Rapid Cycling

Rapid Cycling Bipolar Disorder:

According to the DSM-IV, the essential feature of rapid cycling bipolar disorder is the occurrence of four or more mood episodes during the previous 12 months. Rapid Cycling is a relatively new diagnosis, having been identified by psychiatrists and researchers shortly after lithium became available for use in bipolar disorder. 

The idea that rapid cycling bipolar disorder is a specific type of bipolar disorder has been all but dismissed.  Currently it is thought that any bipolar can “switch” to a rapid cycling pattern, but that in nearly all cases (as shown in a recent study) most return to their normal bipolar pattern in time.

Some bipolar disorder recur regularly with intervals of only weeks or months between episodes. In the nineteenth century these regularly recurring disorders were designated folie circulaire (circular insanity) by the French psychiatrist falret (1854).

At present, the frequent recurrence of mood disturbance in bipolar patients is usually called rapid cycling disorder. A number of clinical features of rapid cycling disorder are important in management and prevention:

  • they occur more frequently in women;
  • concomitant hypothyroidism is common;
  • they can be triggered by antidepressant drug treatment;
  • lithium treatment is relatively ineffective.
Sex ratio in Rapid Cycling Bipolar Disorder:

Rapid Cycling occurs in approximately 10%-20% of individuals with bipolar disorders. Whereas in bipolar disorder in general the sex ratio is equal, women comprise 70%-90% of individuals with a rapid-cycling pattern.

Treatment for Rapid Cycling Bipolar Disorder:

It can be challenging to find an effective treatment for rapid cycling. Rapid-cycling bipolar disorder is not the only category of bipolar disease that tends to be refractory to treatment. Mixed dysphoric mania, for example, which is as prevalent as rapid-cycling, can also be difficult to treat.

Not all patients with either of these characteristics are necessarily resistant to lithium, but a high proportion of them are likely to be.

Medication for Rapid Cycling Bipolar Disorder:

The lithium response rate for those with rapid cycling is only 20-40%. Antipsychotic medications find helpful in the treatment of rapid cycling bipolar disorder. Anticonvulsant medications are also effective in the treatment of lithium resistant rapid cycling and mixed states. Consult your doctor about your treatment plan and query.

Lamotrigine augmentation therapy and monotherapy appeared to have mood-stabilizing and antidepressant efficacy in the treatment of five rapid-cycling bipolar patients. The effect persisted for an average of 7.5 months.

The use of classical antidepressant drugs such as tricyclics and monoamine oxidase inhibitors (MAOIs) in patients with bipolar disorder has been found to increase the incidence of rapid-cycling bipolar disorder.

In the early 1970s, publications began to appear suggesting that patients with more than four cycles of bipolar disorder per year did not respond very well to lithium. Rapid-cycling Bipolar disorder was therefore recognised as a lithium-resistant subgroup of bipolar disorder and alternative modes of treatment were tried.

According to research, Patients with bipolar disorder who develop a rapid-cycling pattern suffer substantial depressive morbidity and are at high risk for suicide attempts.

Alternative treatment for Rapid Cycling Bipolar Disorder:

A health treatment that is not classified as standard western medical practice is referred to as “alternative” or “complementary.” Alternative treatment for depression refers to health-care practices considered outside the scope of conventional Western medicine. Many are being integrated into traditional-medicine settings as their safety, effectiveness, and scientific validity are recognized.

Alternative treatments for depression rely on the fact that depression, at crux, is a biochemical illness. Whether the main triggers are physical or emotional, these triggers then induce a broad range of neurochemical changes that, in turn, leads to the feelings of depression and to the physical and psychological disruptions that being depressed then causes.
Once one thinks about the biochemistry it should not be surprising that alternative treatments for depression often play an important role.

There are many alternative treatments available for depression. Each of these alternative treatment of depression addresses human suffering in different ways, but generally they seek to re-establish a balance or harmony within the body and in the lifestyle of the person being treated.

Self Approach towards Rapid Cycling Bipolar Disorder:

Rapid cycling bipolar disorder is a serious illness, and you have to consult your Doctor before the start of any type of exercise or other physical activities. It is proven that exercise has fewer side effects. Study about role of exercise in Rapid cycling bipolar disorder.

Stay in touch with family, friends and community support. Find out the role of family and friends in Rapid cycling bipolar disorder.

Try out some simple exercise for depression self help, hope you will find it helpful. Self help for Rapid cycling bipolar disorder.

Rapid Cycling Bipolar Disorder the essential feature of rapid cycling bipolar disorder is the occurrence of four or more mood episodes during the previous 12 months.

What Are the Risks of Rapid Cycling Bipolar Disorder?

The most serious risk of rapid cycling bipolar disorder is suicide. People with bipolar disorder are 10 to 20 times more likely to commit suicide than people without bipolar disorder. Tragically, 8% to 20% of people with bipolar disorder eventually lose their lives to suicide.

People with rapid cycling bipolar disorder are probably at even higher risk for suicide than those with “regular” bipolar disorder. They are hospitalized more often, and their symptoms are usually more difficult to control long term.

Treatment reduces the likelihood of serious depression and suicide. Lithium in particular, taken long term, reduces the risk.

People with bipolar disorder are also at higher risk for substance abuse. Nearly 60% of people with bipolar disorder abuse drugs or alcohol. Substance abuse is associated with more severe or poorly controlled bipolar disorder.

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