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Cyclothymia?

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CabbageMama

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I have set everything in motion with regards to hopefully going back to work with a bipolar 2 diagnosis, which I understood I was being treated for. I asked for clarification/confirmation from my Care Coordinator for the purposes of moving forward with getting back to work under a protected characteristic, with the support that comes with that. She has just emailed me to say that the Psychiatrist has given me a diagnosis of Cyclothymia. After googling, this seems a bit like bipolar lite? Honestly, I feel a bit upset. Had just got my head around what I thought was my diagnosis and now feel my experiences have been minimised. Will this make a difference to the support I’ll get trying to get back to work? It seems from Google that it isn’t serious enough to qualify for benefits anyway, so I’ll have to anyway. Does anyone have any experience of similar or words of wisdom?
 
HLon99

HLon99

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Cyclothymia is a type of a bipolar disorder charecterised by individual episodes lasting less than 2 weeks. I don't exactly know the specifics of your condition so I cannot comment on what the correct diagnosis is. However, you should be fine for the purposes of your work; its still a mental health condition; its still a type of bipolar.

From my untrained eye, it does sound like you have bipolar 2; I think the reason that your episodes are cycling so often is because you are on antidepressants. This can speed up the cycling of true bipolar and make it seem like cyclothymia. Did this latest diagnosis come from the same psychiatrist as the original one or different? Usually psychiatrists have a difference of opionions when it comes to diagnosing and a lot of the less experienced ones don't look at the whole picture before diagnosing. I had a similar experience. If you want to talk some more please feel free to DM me.
 
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CabbageMama

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The same Psychiatrist. The Care Coordinator warned me beforehand that I may not get a diagnosis because I hadn’t had any face to face appointments due to Covid, but today said he had diagnosed me with Cyclothymia. He is apparently very experienced and knowledgable. I’ll email her tomorrow and ask about the antidepressant. Have had enough today. They insisted I gave up alcohol with my medication, which apart from 2 blips I have done since December, but I haven’t felt this desperate for a glass/bottle of wine the whole way through. Have made really positive steps with my Union worker about getting back to work with the ‘protected characteristic’, he has contacted the Head of HR and the Equality and Diversity lead to pave the way and support me on the basis of bipolar 2. I can’t find any information about that in relation to Cyclothymia, so feel I have got my hopes up for nothing and wasted everyone’s time.
 
Wishbone

Wishbone

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I just had a brief scroll through your previous posts to learn a bit more about what you've said before, but obviously I can only get so much from that. I see that you have fairly recently started on Vortioxetine, which does muddy the waters somewhat as that's prescribed for MDD, right?
I understood Cyclothymia to be a less severe peak and trough picture but it sounds like your troughs go down beyond Cyclothymia levels, more akin to the Bipolar ones. You would certainly think so given that prescription anyway. But then, if you tolerate the Vortio maybe that tells everyone that maybe things don't go up high enough to warrant BP2 or BP1. And maybe that tells us that the Psych isn't worried about giving you an antidepressant like that, hell, he may even be trying to provoke something for all anyone knows. Time will tell I guess.
Was recurrent depression ever mentioned to you? Do you have Hypo's at all do you think?
 
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CabbageMama

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I actually don’t know, Wishbone. I have been much worse in general since starting all of the medication, I believe. Every time I have mentioned this, I have been told to persevere until the tablets reached their full effect, apart from the Quetiapine, which was stopped. So after that I started Lamotrigine. Things got worse - Pregabalin. Worse again - Vortioxetine. Then again - a two week course of Lorazapam. I am tempted to stop the lot. I have sent a verrrry lengthy email to the care coordinator which my details my concerns. I asked if I was intended to hopefully have happier periods in between crashing and burning, getting more poorly until I reached their criteria. Or whether I needed to present like I am for a longer period. No reply as yet.

No to the recurrent depression. This year, I have only had very temporary happy highs, but lots of very mixed times - super agitated, strung out and whizzy at the same/similar time as being in a massively depressed state. They haven’t really got any information about before, have worked with what I have been going through this year, which has included a number of extra traumatic events to deal with. Being off sick has meant I have broken the boom/bust pattern, so I have actually been able to try and deal with thing. In the past, I have had periods of supercharged activity and feeling like I can do anything, friends with everyone because I feel amazing, attempting loads as I can do it this time and it inevitably failing when I suddenly run out of zoom and crash down to a horrible place. This year has been different, it’s all been difficult without the chunks of positivity, that I think is hypomania, that give me a break.
 
HLon99

HLon99

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I actually don’t know, Wishbone. I have been much worse in general since starting all of the medication, I believe. Every time I have mentioned this, I have been told to persevere until the tablets reached their full effect, apart from the Quetiapine, which was stopped. So after that I started Lamotrigine. Things got worse - Pregabalin. Worse again - Vortioxetine. Then again - a two week course of Lorazapam. I am tempted to stop the lot. I have sent a verrrry lengthy email to the care coordinator which my details my concerns. I asked if I was intended to hopefully have happier periods in between crashing and burning, getting more poorly until I reached their criteria. Or whether I needed to present like I am for a longer period. No reply as yet.

No to the recurrent depression. This year, I have only had very temporary happy highs, but lots of very mixed times - super agitated, strung out and whizzy at the same/similar time as being in a massively depressed state. They haven’t really got any information about before, have worked with what I have been going through this year, which has included a number of extra traumatic events to deal with. Being off sick has meant I have broken the boom/bust pattern, so I have actually been able to try and deal with thing. In the past, I have had periods of supercharged activity and feeling like I can do anything, friends with everyone because I feel amazing, attempting loads as I can do it this time and it inevitably failing when I suddenly run out of zoom and crash down to a horrible place. This year has been different, it’s all been difficult without the chunks of positivity, that I think is hypomania, that give me a break.
Sorry to jump into your conversation with Wishbone. I just wanted to ask have you considered giving Lithium a try? For me Lamotrigine was an absolute lifesaver and I have responded very well to it. However, for some people who appear to be treatment resistant such as your case, the best course of action is usually Lithium. Its the most reliable mood stabiliser in the long run and treats both sides of the illness; mania and depression. Remember meds are important so stick with the treatment, but its crucial to find the right one. I agree with Wishbone and I don't think antidepressants are approapriate for your condition. You need a good long term mood stabiliser.
 
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CabbageMama

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Not at all, HLon, I’m grateful for your input. I’m not considering anything else today to be honest. Didn‘t get a response from my email. Have had to get my 12 year old to School, homeschool my 13 year old, take him for his Covid test and then go back to School to collect my Daughter. On 4hrs sleep, which was an improvement on the 3.5hrs the night before. The absolute last thing I have to do is cook dinner. And eat. My Son is also back to School tomorrow, so will have some time to myself in which to try and make sense of things a bit better. I won’t just stop the medication, but my Parents believe it is that that has made me worse. I have lost good judgement on it, so don’t even know anymore. I won’t, have learned from doing it recently, but I really want to just drink until it all stops for a bit.
 

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