Rapid Cycling Mixed Episode

In This Mental Illness Life, Things Change Fast

For the last two days, I had a rare feat even for someone that is dealing with Bipolar One–a rapid cycling mixed episode.

I think it has only happened to me about ten times in my mental illness life, but it is the worst feeling in the world. For those that don’t know too much about a mixed episode in Bipolar One, it is where you experience both mania and depression at once. What makes it rare for me is that I don’t tend to know that it is happening to me in the moment. It is usually one of two ways–depression with manic symptoms or mania with depressive symptoms. For me over the last two days have been mania with depressive symptoms.

I could tell I was manic. The need for sleep the past two nights have been zero. My mind and thoughts were all over the place. I could not concentrate and I had an unlimited amount of energy. I was so irritable, and I wanted so bad two drink whiskey and smoke cigarettes (both of which I have not done in years.

When I am just manic, which often happens when I am coming off a depression cycle like the one I had, I deal just fine. I could feel right away that this was different. At the same, I was feeling extremely hopeless. I didn’t want to keep going. Phrases like “why should I even try,” began to take shape in my mind. At times I was a ball of mess. I was anxious, and I let my irritations cloud my judgment

I wanted to scrap my entire memoir and quit thinking that writing is something that is the best thing in my life. I was the worst parts of myself. I was far from the guy who’s philosphy is “Always Keep Fighting.”

I was self-destructive. I slipped, and I felt so bad about it. For the first time in so many years, I wanted to give up. I sat in the dark for hours lost in the darkest places in my mind. A place I have not lived for a long time. I wanted to not be a part of this life. I have not written a sentence like that one in the present, it was always talking about the past.

I could not believe I could go so low. I felt alone. Lost. As if I was back in the worst years of my life. I kept cycling between mania and depression. At times it was mixed. I felt all of it at once. I wanted it to just end. How could someone so strong fall so quickly?

I finally slept. I took a mental health day, and it helped. By the end of the day, I was so worn out that slept more. I reflected on what the hell was going on in my life. Could I have done something different?

That is where I am today. Picking up the pieces and wondering what is next and what are the causes. It is isolation. The lack of connecting with others? I was so excited that we at The Bipolar Writer Collaborative blog had finally reached the business level. I was so happy to start this week. I can only hopefully move on.

I was able to start something I hope will be amazing for my writing career–a Patreon account. If you have a moment, please check it out. I will write a blog post later today with the details.


Always Keep Fighting


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9 thoughts on “Rapid Cycling Mixed Episode

  1. Unfortunately, I tend to have a lot of mixed episodes. Mine are usually predominantly depression with agitation and racing thoughts. I become supercharged and suicidal all at the same time. According to everything I have read it is the most dangerous state for bipolar people to be in, where the suicide risk is the highest. I have been there more times than I care to remember. I pray that you will continue to improve and that God will continue to get you through this crazy life we’re living. As you always say, keep fighting, man.


    • Thanks Kevin. I am glad to hear I am not alone but I am sorry to hear that you deal with mixed episodes so much. It is the worst feeling. I though social anxiety was a bad thing but these mixed episodes are worse. I have been looking at how many actual times it has happened in my life.


  2. I can’t imagine how that must feel to be in the midst of a mixed episode like the one you’ve described. What I really admire about you is that you’re very self-aware. I sometimes have difficulty realizing the mixed emotions and feelings that I get. It’s like my brain bounces back and forth without coming up with an answer.


  3. I’m sorry you’ve been dealing with the rapid-cycle mixed episode. Those are the worst. It’s like drowning in a sea of hatred and the only lifelines available are deceptions, just waiting for you to grab on and be dragged even further down. Those mental health days are super important, and I’m happy you’re taking the time for them. I’m sending good vibes your way. Thanks for sharing this glimpse into your struggle. It really helps to know that none of us are truly alone.


  4. That mixed episode sounds incredibly painful, I’m so sorry you had to go through it! Mental health days are really important to take now and then, and I’m glad you could give yourself permission to take time off. I haven’t gone through anything like that, but dealing with everything with my Mum’s death is often making me feel very isolated right now and prelonged feelings of isolation are a big trigger of sucidal feelings for me. I try and ask my friends for help when I can (some of them are very distant at the moment, which is normal after a loss according to the grief councelor I see), but the best way of coping for me at the moment is sometimes just to accept that there is no best way. I am doing the best I can at the moment and for now that’s enough, even if it means I’m literally doing nothing. I will be thinking of you.


  5. I have mixed episodes too. They are so difficult. The past two weeks have been filled with extra energy, irritation, fixation, suicidal thoughts, hopelessness, racing thoughts. It’s horrible.


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