Triggers & Cycling
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Q:  are there triggers, I can look for when I have going  into my depressed cycle?

Dear Ralph -- 
A reasonable question, but the answer is highly individual.  Here's a list of triggers for cycling generally, from Gary Sachs, the Harvard bipolar expert: 

 
 

Sleep Loss
Alcohol or other substance use
Rapid discontinuation of lithium
Antidepressants: use or discontinuation
Interpersonal: 
    Conflict/Trauma
    Grief
    Success
    Loss of support systems
Seasonality
East-West travel 
[and I would add: steroid hormones, in some people]

And after a while of having episodes, perhaps particularly in bipolar I (where it may be that one can simply see this phenomenon more clearly), it appears that people can cycle without triggers. I.e. what was triggered once becomes spontaneous.  

So it could be that your search for triggers will not turn up anything at all; but it's still worth looking.  You could use a mood chart to keep some of your own data on this.  Good luck to you. 

Dr. Phelps  
      
 

Published May, 2002   

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