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Cyclothymia? Diagnosis? Treatment?

Sea_Green

Sea_Green

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After years of thinking there was something wrong with my moods yet feeling misunderstood or simply dismissed by the GP I read about cyclothymia. There have been a few occasions where I've had an appointment with a doctor or crisis team but by the time I got there my mood had changed and I just ended up looking stupid! I've realised that I follow a pattern of seeking help when I'm really bad then deciding I'm totally fine and don't need help when my mood improves.

Is cyclothymia diagnosed much in the UK? Is it worth asking about a diagnosis? Are there any treatments that fit in well with a rapidly changing moods? It seems like all mental health revolves round feeling a certain way for long periods of time. Not sure I should even be wasting their time now with the virus anyway.
 
Tawny

Tawny

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It is diagnosed and people can take mood stabilisers to help with it as sometimes the swings can worsen. Once you have had a major episode of depression or mania, you would then have bipolar disorder. Dysthymia is the diagnosis where people have recurring mild depression only.

The NHS website is very good and we can trust what is written more than many other websites.

The most important thing would be to keep a mood chart. From memory, Cyclothymia involves mood changes every 6 weeks, but you would have to check that.

Mood charts would help you understand what is happening and also help your psychiatrist.

Sometimes we can wake up relaxed and become higher as the day goes on
Sometimes we can wake up exhausted and very low, and feel better as the day goes on

Usually though, you would have a repeat of similar days for weeks or months at a time.

There are other mental illnesses where a person can have unstable moods and it can also be a sign of an illness developing. I think it would be a good idea to have a physical health check though as if you are female, we have hormones to deal with, also thyroid, poor diet, deficiencies, can all cause problems with mood and energy.

I will get your some good links.
 
Tawny

Tawny

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This scale is very good




 
Sea_Green

Sea_Green

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Thanks for the info. I seem to change too rapidly for the descriptions. I could switch between terrible and pretty good multiple times in a week. I guess the best thing to do would be to keep a mood diary to show the doctor. I'll try to remember to ask about diet and hormones too if I make an appointment.
 
Sea_Green

Sea_Green

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Sorry, couldn't see how to edit my previous post. Just wanted to add that I know it's pointless trying to diagnose myself but having some idea will hopefully make me more confident talking to the doctor. I've looked at borderline but don't fit a lot of that criteria. I've also found ultradian cycling or ultra-ultra-rapid cycling bipolar. I don't think it's an official thing though, does anyone here have it? This quote I found might make sense of why I struggle so much with CBT:

"Rapid cycling variants of bipolar disorder can be harder to treat than standard bipolar disorder which has moods that last for months. This makes sense because if your mood lasts for months you really have a chance to get a handle on it and treat that specific mood. In other words, you know if you need to work things up or down because of where the mood is. If your mood is always shifting, you don’t need “up” or “down” you need level. That is much harder to target."

Don't think I've ever had proper mania though. Gah it's so confusing! Thanks to anyone who has read my thread even if you have nothing to add. :)
 

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