Cyclothymic Disorder

Cyclothymic disorder is very similar to Dipolar Disorder and may be caused by the same factors as Dipolar Disorder and Major Depression. The three conditions often appear together within families. However, the major difference between Cyclothymic Disorder from Dipolar Disorder and Major Depression is that Cyclothymic Disorder does not cause mood swings as extreme as those one might get from Bipolar Disorder and Major Depression. Also, Cyclothymic Disorder is much more persistent with respites from the symptoms lasting no more than two months at a time and overall symptoms lasting more than two years. As with Major Depression and Bipolar Disorder, a doctor will diagnose Cyclothymic Disorder by asking about the patient’s history to ensure that there are no other factors such as medications that could be giving a false indication of the illness. The doctor can conclude this through urine and blood tests.

Common Symptoms of Cyclothymic Disorder:

  • Pessimism
  • Difficulty concentrating
  • Poor memory
  • Irritability
  • Insomnia
  • Lack of motivation

These depressive symptoms contrast with such euphoric symptoms as:

Causes of Cyclothymic Disorder

Causes of Cyclothymic Disorder have been debated. Biological factors such as heritability, low serotonin levels and high cortisol levels have been blamed, as well as psychological factors including stressful events and social environments often times related to parenting styles.

Treatment of Cyclothymic Disorder

Treatment for Cyclothymic Disorder includes medications, psychotherapy and support groups much like you would find for people suffering from Major Depressive Disorder and Bipolar Disorder. Some of the most commonly prescribed medications for this condition are Lithium, which is often used for people with Bipolar Disorder, as well as anti-seizure drugs such as Valproic acid and Carbamazepine. Psychotherapy usually involves identifying the early signs of the condition and finding a way to moderate them so that a full-blown episode does not occur. This could mean that the patient and his or her loved ones need to work on ways in which they can nurture positive-thinking and carefully master self-control. Don’t hesitate to contact a medical or psychological health professional if you believe you or a loved one may have Cyclothymic Disorder. If left untreated this can be a debilitating condition that affects all facets of life. One thing someone suffering from Cyclothymic Disorder can count on is that there are always people willing to help and there are always others with whom one can relate.

Review Sources

MedlinePlus – This is a service of the U.S. National Library of Medicine and it provides information on the definition of cyclothymic disorder, symptoms, research findings, facts and existing treatments.


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