Cyclothymia, Mixed Episodes and Rapid Cycling

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Cyclothymia: Periods of hypomanic symptoms alternating with brief periods of depressive symptoms that are not as extensive or as long-lasting as seen in full hypomanic episodes or full depressive episodes.

Mixed episode: If you have bipolar disorder with mixed features, your mood episodes will have mixed symptoms (think both depression and mania at the same time). This differs from other types of bipolar disorder where episodes involve only one type of mood symptom. Here’s what this means:

  • During an episode of depression, there will be at least three symptoms of mania or hypomania.
  • During a manic or hypomanic episode, there will be three or more symptoms of a depressive episode.

Rapid Cycling: In bipolar disorder rapid cycling is identified when four or more distinct episodes of depression, mania, or hypomania occur during a one-year period. Each episode has to be distinct and each episode has to last for a minimum number of days (as defined under Bipolar 1 and 2 Disorder definitions).


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