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.
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|