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Rapid cycling

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Rapid cycling is a term that is used to describe (or specify) the course of of some bipolar disorders. It describes whether or not someone has 4 or more different mood episodes over the period of a year.

Rapid cycling specifier in the DSMEdit

The DSM uses the rapid cycling specifier to describe the following mood disorders:

A person experiences at least 4 different mood episodes over the period of a year that are one of the following:

The mood episodes also are marked by either full or partial remission for at least 2 months in between each episode or switch to a mood episode of an opposite type (from major depressive episode to manic, mixed, or hypomanic episode or vice versa)


Mood disorders as diagnosed by the DSM edit
Mood episodes: Major depressive episode Manic episode Mixed episode Hypomanic episode

Depressive disorders: Major depressive disorder Dysthymic disorder Depressive disorder NOS (PMDD)

Bipolar disorders: Bipolar I disorder Bipolar II disorder Cyclothymic disorder Bipolar disorder NOS

Other mood disorders: Mood disorder due to a general medical condition Substance-induced mood disorder Mood disorder NOS

Episode specifiers: Severity Psychotic Remission Chronic Catatonic Melancholic Atypical Postpartum

Course specifiers: Longitudinal Seasonal (SAD) Rapid cycling

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