just can't handle it.  I can't handle anything anymore! Not my marriage, my job, my house, my friendships, nothing.  I just want to stay in bed because I'm scared to see what the day might be like.
33 Responses
Avatar universal
You are not alone, I too have rapid cycling bipolar and it goes several times a day, I never know from one minute to the next what I will be feeling or how I will be acting.  I noticed quick relief with the lamictal, I am still on 50 mg/day and am working my way up to 100mg and then 200mg/day.  I don't have much advice on how to cope, just know that it is an illness, explain it to your husband and family/friends and ask for their support.  Sometimes I get to sick of being sick, but you have to hang in there and know that if you take your meds and follow doctors orders, you will get relief.  I know what you mean about being scared to wake up in the morning, I went through that as well.  Scared to fall asleep, scared to wake up, the whole nine yards.  Feeling like my entire life is spinning out of control and before long I will have no friends left because they don't understand what I'm going through.  Wanting to quit my easy, part-time job because I feel like I can't handle it anymore.  You and I are so much alike!  But I am feeling better now with the lamictal and I hope you will, too.
Hugs to you and best of luck.
337492 tn?1212462436
Yep, it is a pain in the rear!  I am BP I with rapid cycling and mixed state.  I am so glad my meds are working this time!!   (fingers crossed)  Mine is usually depression during the day and I get manic in the evenings with those awful racing thoughts and no sleep.
209384 tn?1231171906
Crystlas and I have a LOT in common.  That used to be the way everyday of mine went.  Am kinda wondering if I don't have mixed states as well.  Have an appt. with a pdoc on the 8th, so will be checking on that also.

I'm a rapid cycler and can change moods 20 times a day.  Actually went back and researched the different kinds of bp and was surprised to see that rapid cycling meant more than 4 cycles/year.  I had to read it a couple of times.  I thought this was just normal for rapid cyclers.

Haven't had a problem with the mania for years, I've had too many other things wrong to be manic, but I am now.  Not so much the energy, still too sick for that--bluh--but I am so angry all the time.  Either that or I'm bawling my eyes out.  I'm getting really disgusted with this disease again.  Guess I've been stable long enough, it's time for a shake up.  And this one's about a 4.5.  lol
337492 tn?1212462436
Yuck,  20 times a day?  I would go seriously insane!  I would switch every few days or sometimes be depressed in the morning and manic at night, but not that severe as you.  I would be bald from ripping my hair out.  Throw in that flavor of mixed state and I would seriously want to end it all.  It is bad enough with where I am at right now being BP!
461596 tn?1541011958
My son, Austin, is like that.  I think his mood can change anywhere from 5 - 10 times a day.  I never know how he's going to act when he comes in the room.  It drives me crazy ... I'm sure he goes nutts too.  Plus he's going through puberty ontop of all of these disorders.  But he just doesnt want to get help.  One day he cries ... wanting to know what's wrong with him.  Then another day he'll say nothing is wrong, and to leave him alone (stop seeing doctors) ... and he says that I'm the one that needs to be on meds.   I told him that I wouldnt mind taking a 'chill pill', but I cant afford them.  LOL !!!!
209384 tn?1231171906
I understand how Austin feels.  I've always been this way.  Not every day is that way, but some days I flip so many times I scare myself.  I'm scared for anyone to try and talk to me, I don't know how I'll react.  And even if it starts out good, it can end very badly.

I'm really talkative, but there are days I just don't want to have to deal with anyone at all.  Not even my precious little boy.  Just don't have it in me.

Yes, I'm going to a psychiatrist on the 8th.  I'm really almost excited about going.  My moods have been hay wire since I started the new thyroid med and I want back off this roller coaster ride.  Didn't like it before and I still don't.
Avatar universal
I feel so very relieved to be reading all of these replies.  I am not alone!  Not that I would wish these feelings on anyone else, but it is so great to know that what I am experiencing is not so out of the ordinary.  I  need to have my husband read this to help him realize exactly how this illness can effect people.  He seems to be coming around, but he still blames the medication for my actions instead of the illness.  This is all so scary.  And I am so afraid of hurting everyone around me.  I feel like I'm spinning out of control sometimes.  But every time I come seeking help here I recieve it and it makes me feel so much better.  Thank you all so much.
142722 tn?1281537216
i do this daily - i can't stand it it drives me crazy
461596 tn?1541011958
Austin's probation officer came by yesterday after he got home from school.  He was rude to her, but didnt yell like he does with me.  Of course, she's use to those behaviors ...so it just goes over her head.  But she saw some of what I deal with everyday.  Luckily, he didnt act up after she left.  It was a pretty peaceful evening.

He still claims that his med isnt working.  He always says that though.  He still says that he cries for no reason ... and feels depressed.  But I never see the crying or the depression... so I dont know for sure.  

Since he's been off the zoloft, and on the Trileptal ... his grades have come up.  So, thats good !!!  He says he wants to make AB honor roll this time.  There's about 4 more weeks of school, so I guess that's about 3 or 3.5 more weeks of grades that count.  Right now he has 2 Cs, 1 B, 4 As.  If he keeps this up ... it'll be the best report card this school year.  I really do hope he can keep these grades up ... or bring them up even higher !!!  
Avatar universal
It is great that your son has a mom like you who understands him and helps him with his illness.  I hope things continue to go uphill for him.  It is so cool that you can see the medication working positively in his grades!  Maybe he is feeling better but still not quite "normal."  That is how I am feeling right now.  I have not had any major mood swings in 3 days, (yeah!)  but I still don't feel like I used to before all of this began.  I am not the same happy person I was a year ago.  Good luck!
447130 tn?1225474466
I had a friend who was rapid cycling and man is that tough. He was on Lithium and that really helped but he failed to take his other meds and ended up drinking away his cycles. Definately not smart!
Have you thought about a second opinion? Rapid cycling has very specific symptoms and it really needs to be controlled. I wish you the best. The support is here for you.
461596 tn?1541011958
Well, I guess I spoke too soon.  I got a call from the school today, and Austin is being expelled.  I have to wait to hear from the school board next week about an expulsion hearing.  Hopefully they will chose to send him to the alternative school for the rest of the month, so he can keep up with school work (so he wont fail & have to repeat the 7th grade).  

Now I have to deal with him at home for a few days (instead of him being in school).  I told him that he gets to rake leaves tomorrow... but he's refusing.  I guess we'll have another fight tomorrow about all that.  

And to top it off ... every time Austin acts up (& disrespectful & yells),  Logan copies the behaviors.  So, my 3 yr old will be a holy terror the next few days too.  

I feel like pulling my hair out !!!!!!!!  
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