Cyclothymic disorder


Cyclothymia is a tendency toward alternating periods of elation and depression which, in serious cases, is manifested as manic-depressive psychoses.

It is a constitutional source trait that which is identified by factor analysis of correlation clusters and manifested as abnormal swings in mood.

“ A 29-year-old car salesman was referred for treatment. For the last fifteen years he has experienced repeated alternating cycles. He has termed these cycles `good times and bad times.` A bad period will last four to seven days he oversleeps, lacks energy, confidence, and motivation. He will shift unexpectedly to a three-to-four-day stretch of overconfidence, heightened social awareness, confusion caused by being promiscuous and sharpened thinking. He says,”Things would flash in my mind.” He takes alcohol to enhance the experience. The good periods last seven to ten days. It culminates in irritable and hostile outbursts, that means, another period of `bad` days. He admits that frequent use of marijuana helps him `adjust.

In school, he was a bright student but performance was mediocre because of `unstable motivation. Good times and bad times, the uneven performance. He even during good times becomes, sometimes, argumentative with customers and loses sales. Being a charming man in many social circles, He annoys others and accumulates social obligations during` bad` times and takes care of all these in` good` times.”

What is cyclothymia

It is a rare mood disorder. It has symptoms, characteristics, and several other similarities of “bipolar disorder” or manic-depressive psychotic disorder. It is in a milder and chronic form. If an individual is suffering from cyclothymia, it can be understood with cyclic highs and lows. It is persistent and occurs in an autonomic way continuously for at least two years or more. Cyclic highs are `good times` as stated above and lows are `bad` times. Lows mean depression but in a milder form and it is not full major depression. In sharp contrast, highs are termed as symptomatic of hypomania. It is a less severe form of mania. There is another state, that is, in between your elevated and depressed moods, the individual is likely to feel normal that means like yourself. Chances of developing bipolar disorder may be a 15% to 50%. The highs and lows interfere with functions and relationships in daily routine. It is essential to seek treatment. Rate of occurrence is between 0.4% to 1% in general population. Attention-deficient/hyperactivity, substance abuse, and sleep disorder are elevated.

What are the symptoms

The high symptoms of cyclothymia are not as severe as mania and the lows not as severe as major depressive disorder.


There are many symptoms of hypomania. The main symptoms are an exaggerated feeling of happiness (euphoria).

Excessive optimism.

Elevated opinions of oneself.

Inflated self esteem.

Talking more than usual.

Poor judgement.

Racing, uncontrollable thoughts.

Agitated mood.

Quick reactions.

Depressive symptoms

Feeling of sadness, hopeless or emptiness.


Loss of interest.

Feelings of worthlessness.

Guilty feelings.



Diagnosing cyclothymia

An individual must give details of all of the symptoms, periods of episodes, and other mental health disorders.


Cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT)

Dialectical behavioral therapy (DBT)

Interpersonal and social rhythm therapy (ISRT)

There is not a specific underlying cause of cyclothymia, it is difficult to prevent entirely or future investigation may find underlying cause of cyclothymia.