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Types of bipolar disorder (Type  Rapid Cycling)

Rapid-Cycling Bipolar Disorder

What Is rapid-cycling bipolar disorder ?

Rapid-cycling bipolar disorder is another severe form of the disorder. To be diagnosed with rapid-cycling bipolar disorder, a person must have experienced four or more mood swings, that is, episodes of major or clinical depression, mania, hypomania or mixed states, within a single year. __________________________________________

Who is at risk for rapid-cycling bipolar

disorder ? 

No special group of people is particularly at risk for being affected by rapid-cycling bipolar disorder. Basically, rapid-cycling bipolar disorder can affect anyone of us at any time. Worldwide, 2.2% of the population is estimated to suffer from a bipolar disorder form. __________________________________________ Up to one person in five who suffers from bipolar disorder is likely to experience rapid-cycling bipolar disorder. Women as well as people suffering from the illness bipolar disorder type II are at higher risk of being affected with rapid-cycling bipolar disorder. People usually experience their first symptoms of bipolar disorder relatively early; generally as teenagers or when they are just out of their teens. As a matter of facts, bipolar disorder type II mostly occurs before a person reaches his or her fifties. Heredity also can play a role: people with a family history of bipolar disorder are consequently at higher risks to suffer from the disorder one day. __________________________________________

What characterizes rapid-cycling bipolar

disorder ? 

The major characteristics of rapid-cycling bipolar disorder include: The occurrence of four or more mood swings in the course of the last 12 months, as defined in the Diagnostic & Statistical Manual of Mental Disorder IV (DSN IV). The episodes of these mood swings may occur in whatever combination and order. The episodes of major or clinical depression, mania, mixed or hypomanic episodes – that have occurred in the course of the last 12 months – must all be separated either by a period of complete remission, or by a switch from depression to mania or vice versa . __________________________________________ In some people suffering from rapid-cycling bipolar disorder, the episodes of major depressive disorder regularly alternate with episodes of hypomania. However, most people with this bipolar disorder usually experience much more depression phases than episodes of hypomania.  Recurrent depressive phases are usually interrupted by sporadic short high mood periods. __________________________________________

How is rapid-cycling bipolar disorder

diagnosed ? 

To be diagnosed with bipolar disorder, a person must have experienced a hypomanic episode or a manic episode plus several episodes of mania, hypomania or mixed episodes, or of depression. __________________________________________ To be diagnosed with rapid-cycling bipolar disorder, a person must have experienced four or more mood swings, that is, episodes of major or clinical depression, mania, hypomania or mixed states, within the last 12 months. The term “rapid-cycling” merely describes the number and pattern of the episodes occurring in the course of bipolar disorder during a 12-month-period. Rapid-cycling bipolar disorder can emerge at any time and can also appear and disappear at any time during the illness. __________________________________________ It is a fact that rapid-cycling bipolar disorder cannot always be diagnosed correctly despite of its rapid- cycling that should male bipolar disorder more easily identifiable. The reason for the difficulty is that the people who suffer from rapid-cycling bipolar disorder mostly experience depressive phases – and not manic or hypomanic episodes – and that their rapid- cycling bipolar disorder is mostly misdiagnosed and treated like a normal depression. Many people suffering from bipolar disorder type II hardly notice their hypomanic episodes that occur so rarely – compared with their almost constant depressive episodes – and that are then perceived as a welcomed unusual good mood period. Undiagnosed or misdiagnosed, rapid-cycling bipolar disorder remains untreated. __________________________________________

How is rapid-cycling bipolar disorder

treated ? 

As most people suffering from rapid-cycling bipolar disorder experience symptoms of depression in first line, it is understandable that professional treatment usually focus on relieving the associated depression and on preventing the emergence of new episodes of bipolar disorder.  Rapid-cycling bipolar disorder is usually treated with mood-stabilizing medications. Very often, a combination of different mood stabilizers is required to obtain effective results. Different antipsychotic medicines can also be used as part of a treatment regimen. Even when a person’s rapid-cycling bipolar disorder has been treated successfully and the person is diagnosed with “symptoms free”, he or she is well-advised not to stop taking mood stabilizers. This measure is best to effectively prevent the occurrence of rapid-cycling bipolar disorder.  __________________________________________

Who is at risk for rapid-cycling bipolar

disorder ?

Rapid-cycling bipolar disorder is a most serious and dangerous condition with an extremely high risk of suicide. People who suffer from rapid-cycling bipolar disorder generally tend to be younger; they usually get affected by the illness before the age of 17 years. Women are more predisposed than men to experience rapid cycling bipolar disorder because of the growing occurrence of hypothyroidism and/or menstrual irregularities in the cycles. Approximately three in four people with rapid-cycling bipolar disorder are women.  People with rapid-cycling bipolar disorder generally suffer high morbidity – up to one in five people. __________________________________________ A person who experiences rapid-cycling bipolar disorder is up to twenty times more at risk for committing suicide than a not rapid-cycling patient and also requires more frequent hospitalizations and the rapid-cycling symptoms are usually more difficult to keep under control over the long period of the disorder. __________________________________________ People affected with rapid-cycling bipolar disorder usually have a prior history of alcohol or drugs abuse.  Physical and/or sexual abuse during childhood can also lead to rapid-cycling bipolar disorder. The very same applies to those people who have a family history of bipolar disorder, alcohol and/or drugs abuse, and depression. __________________________________________

What are the risks of rapid-cycling

bipolar disorder ?

The manic episode of rapid-cycling bipolar disorder can make the patient suffering from the disorder lead risk-taking behaviours and develop aggression and hostility. When rapid-cycling bipolar disorder is not diagnosed and consequently not treated, the disorder usually worsens and the episodes become more severe and more frequent over time. People who experience the described symptoms are well-advised to see their doctor in order to seek help as early as possible. With a correct early diagnosis and an appropriate professional treatment of their rapid-cycling bipolar disorder, they can be helped effectively – before they have to undergo serious social, personal and job- related problems – and continue enjoying or leading a productive and healthy life. __________________________________________

Can rapid-cycling bipolar disorder be

prevented?

There is still no treatment available that is capable of preventing entirely the occurrence of rapid-cycling bipolar disorder .  The reason is believed to lay in the number of factors involved in the development of rapid-cycling bipolar disorder .  The best that can be done in the meantime is to seek for professional help at the very first signs of any mental health disorder, as some episodes of hypomania and of depression can be prevented effectively in people who have started developing bipolar episodes .  Attending regularly dedicated therapy sessions with an experienced psychologist is usually beneficial and can help people suffering from rapid-cycling bipolar disorder to better identify the possible causes for the destabilization of their mood. Such therapy sessions with a professional usually result in reducing significantly the number and intensity of bipolar episodes and in a much more enjoyable life form for the patient. Another important point consists in continuing taking regularly the prescribed medicines – as agreed with your doctor. This may be the best measure you can take personally to prevent the emergence of future hypomanic or depressive episodes of rapid-cycling bipolar disorder. 
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