What is Cyclothymia?

I was asked recently to talk about cyclothymia and to talk about how this falls under the Bipolar spectrum.

I have never experienced cyclothymia, my mood swings have always on the extreme depression and manic sides, what I do know is that cyclothymia is a milder version of Bipolar disorder. From what I have gathered from others that deal with cyclothymia is that depressive episodes are mild and never go into full-blown depressive episodes. On the mania side, the manic episodes are considered symptomatic of hypomania which a milder form of mania.

From what I have read over the years is that cyclothymia is rare because it often leads to a diagnosis of Bipolar One or Bipolar Two. As with any type of mental illness, it is imperative to seek treatment if you believe that you suffer from cyclothymia. What are some of the symptoms of cyclothymia? They are similar to most mental illnesses.

  • Feelings of sadness, emptiness, and hopelessness
  • Irritability
  • Feeling tearful
  • Sleep disturbances – sleeping much more or much less than usual
  • Restlessness
  • Feelings of worthlessness and guilt
  • Fatigue
  • Concentration problems
  • Suicidal thoughts
  • Loss of interest in activities once considered pleasurable
  • Weight changes – due to eating much more or much less than usual
  • Lack of motivation
  • Impaired judgment, planning, or problem-solving abilities
  • Low self-esteem
  • Pessimism
  • Loneliness
  • Submissiveness
  • Social withdrawal
  • Difficulty handling conflict
  • Lacking meaning and purpose in life

That is about the limit of my expertise when it comes to cyclothymia. I would be very interested to hear from any of my follower’s whos diagnosis is cyclothymia.

Stay Strong in the Fight.

Always Keep Fighting


Photo Credit:

unsplash-logoAnnie Spratt

unsplash-logoIssam Hammoudi

Symptom Credits from https://www.psycom.net/depression.central.cyclothymia.html

18 thoughts on “What is Cyclothymia?

  1. As a mental health counselor I have never diagnosed someone with cyclothymia because like you said, people usually end up being diagnosed with bipolar disorder. I and many clinicians who work in situations where we have to quickly diagnosed individuals (unfortunately sometimes for insurance purposes) find it hard to take the time necessary to differentiate between cyclothymia and bipolar disorder a large majority of the time, but this post reminds me to be more aware of cyclothymia as a preliminary diagnosis when appropriate. Thank you for sharing.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Yea….this is what I have been diagnosed with. It sucks because you feel normal and that things will get better without the medicine cuz you aren’t that bad..bad idea. But when you’re down, you’re down and when you’re up, you’re up. There sometimes isn’t really a medium.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I was diagnosed with cyclothymia ten years ago. It was a relief to have a name for my “moody artistic” temperament. As I understand it, cyclothymics are rarely diagnosed because their symptoms aren’t life necessarily life altering. They don’t seek therapy until they progress into Bipolar 2. Pretty much any “moody artist” type person you know that is able to function with a job and others might test as cyclothymic. Regular therapy, knowing and recognizing my triggers, and having a supportive family helps me manage my temperament.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I am diagnosed with Cyclothymia and so far it has stayed that way. I have not progressed to a bipolar diagnosis. Cyclothymia is tricky because many medications that work with people who are diagnosed as bipolar don’t work with cyclothymia. On top of it, I have general anxiety disorder. I agree on the above comments… I think what gets me the worst is when I am in a low, I don’t always realize it. At first my husband would just tell me I was in a low, but that would make me defensive and angry. With the help of my therapist, we developed a cueing system that was less threatening. Once I know I am in a low, I can use strategies to work through it.

    Liked by 1 person

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