I have cyclomania, do you know much about it?
Cyclothymic disorder is a mild form of bipolar disorder in which a person has mood swings over a period of years that go from mild depression to euphoria and excitement. It is classed as a “mood disorder” with mood swings that are “less severe” than for bipolar disorder. Episodes of “hypomania” and “mild depression” are present for at least 2 years in adults and (1 or more years in children & adolescents). U.S. National Library of Medicine
Cyclothymic disorder is a chronic mood disorder which causes alternately states of depression, sadness, discomfort and excessive states of happiness, increased energy and activity, and between these states – periods of even-tempered behaviors. One of the main differences from bipolar disorder is that cyclothymic disorder consists of “short periods of mild depression and short periods of hypomania” with periods of even-tempered mood. Bipolar disorder is more severe as it consists of at least one major depressive episode along with manic episodes and/or mixed episodes.
Cyclothymic disorder has a “dysthymic phase” which includes symptoms of difficulty making decisions, problems concentrating, poor memory recall, guilt, self-criticism, low self-esteem, pessimism, self-destructive thinking, constant sadness, apathy, hopelessness, helplessness and irritability. Also common are quick temper, poor judgment, lack of motivation, social withdrawal, lack of sexual desire, self-neglect, fatigue, appetite change and insomnia.
Cyclothymic symptoms include unusually good mood or cheerfulness (euphoria), extreme optimism, inflated self-esteem, rapid speech, racing thoughts, aggressive or hostile behavior, lack of consideration for others, agitation, massively increased physical activity, risky behavior, spending sprees, increased drive to perform or achieve goals, increased sexual drive, decreased need for sleep, tendency to be easily distracted, and inability to concentrate.
Although cyclothymic disorder’s symptoms are “less severe and episodes are not as long lasting” as with the symptoms of bipolar disorder it can still cause a lot of distress and a marked impairment in a person’s functioning. Cyclothymic disorder symptoms may also worsen over time which can lead to a clinical diagnosis of bipolar or bipolar II disorder. I believe that before I was diagnosed with bipolar II disorder I suffered from cyclothymic disorder. For me I had periods of depression that alternated with periods of euphoria or “mild mania” along with having times where my mood was fairly even/level. Because I was misdiagnosed with only having depression (dysthymia) for years I was not on the correct medication and over time my symptoms became worse. I also have adhd and generalized anxiety disorder as secondary diagnoses so that complicated things even more. I was never actually diagnosed with cyclothymic disorder but I had all of the symptoms that I have mentioned earlier. So in my case I believe that my cyclothymic symptoms progressed into a bipolar II disorder. I am not sure if my symptoms will worsen over time and turn into a full blown bipolar disorder. I am hoping this is not the case. Since being diagnosed with bipolar II about a year ago it seems that my psychiatrist has me on the proper medication as I have been getting more stable day by day.
Treatment for cyclothymic disorder can include medications such as mood stabilizers and antidepressants, along with individual psychotherapy and/or group therapy. It is important to get the proper medical treatment for cyclothymic disorder as it can turn into bipolar disorder, so your symptoms should be closely monitored. Any kind of “self-medicating” through alcohol and/or substance abuse can also make symptoms worse. Because cyclothymic disorder is a chronic condition characterized by numerous hypomanic episodes and numerous periods of depressive symptoms for at least 2-years it is important that you and your doctor monitor your symptoms on a frequent basis. If you find that you have trouble tracking your moods a good therapist or mental health counselor should be able to help you with that. It would also be beneficial for you to educate yourself as much as you can on cyclothymic disorder. Thank you for your question, I hope that the information I have provided is helpful to you. If you have future questions please submit them to us at www.askabipolar.com