What is Cyclothymia?

amathus

amathus

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Cyclothymia :: Mental Health Issues :: Signpost UK

'Cyclothymia or cyclothymic disorder is a mental illness which causes people to experience mood swings which, in turn, affect their ability to carry out everyday tasks. Cyclothymia is often thought of as a mild form of bipolar disorder. The changes in mood that people experience are beyond what most people regard as the normal ups and downs of everyday life. The person's mood may change from feeling depressed to feeling very happy and energetic. However, these changes in mood are not extreme enough, nor do they last long enough, to qualify for a diagnosis of bipolar disorder.'

Bipolar UK | Home
Cyclothymia

Individuals experience mood swings but at a much lower level. Symptoms must last for a period of at least two years, with no period longer than two months in which there has been a stable state and no mixed episodes. Although individuals diagnosed with cyclothymia are on the bipolar spectrum, the relative mildness of the mood swings means you are not diagnosed with bipolar. However cyclothymia can develop into bipolar.
 
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Pollypop

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Thank you for such a clear and understandable explanation.

I feel it answers a lot of my experiences.
I have been mood stabilisers for years as well as many antidepressants.

I feel because I have been diagnosed with depression, anxiety and avoidant personality.
I asked the psychiatrist if she thought I had anything like bipolar.
She laughed and said if you had and I brought someone in, you would be dancing around naked.

The explanation you have given I can identify with.
I may try to visit my GP and give her a clearer idea of how I feel.

I no longer have the psychiatrist and the team as so many mistakes have been made by them.

I only want to be involved with my GP.

Thank you once again,

Pollypop x
 
calypso

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Hypomania is when you are highly energised, often highly creative or productive, talking too fast, not much insight into how you are being, flights of ideas from subject to subject - all that you see in mania, but not to the extreme of mania. Hypo means "under" like hypodermic, which means "under the skin". Does that help?
 
Lalemaro

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I beleive this answers my question. At the premature end of a career as a Paramedic, I was diagnosed with PTSD symptoms. The only reason it fell short of full PTSD, was I believe the size of my pension etc: which to this day, I have no idea who was fighting my corner, because I was too ill. For about ten years afterwards I was still prone to anxiety, panic attacks and avoidance tactics. It's 21 years now and I still take paroxetine. I avoid friendships and my mood swings are severe enough to debilitate me but I do manage to work with a head down pretend it's okay attitude. I'm better when I have a real purpose; especially if I can help others. Sadly such opportunities come rarely these days.
 
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rumper

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Hello, could someone who has been diagnosed with cyclothymia share his personal experience in dealing with it, for example how does he/she act and feel during each of the cycles, how long do they last or change and how has this impacted their lives. Also what helped them in dealing with cyclothymia.

I believe I might be suffering from this disorder and have read about the symptoms but it would be very helpful to hear a personal experience to see if it further relates to what I'm going through. Thanks.
 
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Pollypop

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I'm so sorry I can't help with anything you have asked specifically.
I recognise some of the symptoms myself but have not been officially diagnosed so
I can't offer any advice or coping skills.

I do hope you manage to get a conclusive assessment.

Wishing you well.
 
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Marchhare

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Can Disthymia in the heading?
 
calypso

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Cyclothymia like all the bipolar ranges is defined by the highs. When high, even in cyclothymia you lose some insight into behavior such as pressured speech, talking on and on, jumping from subject to subject with often no link between the subjects; spending suddenly far too much, being overtly sexual when this is out of character, being very happy often suddenly and can feel so positive anything is possible; sleeping much less, being more productive and so forth. There are online tests but they tend to leave out some of the defining signs.

Cyclothymia means there is no known reason for the behaviour and outside the normal for that person, so a person who normally talks incessantly hasn't got it necessarily. Its a milder form of bipolar but the depressions are still serious and need help. The cycling can be more depressions than highs.

The only way to know for sure is to be diagnosed by a person who can tease out whether the behaviour is within normal range for you or not. We can't diagnose ourselves as we don't have that experience and no-one on here can diagnose a person. I have bipolar 2 ( and one bipolar 1 eposode I am told) and have a lot of the above in a more pronounced way, and one of my signs that I am getting high is I start reading three books at once, whilst cooking and then painting the house then onto other activities, all within a day. I was stopped by the police and taken home for giving out £5 notes on the sea front to strangers as they all "needed" the money and I was suddenly wealthy. In my case I get psychotic quite quickly with hallucinations and delusions in the depressive phase - but that is the more serious form of bipolar.

Does that help?
 
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Blu7of9

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I have been diagnosed with cyclothymia and ocd. To say low mood feels like a kick in the pants. My low mood is much more than just low. Everyday I wake up is a disappointment. I never answer my door to anyone, in saying that it's quite ironic because I have absolutely no friends as I have pushed them all away over the years for various reasons but mainly because the people I have met are users who have taken the little I had left and left me hollowed out, so the only people at my door are the mail man and debt collectors. Everyday is a constant battle to stay alive, to not just take all my carbomazapine in one go and drift off to a permanent sleep.

However the highs I have experienced though I haven't had one for several months now they are fantastic or at least they used to be, that was when the last person I thought was a friend was in my life, they are not any more. I even got accepted to college at the end of last year only to have to give up my place for various reasons. I wish I had just one true friend that didn't want to use me then leave. I even hide who I really am so that I don't bum people out. I always put a smile on my face for other people and am quite often really very funny to be around but still it isn't enough.

I really wish I didn't have cyclothymia, I wish I was a normal productive member of society with friends a partner, children and a job but alas I don't think that is something that can ever be achieved by me.

- - - Updated - - -

It is like being human only a very exaggerated version of a human...
 
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Cyclo

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Hi Rumper

I've recently been diagnosed with cyclothymia, and for me it doesn't seem 'mild' at all.

When I'm 'up' its like I've just drunk like 10 double expressos, I can't sleep, I think I'm better than everybody and literally would hurt anybody who tried to stop me from doing what I was doing. I also don't eat, and the idea of eating makes me feel sick. I can't sit still, its like I need to do everything at once, but can't focus on anything enough to actually get anything done, so end up in this frenzy where I can't do anything but need to. I also spend a hell of a lot of money, to the point where my boyfriend has been told to control my finances by my doctor - I literally got into 7000 pounds debt because of it...

My moods change very quickly, say 3-4 days of each at a maximum, but I would say the depression stages often last longer.

As for the depression times, I want to kill myself but can't because I'm so tired that I can't actually move. Take the past two days for example, where I slept for about 20 hours each day, and whenever I tried to get up I had so little energy that I couldn't walk in a straight line. This is made worse by the fact that I never know 'who' i'm going to be when I wake up, and because of the fact that I hate the way I act at either end.

Bare in mind that my doctor reckons that my case is 'very severe' but due to the quickness of the moods she feels she can't diagnose full bipolar type 2. I'm on Lamotragine and Duloxetine, and with that I can sometimes function for a day or two.

I can't even explain how much it affects my life, and when I'm told it's mild I just hope to the high heavens that it never develops (because it can) into full bipolar. At the moment I can't work - I've been off sick for 2 and a half months, and I can barely leave the house.
 
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Cyclo

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Hi Rumper (number 2)

I added some other stuff in that I forgot about which might be useful.

When I'm up it's like i'm either obsessed with what i'm doing and its the best thing in the world or I just can't find or think of anything to do because everything is boring, and then I make plans to run away and go start a completely new life somewhere else.

I also talk really really fast to the point where people are like 'hey, can you slow down,' and often forget what I'm saying in the middle of a sentence because my mind has already gone onto the next sentence, so someone will be like 'but what about this,' and i'll be like 'what?' and they'll be like 'what you were speaking about a minute ago,' and I literally cannot for the life of me remember what it is, but I don't actually care, because they're 'obviously an idiot because they can't keep up,' or 'i'm just basically Sherlock, and they have no idea what they're talking about anyway - why am I even wasting my precious time talking to them.'
 
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Cyclo

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Yeah, you quickly learn whether you actually have any real friends or not, that's for certain.

People are sympathetic to begin with, but as soon as they realise that it's not just a 'cute little disorder' where a cuddle and a tub of ice-cream can solve it, they all run for the hills.

I'm actually kind of jealous that you can still put a smile on your face, my days of that are completely gone - no hiding any more :(
 
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Cyclo

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I still don't know whether I agree with my diagnosis, as I feel as if it is more severe than 'mild,' but I feel that the argument is that I haven't actually tried to kill myself, that I just want to, and that my moods change very very frequently. I've also been told that within Cyclothymia there is mild-severe within the diagnosis itself, so like mild to the point where people don't even go to the doctor because they are kind of just a bit worse than normal up and downs, to the point where it can completely impair somebody.

Obviously this is just my situation atm, and whenever I bring it up they're like 'I think we just need to continue with the treatment,' as the stabilizers have helped to level out my mood but really messed up my sleep pattern, but apparently that happens a lot with the medication I'm on to start with but then sorts itself out. It hasn't helped at all with the depression aspect, because now I'm completely sleep deprived and these aren't like hypermanic episodes, so I actually need to sleep but can't - to the point where the doctors given me sleeping tablets.

Also, I've been told in the past that compared to people with full blown bipolar my symptoms at either end seem milder, and I guess the constant changing and instability makes it harder for me to deal with - I have a lot of autistic traits in addition to this, so it completely wrecks my routine and plummets my self-worth as I feel like a burden to everybody.
 
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Mona14

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I found this thread looking for anything that says Cyclothymia can cause exhaustion. I haven't taken the children out today as I just don't feel I have the energy to go anywhere! I have only known about this diagnosis since Christmas. It's all still new but I've had OCD since I was a small child so I am not new to mental illness. I have no shame attached to it or anything. I don't really understand the moods but I know I swing every four days roughly now I track them. I wonder how I got by before. I thought I was just really unstable (which I guess I was)! Lithium has helped but the tiredness and apathy is killing. I don't think any member of my family could appreciate how debilitating it is so thank you for your posts.
 
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Cyclo

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So I just thought I should come here and update, in case anybody comes looking and finds my posts and is like 'omg, that's way worse than what i'm experiencing.'

Basically, my condition got to a point where the CMHT had to get involved and since my diagnosis has been changed to Rapid Cycling Bipolar II. Since then my meds have been upped a lot and I'm finally at a point where I can think about possibly getting to work.

So, in case you read my posts - those actually weren't cyclothymia at all but bipolar and finding the right doctor is absolutely the most important thing in the world!
 
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sadsadsad

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I can relate with many of your descriptions. My last official diagnosis, about 20 years ago, was cyclothimia!

Except for one thing, which is my anger, which is not exclusive to either state!
 
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lezdefez

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Hi my friend I'm willing to be your friend if you'll have me. I've had bipolar disorder 20 years. Could relate to everything you said. Especially about pushing g people away. I'm here if you want to talk
 
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