Ultradian cycling is a fancy way of referring to ultra-fast cycling
in the bipolar patient. Whereas rapid cycling means that the person cycles
a minimum of four times per year from depression into mania or hypomania
and back again, ultradian cyclers can cycle several times in an hour or
less and may cycle many, many times during a single day. Many children
who exhibit signs of early onset bipolar disorder are subject to this
kind of cycling, but adults exhibit the behaviour as well. Ultradian cycling
is particularly hard to treat and medication cocktails for it can be quite
complex. It is important to show some patience if you are this kind of
bipolar person...patience that is with getting the correct medications
that will enable some control of the rapid mood swings. Here are some
links that will shed some light on this phenomenon.
rapid cycling bipolar disorder is associated with the low activity catecholamine-O-methyltransferase
allele - an abstract of a study related to this topic.
and Rapid Cycling in Bipolar Children and Adolescents: A Preliminary
Study - self-explanatory.
Neurobiology of Treatment-Resistant Mood Disorders- brain
talk - technical.
Phenomenology of Social Withdrawal Following Brain Insult -
There are parts of this article that would be of interest to those wanting
to know more about ultradian cycling.