December 17th – Rapid Cycling

Hey folks,

Still not doing great; had another duvet day today. I’m experiencing what is known as Rapid Cycling. And I don’t mean any type of exercise.

Let me explain:

Rapid cycling can occur over days, weeks, or months. To be diagnosed as such, there has to be 4 episodes of it throughout a 12 month period. However, in some extreme cases, ultra rapid and ultra ultra rapid cycling can be triggered. In the latter case, this is when you can experience extreme changing mood swings in the space of just a day.

Mine has been mostly day to day, but it’s something I’m going to mention to my doctor on Friday. I think it’s down to the change in my medication to be honest. I feel so unsettled right now, and as far from stable as ever before.

What are the symptoms of rapid cycling in bipolar disorder?

Symptoms of depression include:

  • Sad mood
  • Preoccupation with failures or inadequacies
  • Loss of self-esteem
  • Slowed thinking, forgetfulness
  • Difficulties in concentrating and in making decisions
  • Loss of interest in work, hobbies, people
  • Social isolation
  • Lethargy or agitation
  • Changes in appetite—eating too little or too much
  • Oversleeping or insomnia
  • Decreased sexual drive
  • Suicidal thoughts

Symptoms of mania include:

  • Elevated, expansive mood
  • Extreme irritability
  • Rapid, unpredictable emotional changes
  • Racing thoughts, flights of ideas
  • Overreaction to stimuli
  • Misinterpretation of events
  • Increased interest in activities
  • Overspending
  • Sense of grandiosity, inflated self-esteems
  • Excessive energy
  • Decreased need for sleep
  • Increased sexual drive, sexual indiscretions
  • Poor judgement

It’s very unnerving to be rapid cycling. You never know what your mood is going to be like, and it can change in the blink of an eye. It’s probably one of the worst feelings I’ve ever experienced. When I was first diagnosed, I was rapid cycling back then too. I had hoped it wouldn’t happen again though. But as I said, it could be down to the change in my medication.

Right now it’s depression; big time. I came so close to self harming today. Even to the point of having a blade in my hand. I couldn’t bring myself to do it though. I’m not sure where the strength came from, but I found it somewhere to resist. I think it’s because I know how far I’ve come with it, 252 days to be exact. I couldn’t let myself lose that fight. It’s given me an indication of just how low I am right now though; and that both scares and concerns me.

I should be looking forward to Christmas and feeling all happy and festive. But instead, I’m wishing time would slow down so that it wouldn’t come yet. Maybe my mood will have changed by then, who knows. I sure don’t. At the weekend we have to play Santa and deliver everyone’s presents, and right now it’s the last thing I want to be doing. I’d rather just stay home.

I am looking forward to seeing my sister on Saturday though, and of course her husband and my God-daughter. Apart from that, I’m wishing the other stuff wasn’t happening. I don’t feel like socialising with large groups of family, and that’s exactly what I have to face on Sunday. I’m dreading it. My anxiety is at an all time high about it. As I know I’m going to have to pretend to be all happy and chatty with everyone. That exhausts me.

I’m so, so tired. Despite sleeping all afternoon. Literally from around 1.30pm until 5pm, I just slept. I’m safer asleep anyway.

Tomorrow will most likely be the same. I just have no motivation or energy to do anything else. Sometimes though it’s just what I need to do. Almost like hibernating for a while. Keeping myself safe and out of trouble, until this low mood passes. Which it will of course. Just I don’t know when. Wish it’d hurry up though….

Anyway, am going to leave it there for tonight. Hope everyone is well, take care and stay strong for me.

Until next time…..


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