What is Cyclothymia Disorder? Symptoms, Causes, Treatment 

Cyclothymia disorder is a mental health condition and it is one of the subtypes of bipolar disorder. Today, we’ll discuss what is cyclothymia disorder; its symptoms, causes, and treatment.

What is Cyclothymia Disorder? 

Cyclothymia disorder is a form of mild mood disorder and its symptoms are the same as bipolar type 2 disorder. Both bipolar and cyclothymia disorders can cause mood swings ranging from depressive low to manic high and emotional ups and downs.

Cyclothymia comprises varying symptoms of lower depressive levels along with mild episodes of mania or hypomania. In order to diagnose a cyclothymia condition, its symptoms should be prevalent for two years among adults and one year in children. The mood change keeps on happening in a repetitive cycle, going high and low. It would make you feel a stable mood when you’re in between the two extremes of high and low.

The differentiating element between two types of disorders is intensity. The mood swing in the cyclothymia condition is not as intense as with bipolar disorder. However, people with cyclothymia conditions would experience the light mood swing “up and down,” and it would be relevant to mild depression and hypomania.

People with bipolar disorder would experience intense symptoms that meet the criteria of major depression and manic episodes. If you don’t treat the cyclothymia condition, then it would reach the level of becoming a bipolar disorder.

Usually, cyclothymiac develops at an early age, and they would keep on functioning normally, and others would find them difficult to deal with or moody. People with cyclothymia do not treat their condition because their mood swings are not severe enough to disturb their lives. Such people are occasionally hyper-productive in their work.

According to the DSM-V (diagnostic and statistical manual of mental disorder), cyclothymia condition is completely different from bipolar disorder because it doesn’t meet the criteria of mixed episode disorder, mania, or major depression. Some people with cyclothymia condition develop BP type 1 and BP type 2 disorders later in their lives.

Symptoms of Cyclothymia Disorder 

People with cyclothymia condition experience manic episodes for several days and exhibit the symptoms of low-level depression for many weeks. Some of the depressive symptoms of cyclothymia are as follows;

  • Physical symptoms without any explanation
  • Forgetfulness, limited focus, and concentration, not attentive
  • Guilty, worthlessness, and hopeless feelings
  • Limited function and sexual desire
  • Low energy and fatigue
  • Gaining and losing weight
  • Changes in hunger and appetite
  • Hypersomnia and insomnia
  • Aggressiveness
  • Irritability

The symptoms of mania in cyclothymia are as follows;

  • Impulsive and reckless behavior
  • Hypersexuality
  • Argumentative behavior
  • No or too little sleep and not feeling tired
  • High anxiety
  • Hyperactivity and restlessness
  • Limited focus
  • Disorganized, muddled, and racing thoughts
  • Fast speaking that others won’t make any sense out of it
  • High self-esteem

Some people in cyclothymia experience mixed episodes of both depressive and manic symptoms within a short duration of time; one followed by another.

Causes of Cyclothymia Disorder 

Researchers don’t specifically know the exact and precise cause of cyclothymia. It could happen because of a combination of causes and they’re as follows;

  • Environmental Issues: experience stress and traumatic event for a prolonged period of time
  • Brain Works Differently: neurobiological changes in the brain
  • Genetics: cyclothymia condition runs in the family

Diagnosis of Cyclothymia Disorder 

If a person doesn’t experience the symptoms of cyclothymia condition for the past two months, it means the person doesn’t have this condition. In order to differentiate regular moodiness from cyclothymia condition, your doctor would analyze the symptoms by using the following criteria;

  • Medical conditions or substance usage aren’t causing the symptoms
  • Depression, bipolar disorder, and other mental conditions and their symptoms aren’t meeting the criteria
  • Symptoms affect your work, school, personal, and professional life
  • Stable mood for less than 2 months
  • Hypomanic symptoms and depressive episodes prevail for two years in adults and one year in teens and kids, and they exhibit roundabout half of the time

Your doctor would analyze your symptoms and medical history in detail, and ask you about other habits like drugs and alcohol consumption. He would also prescribe some lab tests in order to rule out other physical and medical conditions.

Treatment of Cyclothymia Disorder 

Cyclothymia disorder is a chronic mental health condition and it would treatment for a lifetime. If you stop the treatment plan, then its symptoms would return. It can change its form and become a bipolar disorder and that’s why it’s important. The detail of its treatment plans are as follows;


Some of the top medicines to treat cyclothymia condition are as follows;

  • Antidepressants with the combination of mood stabilizers
  • Anti-anxiety medicines
  • Antipsychotic medications
  • Anti-seizure medicines


Therapeutic treatment plays a significant role in cyclothymiac treatment. It comprises two main types of therapies for cyclothymia are as follows;

  • CBT: it helps you to recognize negative and unhealthy thoughts and replace them with positive ones, and it teaches you a healthier coping mechanism to deal with its symptoms
  • Well Being Therapy: it focuses on improving the quality of life along with rectifying the psychological symptoms. A combination of well being a therapy with CBT has a great impact on the patient health with cyclothymia

Conclusion: What is Cyclothymia Disorder? Symptoms, Causes, Treatment 

After an in-depth study of what is cyclothymia; its symptoms, causes, and treatment; we have realized that the cyclothymiac condition could aggravate if you don’t treat it. If you’re experiencing its symptoms, then you should consult with the doctor before they get worse.