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Rapid cycling means that someone diagnosed with bipolar disorder (or depression) experiences four or more episodes of depression and/or mania in one year.
Rapid cycling can happen any time someone experiences bipolar disorder—about 10-20% of people diagnosed with bipolar disorder experience rapid cycling at some point. In many cases, rapid cycling eventually goes away on its own and people return to a pattern of longer and less frequent episodes.
Where can I learn more?
- Bipolar Disorder info sheet
- Mood Disorders Association of BC
- Mood Disorders Association of Ontario: Rapid Cycling
About the author
The Canadian Mental Health Association promotes the mental health of all and supports the resilience and recovery of people experiencing a mental illness through public education, community-based research, advocacy, and direct services. Visit www.cmha.bc.ca.