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Mood Disorders

Symptoms of Cyclothymic Disorder

A diagnosis of cyclothymic disorder may result from simply describing symptoms like these:

  • Episodes that involve brief, recurrent periods of depression and, at other times, episodes of hypomania; this pattern of episodes must be present for at least 2 years.
  • Symptoms that persist, creating fewer than 2 symptom-free months in a row.

The episodes of cyclothymic disorder are often somewhat unpredictable. Either depression or hypomania can last for days or weeks, interspersed with a month or two of normal moods. Or, you may have no "normal" periods in between. In some cases, cyclothymic disorder progresses to full-blown bipolar disease.

Treatment for Cyclothymic Disorder

Some people with mild symptoms of cyclothymia are able to live successful, fulfilling lives. Others find their relationships troubled by depression, impulsive actions, and strong emotions. For these people, short-term medications may bring relief. However, cyclothymic disorder may not respond as well to medications as does bipolar disorder. A combination of mood stabilizers and psychotherapy is most effective. Mood stabilizers include lithium and antiseizure drugs such as Depakote, Tegretol, or Lamictal.

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WebMD Medical Reference

Reviewed by Joseph Goldberg, MD on February 11, 2014

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