Rapid Cycling Bipolar – What is it?

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As I am winding down the day, I am reflecting over the rapid cycling bipolar episode I had early on.  The type of rapid cycling bipolar I have is the one where I can change moods in minutes.  That is one end of my rapid cycling.  The other end is having moods cycle within hours.  Having moods to cycle every month is not as common.

My morning started off with energy and alertness.  Since I did not exercise this morning, I decided to exercise around 10:00 a.m.  I usually do not do a workout in the middle of the day. Today, I had the energy and motivation so I went for it.

The Depression Cycle

After the energy that started off my day just right, I thought I was going to have a sweet afternoon filled with writing.  Boy was I wrong.

My rapid cycling can be a killer. I sail along in my life going 60 mph or more. This is the manic cycle. Then I “rapidly” cycle to depression and come to an abrupt stop.

When I cycled to depression, I felt no energy, no motivation, no hope, no happiness and no light from within. With the loss of each feeling, the depression grew heavier and heavier.

Rapid Cycling Bipolar

That is one example of rapid cycling bipolar. Sometimes my cycles are a couple hours to cycle back and forth.  Sometimes they are a few minutes. Rapid cycling really wears me out no matter how long the cycles last. I never know when the cycle will change or when it will stop.

My first experience with rapid cycling had me laughing one minute and crying the next. This happened for several cycles. It freaked my husband out. and me, too!

rapid cycling bipolar

Rapid Cycling Bipolar

What to do about Rapid Cycling

When I begin cycling from one mood to the other, I try to relax and go with the flow. After all, I cannot control them. Since I was unable to work today because I was devoid of life, no motivation and unable to concentrate, I slept.

rapid cycling bipolar


If you start having rapid cycles, be sure to track their length and frequency. This will help your psychiatrist manage your medicines.


Have you or anyone you know experienced rapid cycles? Tell me about it below in the comments section or email me at lifeconquering@gmail.com.

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