Symptoms of Cyclothymic Disorder
A diagnosis of cyclothymic disorder may result from simply describing symptoms like these:
- Episodes that alternate between mild depression and hypomania, which last for at least 2 years.
- Symptoms that persist, creating fewer than 2 symptom-free months in a row.
- A greater tendency to be irritable or in a dark mood than euphoric or happy.
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.