Cyclothymic2017-11-20T07:48:29+00:00

Cyclothymic Disorder

Cyclothymic Disorder

Cyclothymic Disorder

Cyclothymia, also called cyclothymic disorder, is a rare mood disorder. Cyclothymia causes emotional ups and downs, but they’re not as extreme as those in bipolar I or II disorder.

With cyclothymia, you experience periods when your mood noticeably shifts up and down from your baseline. You may feel on top of the world for a time, followed by a low period when you feel somewhat down. Between these cyclothymic highs and lows, you may feel stable and fine.

Although the highs and lows of cyclothymia are less extreme than those of bipolar disorder, it’s critical to seek help managing these symptoms because they can interfere with your ability to function and increase your risk of bipolar I or II disorder.

Treatment options for cyclothymia include talk therapy (psychotherapy), medications and close, ongoing follow-up with your doctor.

Cyclothymia symptoms alternate between emotional highs and lows. The highs of cyclothymia include symptoms of an elevated mood (hypomanic symptoms). The lows consist of mild or moderate depressive symptoms.

Cyclothymia symptoms are similar to those of bipolar I or II disorder, but they’re less severe. When you have cyclothymia, you can typically function in your daily life, though not always well. The unpredictable nature of your mood shifts may significantly disrupt your life because you never know how you’re going to feel.

Symptoms of Cyclothymic Disorder:

Hypomanic symptoms

Signs and symptoms of the highs of cyclothymia may include:

  • An exaggerated feeling of happiness or well-being (euphoria)
  • Extreme optimism
  • Inflated self-esteem
  • Talking more than usual
  • Poor judgment that can result in risky behavior or unwise choices
  • Racing thoughts
  • Irritable or agitated behavior
  • Excessive physical activity
  • Increased drive to perform or achieve goals (sexual, work related or social)
  • Decreased need for sleep
  • Tendency to be easily distracted
  • Inability to concentrate

Depressive symptoms

Signs and symptoms of the lows of cyclothymia may include:

  • Feeling sad, hopeless or empty
  • Tearfulness
  • Irritability, especially in children and teenagers
  • Loss of interest in activities once considered enjoyable
  • Changes in weight
  • Feelings of worthlessness or guilt
  • Sleep problems
  • Restlessness
  • Fatigue or feeling slowed down
  • Problems concentrating
  • Thinking of death or suicide

When to See a Doctor:

If you have any symptoms of cyclothymia, seek medical help as soon as possible. Cyclothymia generally doesn’t get better on its own. If you’re reluctant to seek treatment, work up the courage to confide in someone who can help you take that first step.

If a loved one has symptoms of cyclothymia, talk openly and honestly with that person about your concerns. You can’t force someone to seek professional help, but you can offer support and help find a qualified doctor or mental health provider.

Treatment of Cyclothymic Disorder:

Cyclothymia requires lifelong treatment — even during periods when you feel better — usually guided by a mental health provider skilled in treating the condition.

To treat cyclothymia, your doctor or mental health provider aims to:

  • Decrease your risk of bipolar I or II disorder, because cyclothymia carries a high risk of developing into bipolar disorder
  • Reduce the frequency and severity of your symptoms, allowing you to live a more balanced and enjoyable life
  • Prevent a relapse of symptoms, through continued treatment during periods of remission (maintenance treatment)
  • Treat alcohol or other substance use problems, since they can worsen cyclothymia symptoms

The main treatments for cyclothymia are medications and psychotherapy.

Psychotherapy, also called psychological counseling or talk therapy, is a vital part of cyclothymia treatment and can be provided in individual, family or group settings.

Several types of therapy may be helpful, such as:

  • Cognitive behavioral therapy. A common treatment for cyclothymia, the focus of cognitive behavioral therapy is to identify unhealthy, negative beliefs and behaviors and replace them with healthy, positive ones. It can help identify what triggers your symptoms. You also learn effective strategies to manage stress and cope with upsetting situations
  • Interpersonal and social rhythm therapy (IPSRT). IPSRT focuses on the stabilization of daily rhythms, such as sleep, wake and mealtimes. A consistent routine allows for better mood management. People with mood disorders may benefit from establishing a daily routine for sleep, diet and exercise
  • Other therapies. Other therapies have been studied with some evidence of success. Ask your doctor if any other options may be appropriate for you

Medications for Cyclothymic Disorder can include:

No medications are approved by the Food and Drug Administration specifically for cyclothymia, but your doctor may prescribe medications used to treat bipolar disorder. These medications may help control cyclothymia symptoms and prevent periods of hypomanic and depressive symptoms.

Symptoms of Cyclothymic Disorder:

Hypomanic symptoms

Signs and symptoms of the highs of cyclothymia may include:

  • An exaggerated feeling of happiness or well-being (euphoria)
  • Extreme optimism
  • Inflated self-esteem
  • Talking more than usual
  • Poor judgment that can result in risky behavior or unwise choices
  • Racing thoughts
  • Irritable or agitated behavior
  • Excessive physical activity
  • Increased drive to perform or achieve goals (sexual, work related or social)
  • Decreased need for sleep
  • Tendency to be easily distracted
  • Inability to concentrate

Depressive symptoms

Signs and symptoms of the lows of cyclothymia may include:

  • Feeling sad, hopeless or empty
  • Tearfulness
  • Irritability, especially in children and teenagers
  • Loss of interest in activities once considered enjoyable
  • Changes in weight
  • Feelings of worthlessness or guilt
  • Sleep problems
  • Restlessness
  • Fatigue or feeling slowed down
  • Problems concentrating
  • Thinking of death or suicide

When To See a Doctor:

If you have any symptoms of cyclothymia, seek medical help as soon as possible. Cyclothymia generally doesn’t get better on its own. If you’re reluctant to seek treatment, work up the courage to confide in someone who can help you take that first step.

If a loved one has symptoms of cyclothymia, talk openly and honestly with that person about your concerns. You can’t force someone to seek professional help, but you can offer support and help find a qualified doctor or mental health provider.

Treatment of Cyclothymic Disorder:

Cyclothymia requires lifelong treatment — even during periods when you feel better — usually guided by a mental health provider skilled in treating the condition.

To treat cyclothymia, your doctor or mental health provider aims to:

  • Decrease your risk of bipolar I or II disorder, because cyclothymia carries a high risk of developing into bipolar disorder
  • Reduce the frequency and severity of your symptoms, allowing you to live a more balanced and enjoyable life
  • Prevent a relapse of symptoms, through continued treatment during periods of remission (maintenance treatment)
  • Treat alcohol or other substance use problems, since they can worsen cyclothymia symptoms

The main treatments for cyclothymia are medications and psychotherapy.

Psychotherapy, also called psychological counseling or talk therapy, is a vital part of cyclothymia treatment and can be provided in individual, family or group settings.

Several types of therapy may be helpful, such as:

  • Cognitive behavioral therapy. A common treatment for cyclothymia, the focus of cognitive behavioral therapy is to identify unhealthy, negative beliefs and behaviors and replace them with healthy, positive ones. It can help identify what triggers your symptoms. You also learn effective strategies to manage stress and cope with upsetting situations
  • Interpersonal and social rhythm therapy (IPSRT). IPSRT focuses on the stabilization of daily rhythms, such as sleep, wake and mealtimes. A consistent routine allows for better mood management. People with mood disorders may benefit from establishing a daily routine for sleep, diet and exercise
  • Other therapies. Other therapies have been studied with some evidence of success. Ask your doctor if any other options may be appropriate for you

Medications for Cyclothymic Disorder can include:

No medications are approved by the Food and Drug Administration specifically for cyclothymia, but your doctor may prescribe medications used to treat bipolar disorder. These medications may help control cyclothymia symptoms and prevent periods of hypomanic and depressive symptoms.