Ultra-rapid cycling bipolar – a day in the life

schizophrenia myths

The rapid cycling disorder has characteristically four or more affective mood episodes yearly; whereas ultra-rapid cycling (which I have) is basically when the mood variances occur more frequently.  The bipolar ultra-rapid cycling phases for me can last as little as a few seconds or minutes to a couple hours.

This constant back and forth on the mood spectrum is where you get the rollercoaster ride.  I hate it.  With my flavor of bipolar, I am prone to the ups and downs of the disorder more frequently than some.  That is where ultra-rapid cycling comes in.

Ultra-rapid cycling – depression

For instance a typical day might look like me struggling to get out of bed.  Trying to decide if I am going to exercise.  If I can just work out for at least 10 minutes, I will count it as a victory.  Although, the other day I spent only 5 minutes exercising.  Although the time was short, it was much better than going back to sleep on the couch.

Continuing in the depressed side of the bipolar, I will struggle through writing projects during that morning.  It is as if my brain is set in concrete.  I stare into space.  I stare at the computer screen.  I cannot focus on any one task.  Sometimes I give in and go to sleep.

ultra-rapid cycling bipolar

ultra-rapid cycling bipolar

I look at my calendar and see that I have an appointment that afternoon.  Nope.  That is getting canceled.  It does not matter if it is a therapy session, doctor’s appointment or coffee with a friend, if I am feeling afraid to go out of the house, I won’t.  Some days, since I work from home, I never leave the house.

Ultra-rapid cycling – mania

Then in the middle of the afternoon, I will feel like “Wonder Writer” with the advent of a manic high.  Ideas will piece together and not be discombobulated.  I will be able to edit previous works.  And that conclusion on the article I have been working on the last two days finally gets wrapped up.

ultra-rapid cycling bipolar

ultra-rapid cycling bipolar

As the night wears on, I will get spikes in the mania and dips of hypermania.  I spend the evening chatting away at 90 mph or I write like there’s no tomorrow.

What will tomorrow bring

I can never really plan for sure what my mood is going to be the next day.  What I have realized over the years, is that individual moods do not stay around for very long.  One of the reasons I started this Life Conquering ministry to mentally ill individuals is that I want them to know there is someone like me out there who understands what they are going through.  My support group is very small and is mainly friends.  Friends who know what  I am going through from their own experiences.  Or friends who are really good at being empathetic and not try to give me prefabricated advice.  On some days, it is just me and God.

I also have mixed episodes where you experience both mania and depression at the same time.  It is a horrible sensation.  Almost as if you are the tug-of-war rope and you are being split in half.  I remember when I first realized I was having a mixed episode.  It was creepy.  Whenever I cannot make up my mind, I know I am probably in a mixed episode.  For instance, I need to work on an article for Blasting News.  At the same time, I need to write a blog and do some research.  I glance at all three and I have no idea which to start with.  It takes me some time to figure it out and when I do, I might change it.

I can imagine you guessed the next wonderful mood experience that I have quite often.  Yep.  I have ultra-rapid cycling episodes occurring at the same time as a mixed episodes.  Can you image how that might feel?

Suicide Prevention Lifeline

The National Suicide Prevention Lifeline is an United States-based suicide prevention network of 161 crisis centers that provides a 24/7, toll-free hotline available to anyone in suicidal crisis or emotional distress.Wikipedia

Call 1-800-273-8255

Available 24 hours everyday


I have shared with you some websites that might be of interest to you on this subject.




Bipolar Disorder Symptoms – Are You Missing the Subtle Signs?

Bipolar Roller Coaster – A Not-so-Lonely Ride

Mental Illness: Making a Decision, Heads or Tails