Jump to content

I strongly detest rapid cycling

Recommended Posts


sooooo annoying.

First off, I'm BP2 with rapid cycling symptoms (I know, I know, this goes against the grain of the DSM, but I'm going to say that my BP2 can in fact be rapid cycling).

A few weeks ago, I went into a mild hypomania, the primary symptom of which was a decreased need for sleep (down to 5-6 hours a day). A few days ago, I started falling into a deep depression. My first symptoms were excessive sleeping (10-12 hours a day), and then I really felt a psychological depression (high rejection sensitivity, feelings of hopelessness, and constant thoughts that I was going to become severely disabled in a few years from my Parkinson-like neurological disease). [n.B. - it is VERY unlikely for the latter situation to occur.]

Within the span of a few hours late yesterday afternoon and evening, I went from that hopeless state into one of sudden giddiness and glee. It also had physical manifestations such as rapid foot-tapping and shaking in my arms. I "only" slept 8 hours last night, and I still feel on the slightly hypomanic right now.

I know that although I have always been rapid cycling, the degree of how bad each of my extremes get have been getting worse with my "organic" brain disease. I am also prone to mixed states (screw the DSM again, my hypomanic BP2 ass does have mixed states) during the worst periods of neuro symptoms.

Any other rapid cyclers who could share similar experiences in terms of mood and somatic symptoms? (whether or not they're due to identifiable brain damage...)

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I can relate to that. I'm not sure what I am, I'm officially NOS, due to the time course of my hypomanic & mixed epsiodes. I read some places that having at least one mixed epsiode qualifies you for type one, but I have no clue. I always thought i was type two because I don't have full-blown manic episodes.

Anyway, as I get older (and I'm only 24) I cycle so much faster. I went from probably the typical rapid cycling to being an ultraradian cycler (hours to days between cycles). Arrgh! I can not sleep and be hypomanic, then a few hours later feel crappy and mixed, so agitated and crying and frustrated and wanting to just explode, then go to bed severely depressed. Everyday is like pulling something out of a hat to see how you should feel, sometimes pulling something out of a hat multiple times a day. Right now I'm fairly stable, but I have only been on my new meds for a little over a week. Mostly, I'm just confused and I know those around me probably feel like they need to walk on egg shells.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

The title of this topic made me laugh, because, well, yeah, rapid cycling sucks :) !

And screw the DSM, I & II are just made up categories anyway. When they put a bunch of beepers in a room together, and let us define the categories, I'll care more about what exactly they happen to be. Until then, really, there's remarkably little I can think of that's less relevant to my life than precisely whick kind of bipolar disorder I have. From what I hear, they pretty much all suck ;) .

But back to the rapid cycling, I'm wondering if you've had any recent med changes? If so, and you're in the midst of titrating or tapering on anything, the cycling will probably settle down when that's done. Which you probably know, and it's not like that makes it suck any less while it's going on. Otherwise, seroquel's been the best thing ever for my cycling, both for just more or less stopping it from being an issues, and for stopping it in its tracks if it seems to be getting started. I <3 seroquel. But, my cycling tends to be longer, nasty, upward swings, bursts of relative normalcy, and minimal depressions. It sounds like you've got more depression going on than I tend to, so I don't know how well what's worked for me would work for you...

Link to comment
Share on other sites

What the DSM calls a mixed episode is full-blown mania plus full-blown depression. If you haven't had that, then according to the DSM you would not have had a mixed state and would not be bpI.

I think that the stringent criteria for mixed state there is not very useful, and (like lots of people and psychiatrists) use "mixed state" to refer to any combo of hypo/manic and depressive symptoms.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I'm sorry you are a rapid cycler too! I can remember when I first got help, and the doc asking I had more than 4 or more episodes a year. Once I figured out that how I'd been living was not normal, I thought to myself, "Are you kidding?!" There were times I had 4 discernably crazy mood in one day, you know? Having 4 in a week was normal. I complained once to my therapist that I was just so tired of mood swings. They were actually physically exhausting. Screw the ramifications of mania or depression, I was just beat! My brain was exhausting me.

Now, medicated in various ways, how much I cycle varies. I find right now that I'm stuck in a range of depression. With medication, my cycling has become less frequent, and less severe.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

rapid cycling sucks donkey dong. one second you're on top of it and can cure the world's ills, and the next you are a victim of the world and need to huddle in a corner and cry (at least that's me). the sleeping, eating, and tempermental differences are all so astonishing.

how about your meds? do any of them need to be changed up? you don't go to the pdoc all that often, so maybe you should have an appointment to just check in and make sure everything still works right. bipolar people need a lot of med tinkering sometimes. i know that for the longest time my meds were getting tinkered with on a monthly basis, and now they've been the same for several months (a world record!).

i used to cycle in and out of a dysphoric mixed state and depression into a hypomania, and up into a mania when i was younger. the meds have really calmed it down. now the highest i go is a hypo, and that is an irritated hypo and not a reckless one. that's good news for me! i'd rather be a bitch than a reckless bitch ;)

as for you, being a student is stressful. give yourself a bit of a break. if you're snappy or have a hard time with your moods, that's just to be expected under the stress. see if you can get into some mind/body stuff like yoga or meditation (i seem to recall you have a hard time with these because you get in too deep, but with practice or a guided meditation tape you can work on getting in lighter). that can really help your symptoms, if they're triggered by any kind of stress. but do look into the pharma stuff.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

It sucks. I thought I was pegged as BP2 Rapid Cycling, but now it seems I've been upgraded to Mixed BP NOS. Which means BP1 with predominantly mixed states and the joys of rapid cycling, hence the NOS. My particular piece de resistance is to spiral slowly up through hypo to full on obsessional mania over a period of a few days or a week, then SNAP! and I'm mixed: energy, rage, not sleeping, anger, hate, despair, suicidal ideation and all that shit. No obvious triggers apart from maybe a need for attention/affection/intimacy that I have not verbalised being (not surprisingly) ignored or missed. I'm crap at interpersonal stuff and communication courtesy of screwed up, repressive upbringing, so no surprises there.

I've got worse over time, cycled faster and had more frequent episodes. I'm mid-40s now, so sadly you have many years of joy ahead of you.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I'm bp2 and I've rapid/ultraradian cycled in the past. With medication they've slowed down and I haven't ultraradian cycled in close to a year. I have rapid cycled (with 1-2 days in each state) and I get nasty mixed states.

Hypo is usually anxious, lots of racing thoughts, pressured speech, and random jittery movements. I usually don't eat much and sleep very little (3-4 hours max, sometimes not at all). Depression is crying in the corner, sleeping excessively, and feeling like I've been run over by a large truck. Mixed is an ever so fun combo where I have racing thoughts of hurting myself, find myself crying randomly, and can't sit still.

I don't think I have anything useful to add, just my sympathy. It sucks immensely, and if I had a solution I would be a much happier individual. Right now, I've cycled from a nice irresponsible hypo to a mixed in about 2 days. I'm pretty sure either crippling anxiety or depression will await me tomorrow morning, I'm really looking forward to finding out which...

Link to comment
Share on other sites



Zoom Crash.

Currently Zoom,

dreading the crash,

I'll be living alone again

Soon,20 hours of

Sleep,drag around,

go back to bed..



3-4 hours sleep,

tooo small of a town

to get noisily manic,

On a weekly or sooner cycle.

Time to get my "Ticket" torn

for the next trip.


Link to comment
Share on other sites

I actually was stunned when I found out that most BP [people do NOT cycle 3-5 times a day!! Four times a year?? I should be so blessed. And excuse me, I have had several drive-by mixed states, true to all that the damn book describes, and I still get told I am BP ii. Know what? I no longer give a shit what its called, I just want it controlled, and that attitude seems to be working.

Especially since my pdoc thinks everyone and everything is caused by ADD!!!!

Hyper as hell tonite, but my own fault--no meds yesterday (sick as a dog, forgot them, and the night before as well) then back on them today and--ZOOM!! expecially with the wellbutrin and adderall. I may never get to sleep tonite--oh! Forgot that DH has some wonderful "sleeping medicine", makes me have the munchies, but sure will help me settle down to sleep.

You may start your lectures now--


Link to comment
Share on other sites


This topic is now archived and is closed to further replies.

  • Create New...