Cyclothymia: Information

Depression is something we all deal with. To what extent is the question? For some, a day does not go by that they feel depressed and lethargic about life in general. Or perhaps they are characterized by riding a roller coaster – with large spouts of happiness and depression. In essence, those large spouts are accordingly aspects of bipolar disorder. However, known as a bipolar disorder in lesser form, cyclothymia is the topic at hand.

Imagine the two as one. That's basically cyclothymia. (photo by Life Mental Health)

Imagine the two as one. That’s basically cyclothymia. (photo by Life Mental Health)

In essence, cyclothymia is characterized by mood swings of highs and lows, but do not experience high-highs nor low-lows. If you have a family history of bipolar disorder, you are more likely to develop this disorder in your late teens and in early adulthood. The symptoms, as according to depressedtest, are as follows:

In the Hypomanic phase

  • excessive confidence and self-esteem
  • reduced ability to concentrate
  • sleep difficulties due to excessive energy
  • heightened irritability
  • reduced inhibitions, may make foolish decisions
  • lasts between several days and several weeks

In the Depressive phase

  • feelings of low self-confidence
  • unrestful sleep
  • fatigue, lack of energy
  • negative thinking, guilt, sadness
  • loss of interest in formerly enjoyable activities
  • lasts between several days and several weeks

Identifying Cyclothymia is one thing, coping with it is another. Because cyclothymia looks quite similar to that of mood swings (that typically females can play off as their menstrual cycle affecting them,) it is hard to know if you have it. Much less, what to do once you realize you have it. According to psychcentral, it is rare that one finds themselves treated for it. In fact, the article claims that only a mere one percent of the population has cyclothymia. How can that be? With all of the vast quantity of people in the world? Frankly, it must be a rare occurrence that people are getting cyclothymia diagnosed.

In fact, according to the same link, there is a sense of urgency in regards to diagnosing cyclothymia. “Cyclothymia usually comes with a high morbidity in terms of breakdown in relationships both personal and at work.” The toll is apparently too great to be misdiagnosed (often thought of as bipolar NOS, bipolar II, or borderline personality disorder) or not diagnosed at all. In fact, accordingly, it can grow into a bipolar disorder if left untreated – characteristically growing more rash and more brutal as time goes on.

As I search the tag “Cyclothymia” on a social media site geared towards teens and young adults, Tumblr, it has become apparent to me that although they state that there are a proportional number of men to women who have cyclothymia, women are the only ones open to speaking of it. What an odd feat! How unhealthy it is to keep it in.

Regardless, cyclothymia, bipolar disorder, and disorders of the like should all be revered as serious illnesses that harp over people’s lives. It could very well happen to you, your friend, or a family member. Be gentle in how you react to them.

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