Cyclothymia, Mixed Episodes and Rapid Cycling

Cyclothymia: Episodes of hypomanic symptoms occur intermittently alongside brief spells of depressive symptoms. However, these depressive episodes are less severe and of shorter duration compared to full-blown hypomanic or depressive episodes.

Mixed episode: If an individual has bipolar disorder with mixed features, their mood episodes will encompass a blend of symptoms associated with both depression and mania simultaneously. This stands in contrast to other forms of bipolar disorder, where episodes typically manifest with symptoms of only one mood state. 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 diagnosed when an individual experiences four or more distinct episodes of depression, mania, or hypomania within a one-year timeframe. Each episode must be clearly distinguishable and meet the minimum duration criteria as defined in the classifications for Bipolar I and II Disorder.


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