Are You Suffering From Rapid Cycling Bipolar Disorder?
It's a series of ups and downs for people suffering from bipolar disorder. And for some of them, the ups and downs
can transpire very, very fast... in rapid succession at that. Hence, rapid cycling bipolar disorder is a condition
of the emotional ailment that has been coined to describe such a predicament. The subject may feel depressed during
the holiday season, and such a feeling may subside only to emerge once more during Valentine's. If the process
repeats itself over and over again, with a frequency that includes four or more manic episodes per year, then we
can say that he or she is suffering from rapid cycling bipolar disorder.
Rapid cycling bipolar disorder should, however, be differentiated from what is generally called a switch. If the
subject is experiencing a bout with depression one moment, and extreme giddiness the next, with no lull in between,
then such is a switch and is considered as a worse type of bipolar disorder. It is also known as biphasic
There are two types of extremities at play here: depression and mania. Biphasic cycling involves a sudden shift
from depression to mania, or vice versa. If this sudden shift occurs more than once, then the condition is labeled
as multi-phasic cycling, which is even worse than biphasic cycling.
Rapid cycling bipolar disorder, on the other hand, involves normal periods in between manic episodes. The
subject may experience extreme depression today, and he'd feel okay tomorrow. Such lulls can last for a few days,
until he'll start to feel depressed once more. If episodes happen for more than four times a year, as we have
mentioned above, then we can classify the subject's case under rapid cycling.
Indeed, the distinctive feature of rapid cycling is the period in between shifts. There should be an interval
between a manic state and a depressed one. Without such a period, it won't be rapid cycling.
Also, as can be gleamed from our previous example, another distinctive feature of rapid cycling is the
frequency. The shifts should happen at least four times in a year, otherwise, no cycle will be established, and the
operative word in the term "rapid cycling" would be absent.
Though it may sound serious, the gravity of the extremities does vary. In any event, rapid cycling, and bipolar
disorder in general, can be treated, but the solution will take time to mature. Treatment is effectuated via
medication and sessions.