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What is rapid cycling, and how is it related to bipolar disorder?

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Rapid cycling is not a type of bipolar disorder but is a term that describes the illness in people who have bipolar I or II. It’s when mood episodes happen four or more times in a year. Women are more likely to have rapid cycling than men, and it can come and go at any time. Rapid cycling is driven largely by depression and carries a higher risk for suicidal thoughts or behaviors.

From: Understanding Bipolar Disorder WebMD Medical Reference

SOURCES: Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, Fourth Edition, Text Revision. Washington, D. C.: American Psychiatric Association, 2000. The Nations Voice on Mental Illness. Depression and Bipolar Support Alliance (DBSA). American Psychiatric Association. National Institute of Mental Health. Practice Guideline for the Treatment of Patients with Bipolar Disorder, 2002. WebMD Medical Reference: Bipolar Disorder. Muller-Oerlinghausen, B. The Lancet, Jan. 19, 2002. Kaufman, K. . June, 2003. Compton, M. Depression and Bipolar Disorder, ACP Medicine.









Annals of Clinical Psychiatry

Reviewed by Joseph Goldberg on October 16, 2018

SOURCES: Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, Fourth Edition, Text Revision. Washington, D. C.: American Psychiatric Association, 2000. The Nations Voice on Mental Illness. Depression and Bipolar Support Alliance (DBSA). American Psychiatric Association. National Institute of Mental Health. Practice Guideline for the Treatment of Patients with Bipolar Disorder, 2002. WebMD Medical Reference: Bipolar Disorder. Muller-Oerlinghausen, B. The Lancet, Jan. 19, 2002. Kaufman, K. . June, 2003. Compton, M. Depression and Bipolar Disorder, ACP Medicine.









Annals of Clinical Psychiatry

Reviewed by Joseph Goldberg on October 16, 2018

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How is bipolar disorder different in different people, and how is it the same?

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