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.
Q&A is for readers who want to take charge of their well-being, support a friend or loved one, find good help, or just learn more about mental health and substance use. Here, the information and resource experts at HeretoHelp will answer the questions that we’re asked most often. We'll offer tips and information, and we'll connect you with help in BC, Canada. If you have a question you’d like to ask, email us at email@example.com, tweet @heretohelpbc, or log in to HeretoHelp and post a comment on this page.