Rapid Cycling Bipolar Disorder

Bipolar Disorder, or Manic Depression, is a psychiatric condition of mood disorders.

It is characterized by episodes of unusually extreme mood swings known as mania, hypomania, and depression. Extreme mania episodes can even lead to hallucinations in severe cases.

Bipolar Rapid Cycling is a situation where a person diagnosed with Bipolar Disorder has four or more mood swings within a one year period. Mood swing episodes may consist of depression, mania or even a combination of the two. Rapid cycling is more prevalent in children and women with Bipolar Disorder than in adult men.

Rapid Cycling can be difficult to diagnose by an Orange County Bipolar Specialist due to the fact that most of the episodes are depression rather than mania. This frequently leads to the misdiagnosis of simple depression. Mania episodes are easier to recognize. They consist of periods of elevated moods that are often accompanied by strange and erratic behaviors. This state usually lasts between four to seven days.

Treatment for Rapid Cycling, and treatment for Bipolar Disorder in general, is done mainly by prescribed medication from a family doctor or psychiatrist. Since depression is the most common symptom of these disorders, anti-depression medication is the most often prescribed.

Some of the more commonly prescribed anti-depressants include Zoloft, Prozac, and Paxil. Although these medications have been proven to reduce depression during Rapid Cycling, they can sometimes make things worse without additional mood stabilizers given to the patient. They have been known to actually cause manic episodes and even to increase the Rapid Cycling.

Some of the often prescribed mood stabilizers include Zyprexa, Depacote, and Tegretol. Zyprexa is an anti-psychotic medication, while Depacote and Tegretol are medications that are primarily used to prevent seizures.

Mood stabilizers are usually taken by those suffering from Rapid Cycling every single day. They are taken even when no symptoms are present to avoid future occurrences. The anti-depressants, on the other hand, are slowed down and eventually stopped as the signs of depression go away. It’s important for anyone who suffers from this disorder to see a doctor for treatment.

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