So I’m having ridiculously rapid cycling with my Bipolar disorder lately.
What is rapid cycling?
Well, if it’s not common sense, let me quote WebMD:
“Rapid cycling is a pattern of frequent, distinct episodes in bipolar disorder. In rapid cycling, a person with the disorder experiences four or more episodes of mania or depression in one year. It can occur at any point in the course of bipolar disorder, and can come and go over many years depending on how well the illness is treated; it is not necessarily a “permanent” or indefinite pattern of episodes.”
Four or more ..per year!?
For the past couple of weeks, I’ve been having multiple dramatic shifts in my moods – whether they’re triggered by something known or seem completely random. Sometimes it’s been up to or more than four times a day.
I did also start taking medication again earlier this month, so I wonder if it’s related and possibly causing more frequent episodes.
The one good thing I can say is that the episodes are slightly less severe than the longer lasting ones.
I must be having ultra-rapid cycling. Is that a thing?
Ah, apparently it is called “ultradian cycling”, where episodes can be multiple times per week or even day. However, it hasn’t always been like this for me; I’ve also had periods of time where I was depressed or manic for weeks to months.
It’s kind of wearing me down…
I mean, I really don’t know what to expect at this point. And I can’t predict my moods; they seem to have a quicker onset.
I like that I am having some ‘up’ times and frequently, but the ‘downs’ really suck as always. I’ve been very irritable especially while down, angrier than usual, and having a harder time keeping some of my feelings & thoughts to myself than I used to as well.
How am I supposed to deal with this? I don’t have the energy for much of anything sometimes.
I use all of my energy to force myself to get up and attempt to cope with it.
I’ve gone from being depressed to the point where I feel I have no choice but to lay down in bed for hours, having a feeling that I “need” to die, then pass out in the middle of the day even though I wasn’t tired — to feeling as if I’m a superhuman who is motivated, thinking I have brilliant ideas that probably aren’t quite as good as they seem at the time; hell, maybe even feeling happy (a word I use scarcely)… but there are not-so-good things associated with that too, such as being overly “hyper”, irrational, silly in a way that ends up embarrassing me and making me feel like a child at times. Not to mention, I don’t sleep enough when I’m in that mood and often wake up hours earlier than I should – versus sleeping too much if I’m depressed. And it just goes back and forth, nearly every day.
I have had some days where I felt rather stable. I was able to do things, such as remodeling part of a basement and doing things that would normally bother me or have me complaining – and it didn’t at all, I felt good about it.
Other times, I feel so negative about everything.
Other ways it’s affecting me and other people
I’ve changed my ideas and plans about anything and everything multiple times, almost obsessively. For example, I killed off plans to go on an hour trip with her and her boyfriend yesterday, after changing my mind 4-5 times; I feel guilty about that and I’m sure it wasn’t nice for them to experience.
Also, as I mentioned embarrassing myself — when I was being “silly”/childish I sent voice messages to multiple people, acting like a crazy moron, changing my voice in multiple ways and almost as if I was having a conversation with myself; hell, I actually even did talk to myself in those voices at times. I don’t know if this even the bipolar alone, maybe something else is going on?
I’ve had bouts of rage as well. I actually have yelled at people I see outside “in my mind” and thought bad things about them, even though they did nothing to me — which I also feel guilty for, and I am not normally like that at all. I generally respect most people, mind my own business the best I can, and don’t typically judge others negatively; plus, I hate myself anyway for many reasons most of the time – and I’m far from “perfect” (even though there isn’t a ‘perfect’ human being, unless just being as close to yourself as possible is perfect), so I’m not one to talk.
So those are just a few examples of what I’ve been going through.
But my concern is…
Why is this really happening in the first place? Is it a side effect of the medication?
In my mind, I had this idea/feeling.
Imagine a game of Pong; where the ball keeps moving faster, and the paddles keep moving in closer towards each other.
I feel as if maybe the medication is doing something similar with my moods.
Let’s imagine the paddles being the medications, and the ball being my moods.
The ball (my moods) are going faster & faster as the “game” goes on; and the the paddles (the meds) are coming in closer; if the paddles (medications) get close enough and manage to keep the ball between them, then the ball (my moods) would be unable to move — and therefore stabilized.
Could that be what’s going on? How realistic is that though? I’m not an expert, but it seems unlikely.
I have no idea why I came up with that, but I thought it was an interesting theory nevertheless — and it would be nice if it were true!
Either way, I don’t feel like these more frequent mood swings are caused by external pressure or stress in my life.
Sure, there are some things going on, but even when I’m thinking of almost nothing, I can suddenly snap into one of the two states.
I’ve also had my thyroid and blood checked multiple times, along with having a physical done.
I suppose I’ll just have to wonder for now, and see what the future holds for me.
My dosage of Lamictal will be going up in another week or so. Maybe that will help.