Last Updated on November 20, 2021 by Ben Lesser
Cyclothymic disorder is new to most people, despite being aware of bipolar disorder, where people experience cycles of highs and lows (mania and depression). But, what is cyclothymic disorder? Cyclothymic disorder is a rare mood disorder that has similar bipolar disorder characteristics, only in a milder and chronic form. You experience cyclic highs and lows that persist for a minimum of two years and more if you have a cyclothymic disorder.
Your lows are mild depression – not typical of complete major depression with the cyclothymic disorder. Your highs are classified as symptomatic of hypomania, which is less severe. Your mood rises for a while during your higher levels before going back to its base level. You feel slightly depressed during your lows. You will probably feel like yourself in between your high and depressed moods and cyclothymic disorder.
The mildest type of bipolar disorder, as it has symptoms and effects on the patient, is cyclothymic disorder, known as cyclothymia. Those with this version of bipolar disorder often struggle cyclically for at least two years with mild depression or with hypomanic episodes but don’t imply the diagnostic criteria for any other form of bipolar disorder. Cyclothymic disorder is also common in men or women, and there is no identified cause of the disorder, according to MedlinePlus. The problem of cyclothymic disorder is usually diagnosed if patients are told that mood swings are constantly strong enough to interrupt their life, but not so extreme that they are diagnosed as bipolar I, bipolar II, or chronic depression.
The rate of cyclothymic disorder in the population is estimated to be between 0.4% and 1%, which affects both women and men equally. But women tend to seek treatment more likely. While the disorder typically develops during adolescence, it is always difficult to identify its onset. The risk of care disorder, drug abuse, and sleep disorders among people suffering from cyclothymic disorders is elevated.
Symptoms of Cyclothymic Disorders and Substance Abuse
Cyclothymic disorder symptoms typically begin early in life, and the disorder can happen in families, but the disorder can effectively be detected by treatment once accurately diagnosed. But cyclothymic disorder symptoms can develop into bipolar disorder without treatment. Contact us for more information on the above telephone number.
Many patients use drugs or alcohol to find the mental and emotional equilibrium which they cannot achieve themselves if they live with any disruptive mental health symptoms. When you are facing depression, you can try to use stimulation substances to increase your mood and energy, or you can take a heavy drink or use other sedative medications in the hope of escaping the emotions that cause you discomfort.
In certain cases, the symptoms of mental health which appear to be cyclothymic disorder can be due to ongoing drug abuse. Some symptoms of chronic drug abuse may include mild hypomanic episodes and many who are diagnosed with cyclothymic disorder follow depression.
This is why a dual-diagnosis rehabilitation program that has the skills and resources to deliver integrative and comprehensive care for both disorders should also offer those who have a pharmaceutical abuse issue and a mental health disorder. Hypomanic signs and symptoms may include the following if you or someone you know suffers from cyclothymic disorder:
- Euphoric state – an overly good and happy feeling.
- Inflating self-appreciation
- Flooded optimism
- Irritability and trouble
- Reduced Sleep Racing Gedanken
- Poor judgment leads to risky conduct
- Speak more than usual
- Too much physical activity
- Distracted easily
- Problems with concentration
- Enhanced drive to achieve or achieve objectives
- Hyperactivity – not being able to rest
- Emotional instability – reacting overwhelmingly to events (e.g., gambling, sports)
Who can Contact Cyclothymic Disorder?
Cyclothymia is a disorder affecting between 0.4% to 1% of Americans. There are an equal number of men and women who suffer from the condition. Symptoms usually begin in the adolescent years or young adult years. It is often difficult to identify the onset of cyclothymia.
Diagnosis of Cyclothymia
Scientists don’t know what causes or causes cyclothymic disorder symptoms. However, in families, the condition is known to exist. If they feel free from symptoms for longer than two months, a person has no cyclothymia.
Your doctor will compare your symptoms with the following clinical criteria to distinguish cyclothymia from regular moodiness:
- Many times of elevated mood (hypomania) and depression for at least two years (one year in children and teens) occurring at least half of the time
- Times of stable moods lasting less than two months
- Symptoms that impact your daily life socially — at school, work, and so on
- Symptoms that don’t meet the criteria for bipolar disease, chronic depression, or other mental health conditions
- Symptoms not as a result of substance abuse or another health condition
Your therapist will talk to you about your symptoms and your medical history. He or she may also ask about your drug or alcohol consumption. Lab tests can also be carried out for the symptoms to be excluded from other medical conditions.
Treatment Options for Cyclothymia
Frequently, the cyclothymic disorder is not only undiagnosed, but also largely untreated. The symptoms of most are mild enough not to seek treatment for mental health. In some cases, people are not in favor of the idea of treatment, which reduces both their “ups” and “downs” episodes. Cyclothymiology symptoms tend to be more depressive in nature, disagreeable, and unpleasant than those of hypomania. Cyclothymia is usually the result of feeling depressed or unstable in people attempting to seek assistance.
No specially approved medications for cyclothymic disorder are available, even when a possible strategy is sometimes recommended for reducing mood fluctuations, mood stabilizers like lithium or lamotrigine. In general, it is not recommended to use antidepressants, such as Prozac, Paxil, and Zoloft unless someone develops partial or full major depression, which, by definition, cannot be found in an individual with cyclothymic disorders. There is also a small chance antidepressant medications could lead to or worsen mania in a subgroup of individuals who may be vulnerable.
The mood variations which characterize the cyclothymic disorder are known to improve antidepressants alone are unknown. Technically speaking, when an individual undergoes cyclothymia, they are no longer considered to have cyclothymia, but rather are considered to be suffering from bipolar disorder. There can be progression to more severe symptoms, which can occur when our first treatments are prescribed, and it is during this transition of symptoms that a lot of people can receive treatment.
Treatment typically involves medicine and some type of speech therapy (psychotherapy). The objective is:
- Prevent the development of cyclothymia into bipolar disorder
- Lower symptoms
- Prevent symptoms from returning
A patient might be required to continue this treatment for the rest of their life.
A Physician Might Prescribe:
- Pills to level out your mood (mood stabilizers)
Mood stabilizers such as:
- Lithium – popularly used to treat bipolar disease
- Anti-epileptic drugs – for example, carbamazepine, oxcarbazepine or sodium valproate
Antidepressants can help improve your mood but can lead you to another extreme of hypomania. Some antipsychotics, like quetiapine, were also used recently to stabilize the mood. Not everyone, though, reacts to medicine with cyclothymia. The organization Mind has more details about lithium and other stabilizers.
Cyclothymic disorder can be helped by psychotherapy such as cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT). CBT involves talking about ways to help you manage your symptoms by changing how you think and behave with a trained therapist. Practical ways are given to improve your mind every day.
Patients should be taught how their temperamental inclinations are extreme; however, it is not easy to live with the cyclothymic disorder, as interpersonal relationships often are stormy. Flexible hour jobs are recommended. Patients who are inclined to work in the arts should be encouraged because there may be better toleration for the excesses and fragility of cyclothymia.
The choice of using mood stabilizers (e.g. lithium, certain anticonvulsants, in particular, valproate, carbamazepine, and lamotrigine) depends on how much functionality is equalized with the social benefits or the creative spurts of patients. Often better tolerated than lithium equivalents is DivalProex 500 to 1000 mg orally once a day.
Living with Cyclothymic Disorder
The private lives of individuals with the condition may be damaged by Cyclothymia. Unstable moods often disrupt relationships between people and work. Some people may find it difficult to take care of their work or personal relationships, rather than move through short-lived romances or erratic work performance. Self-destructive behavior can lead to legal difficulties. Cyclothymic people will also be more susceptible to drug and alcohol abuse. Using drugs could also be an issue for 50 to 60 percent of people with cyclothymia.
Patients of cyclothymic disorder are more likely to develop complete bipolar disorder over time. Limited data indicate that they are more suicidal. Some clinicians believe mood stabilization therapy might help reduce this risk. Although more research is necessary to determine whether or not they can be effective, some clinicians believe that mood stabilization therapy may contribute to reducing this risk.
Getting Healed Through Dual-Diagnosis Therapy
Trying to address the symptoms of the cyclothymic disorder – or vice versa – without paying attention is largely ineffectual. Since the effects of both problems in most patients are so inextricably intertwined, untreated disorder symptoms are a therapeutic problem. Dual diagnostic rehab will be the best way of recovery for cyclothymia patients who also need assistance stopping their use of drugs and alcohol as long as the program offers:
- Well-informed, experienced staff who are medication and/or cyclothymia experts and related disorders of mental health
- Stabilizing mental health symptoms Pharmacological treatment
- Medical attention during drug detox, if necessary
- Drug-related psychotherapeutic aid including retroactive prevention
- Mental health symptoms psychiatric treatment
- Family therapy to improve the quality of the support system of the patient in the long term
Treatment of cyclothymic disorder doesn’t have to be difficult. You can easily find a dual diagnosis rehab that will help your loved one to overcome both drug and alcohol problems and the symptoms of Cyclothymia. We are here to help you find the best possible treatment program for your family member. To get more information on the cyclothymic disorder, please contact us today.
Ben Lesser is one of the most sought-after experts in health, fitness and medicine. His articles impress with unique research work as well as field-tested skills. He is a freelance medical writer specializing in creating content to improve public awareness of health topics. We are honored to have Ben writing exclusively for Dualdiagnosis.org.