Your Ultimate Guide to Cyclothymia

One person shared their experience with bipolar disorder on The Mighty, a site where mental health information is presented and people from local communities can share their stories. Here is an excerpt from what she said: “…Imagine living in a world where you lack stability: One week you are feeling high as a kite, and then the next you are hardly able to get out of bed…I can be fine, or feel really good, but then again, I always know the depression is going to come back.”

Bipolar disorder (BPD) affects around 5.7 million Americans each year, but did you know there are diverse types of BPD? Type 1 and Type 2 may be commonly talked about, but there is third sub-type that isn’t discussed as often: cyclothymia. If you’ve been diagnosed with cyclothymia, learning more about this disorder can help you to get a better understanding for your experiences, and may even give you some added guidance as you work towards recovery.

A 2017 review of literature published in the journal Current Neuropharmacology emphasizes that cyclothymia most often co-exists alongside anxiety, impulse control, substance use, and personality disorders. In fact, cyclothymia may often be misdiagnosed as borderline personality disorder, mainly because symptoms such as mood swings and impulsivity overlap. A neurodevelopmental disorder, people with cyclothymia often experience a lot of instability regarding their mood and temperament, which can cause them much difficulty in daily life situations such as work, school, personal relationships, and more.

Changes in energy and motivation often arise, with people becoming overly joyed and excited when positive events arise. When affected negatively either by psychological, environmental, physical, or chemical (medications, alcohol, drugs, etc.) factors, a person with cyclothymia can usually exhibit unusual sadness, fatigue, anguish desperation, and even suicidal thoughts.

Treatment for cyclothymia is available, with most treatment regimes focusing on medication and psychotherapy, also known as talk therapy. If you have been diagnosed with cyclothymia and want to seek treatment, speak with a professional from a reputable treatment center today to learn more about your options and what will best suit your needs.

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