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Major Signs of Rapid Cycling

One of the most difficult things about being Bipolar is the Rapid Cycling.  You’re up, you’re down, you’re up, you’re down etc…  These cycles can last for as long as hourly, to daily, to weekly, to monthly.  They are confusing as hell.  Let’s just call a spade a spade!  I’m confused, is what you are screaming from the inside.

Here are some of the symptoms to watch for while going back and forth until you understand what you are going through:

1)  Binge drinking

2)  Binge eating

3)  Daytime sleepiness

4)  Decreased need for sleep at night

5)  Delusions of grandeur

6)  Depressed mood

7)  Depression

8)  Difficulty falling asleep

9)  Drug Abuse

10)  Early awakening

11)  Easily distracted

12)  Elevated mood

13)  Euphoria

14)  Excessive sleep

15)  Fatigue

16)  Feeling Hopeless

17)  Being forgetful

18)  Excessive guilt

19)  Guilt

20)  Hostility

21)  Hyperactive behavior

22)  Impatient

23)  Impulsivity

24)  Indifferent mood

25)  Inflated self-opinion

26)  Insomnia

27) Irresponsible behavior

28) Irritability

29)  Loss of appetite

30)  Loss of capacity for enjoyment

31)  Lying

32)  Mood swings

33)  Neglected appearance

34)  Outbursts of anger

35)  Poor Hygiene

36)  Poor self-esteem

37)  Problem Behavior

38)  Problems at work

39)  Racing thoughts

40) Restlessness

41)  Risk-taking behavior

42) Self-deprecating behavior

43)  Social withdrawal

44)  Suicidal thoughts

45)  Too talkative

46)  Temper problems

47)  Thoughts about dying

48)  Threatening Suicide

50)  Tired

51)  Unable to concentrate

52)  Unable to think clearly

53) Uncontrollable crying

54) Unintentional weight gain

55) Unintentional weight loss

56)  Volatile mood

57)  Weakness

58)  Withdrawn behavior

It can manifest it’s self in difficulty falling asleep.  Once you get  to sleep, you sleep great, but you awake too early, like say 2 am, without the ability to go back to sleep.  You feel slow in the morning and manic in the afternoon.  This is a sample of hourly cycling.  By the evening you may feel too tired to cook for your family.  If you’re an angry person you may be irritable and cause a volatile situation in your home life.  You may exercise abuse upon your family members (not realizing subconsciously).  Then it’s back to the cant fall asleep but unknowingly fall asleep and sleep like a log from the exhaustion when you do go down. 

Those around you will notice this.  You’re changing hourly.  Manic (the elevated mood) to (poor self-esteem) depressive.  Back and forth.  They may become weary of this.  This can be self-preservation.  Know that you may lose friendships over this type of behavior.

Hourly cycling is not good for you.  It’s stressful to your body.  You need to see your doctor; you may need a medication adjustment.   Talk therapy may help, but you must get the cycling under control first.  Your doctor will know what is best in this situation.

Daily may go something like this, one day you may feel like having a baby.  A life altering decision.  Then the next day you binge drink, not making a good environment for a fetus.  But, you plug along. If you’re married and your spouse agrees this can be a beautiful thing that you want a baby, but the binge drinking has to stop.  Then the next day you want the baby again. Forgetting totally that you even drank the day before.

If you are single, this kind of wish for a baby can be unrealistic.  But in your Bipolar mind you plug along because this day you forgot that you wanted a baby and take some medications that are harmful to a fetus.  You are promiscuous, and sleep around to get pregnant, because you are invincible (delusions of grandeur).  You shall overcome.  They don’t know what they are talking about, you say.

Then you have a friend who’s pregnant, and you are ready to be a mother again.  You become pregnant by some loser and have to abort because of the binge drinking and medications you took in the first trimester. This is just an example.   A sad one but an example just the same.  You are not in a state of mind to make this kind of big decision if you are rapid cycling. 

Weekly mood swings can be harder to detect.  Please make a journal for this reason if for nothing else.  You may have an inflated self-opinion, and then the next week you’re suicidal.  This is an extreme example but you may experience it. 

Men have mood swings too in monthly cycles though, but it’s because it’s not recognized in society, I will acknowledge it today.  You men out there may be Bipolar or you may be having your monthly cycle too.  You do have a human body and that body reacts to stress.  If not recognized that your man has a feminine side, ladies you are not doing him justice.  A man’s cycle will not give him cramps or bloating, but he may experience mood swings and may exhibit self-deprecating behavior. 

Now when you feel this coming on, big tough men may hide it.  Because it’s just not manly in society for men to show their feminine side.  Well that’s enough of that people. Give the guys a break, they put up with us, right?

Mixed episodes. These are the most confusing.  You will have manic highs and depressive lows all wrapped up in one.  You will feel as if you are out of control. You will feel as though no one can help.  Here are the facts about a mixed episode:

1.  Criteria met by both manic and major depressive episodes every day for at least one week

2.  The mood disorder is sufficiently severe enough to cause marked

     impairment in occupational performance

3.  The symptoms are not due to the direct use of substances (alcohol, drugs and medications)

No more than a minimum of criteria are met for both the manic episode and the depressive episode. Symptoms are significant functional impairment between mild and severe.  Sometimes physical confinement is needed so that one doesn’t harm oneself and others.  Delusions and hallucinations, which have mixed content, consist of manic and depressive episodes.

Symptoms of mixed episodes are present but do not meet full criteria when in remission.  A person is considered to be in remission if they have had no significant symptoms in a 2-month period.

Look the list over very carefully.  If you can relate to them you are probably Bipolar.  Or you may know someone who’s Bipolar.  Being Bipolar isn’t a sin.  It’s an illness.  That’s all! It’s not an affliction, or an embarrassment, although some of the behaviors can be embarrassing. 

Rapid cycling is the most confusing of all the behaviors that a Bipolar person has.  You don’t know what is going on.  You’re happy to feel so good when it is a high, but devastated when you have a depressive episode as it is so overwhelming at times.  To the point of making you suicidal to just make it stop.  If you feel this way, please get some help.  It’s not your fault.  You can’t control your symptoms without tools. 

These tools range from medications to meditation.  Meditation really is a good way to get your mind out of the funk it’s in.  Please get the tools that you need.  You and yours will only benefit from it.   

By Andrea McKinney

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Disclaimer: All research and clinical material published by YoubulkSmart website is for informational purposes only. Readers are encouraged to confirm the information contained herein with other sources. Patients and consumers should review the information carefully with their professional health care provider. The information is not intended to replace medical advice offered by physicians. YoubulkSmart under no circumstances recommends particular treatment for specific individuals and in all cases recommend that you consult your physician or local treatment center before pursuing any course of treatment.

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