Cyclothymia

I have been visiting my therapist every week and she is terrific! We have both been doing our research and studies on different disorders. She doesn’t believe that I have BPD or Borderline Personality Disorder. In her opinion, she thinks I may have a mild form of Bipolar Disorder, like Cyclothymia Disorder. I’m just going to jot down the symptoms below as apart of my homework assignment.

“Cyclothymic disorder, is a type of chronic mood disorder widely considered to be a milder or subthreshold form of bipolar disorder. Cyclothymia is characterized by numerous mood disturbances, with periods of hypomanic symptoms alternating with periods of mild or moderate depression.

An individual with Cyclothymia may feel stable at a baseline level but experience noticeable shifts to an emotional high during hypomanic episodes, with symptoms similar to those of mania but less severe, and emotional lows involving depressive symptoms that do not meet the criteria for a major depressive episode. To meet the diagnostic criteria for Cyclothymia, a person must experience this alternating pattern of emotional highs and lows for a period of at least two years with no more than two consecutive symptom-free months. For children and adolescents, the duration must be at least one year.

While diagnosis of Cyclothymia is becoming more common, it is not as frequent as that of bipolar disorder. Diagnosis of Cyclothymia presupposes absence of a major depressive episode, manic episode or mixed episode, which would qualify the individual for diagnosis of another mood disorder. When such episodes manifest after an initial diagnosis of Cyclothymia, the individual may qualify for a diagnosis of bipolar I or bipolar II disorder. Although estimates vary greatly, 15โ€“50% of cases of Cyclothymia later fit the diagnostic criteria for bipolar I and/or bipolar II disorder (resulting in a diagnosis of bipolar I or II with cyclothymic features).

Although the emotional highs and lows of Cyclothymia are less extreme than those of bipolar disorder, the symptomatology, longitudinal course, family history and treatment response of Cyclothymia are consistent with bipolar spectrum. Lifetime prevalence of cyclothymic disorder is 0.4โ€“1%. Frequency appears similar in men and women, though women more often seek treatment. Unlike during episodes of bipolar I disorder, people with Cyclothymia are more likely to be either somewhat or fully productive, and sometimes even hyper-productive.

Cyclothymia is similar to bipolar II disorder in that it presents itself in signature hypomanic episodes. Because hypomania is often associated with exceptionally creative, outgoing, and high-functioning behavior, both conditions are often undiagnosed. As with most of the disorders in the bipolar spectrum, it is the depressive phase that leads most sufferers to get help.”

 

Hypomanic episodes. Symptoms of the hypomanic episode 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.

Depressive/dysthymic episodes. Symptoms of the depressive/dysthymic phase include 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, appetite change, lack of sexual desire, self-neglect, fatigue, insomnia and sleepiness.

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2 thoughts on “Cyclothymia

  1. Michaela says:

    It can get tiring, being always on in the mind, riding waves of denial, reading into every thought, planning, keeping focussed, keeping positive, reorganising disordered thoughts, recognising mania and realising what the maelstrom feels like for other people.
    In many ways I wouldn’t give it back, my cyclothymic temperament, it fuels my dreams, it entertains me, it keeps me young, it allows me to think about the big things, it means life is never boring and that living by my wits is the norm.
    Sometimes though, it makes me step back and feel very alone, most delusional and as if potentially I will one day just completely trip out if I don’t be vigilant and maintain some kind of normal, mundane routine.
    Luckily, I have learned to do what I love, keep it simple and persist. Trust my ideas, follow through on the real, true, best ones, stay curious, and don’t be ashamed or embarassed.
    Harness the wild horse because it will be the best horse you ever have.
    Be kind to yourself.
    I mean really kind.
    Express love often and let yourself feel and appreciate joy.
    Joy in the morning sun, birdsong, happy dogs, nice cool breezes, a handsome face, a small win!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Ann says:

    I have been diagnosed as cyclothemic and I find it frustrating at times, and yet a relief at others. I totally agree that you need to learn to embrace your life, despite how others may view you. This is YOUR life and you really need to be GLAD that you are the way you are! This is YOUR life and despite your troubles, seeing the benefits of your condition will help you perform your best and enjoy your life! ๐Ÿ™‚

    Like

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