Cyclothymic Disorder - Types Of Depression

This series of articles will give a brief overview of the different types of depression, this article will focus on Cyclothymic Disorder. If you are looking for a definition of a specific type of depression that is not Cyclothymic Disorder click one of the links below.

Bi Polar Depression
Dysthemia Disorder
Major Depression Disorder
Post Natal Depression
Winter Depression

Cyclothymic Disorder also known as Cyclothymia Disorder is defined as a person displaying symptoms of a persistently mood, with moods swings ranging from mild depression to mild elation, these moods swings usually occur over a long period of time. Diagnosis usually occurs in late adolescence. People suffering from Cyclothymic Disorder often do not realise they have the illness and do not seek help. Cyclothymic Disorder is similar to Bi Polar Depression. with the exception that the mood swings between high and low and not as rapid or as emotionally different or severe.

Each mood state can last for lengthy periods of up to a few months. People with Cyclothymic Disorder are at risk of developing Bi Polar Disorder. It is not uncommon for a relative of a person sufferering from Cyclothymic Disorder to have been diagnosed with Bi Polar Disorder.

Cyclothymic Disorder unlike some other forms of depression does not usually make the person unable to function as normal.

A person with this Cyclothymic Disorder may experience periods of elation, be full  of energy and require less sleep than normal. This is known as the Hypomanic period and is usually followed by a depressive mood swing. It is during this depressive time that sufferers will usually seek help.

Sufferers of Cyclothymic Disorder will note two distinct symptoms or phases of emotions, the Dysthymic phase (depressive) and the Euphoric phase (elation).

Emotions of the Dysthymic phase include; lack of ability to concentrate, loss of memory, low self-esteem, sadness, hopelessness, lack of motivation, a change in appetite (either more or less), loss of sex drive, fatigue, and insomnia.

Emotions of the Euphoric phase include; lengthy periods of cheerfulness, overly excessivce amounts of optimism, inflated self-esteem, rapid speech, Racing thoughts, inconsideration of others, easily agitated, desire to spend money (retail therapy), increased drive toset, perform and achieve goals, increased of libido, reduced need for rest or sleep, and a lack of ability to concentrate.

Some of the risk factors for developing Cyclothymic Disorder are;
  • Hereditery / Genetic - A person is 2 to 3 times more likely to suffer from Cyclothymic Disorder if another person in the family has the disorder. Identical twins are over 50% more likely to develop if the other twin has the disorder.
  • Psychological - Stress caused by either poor personal relationships, stress developed within the work place, or sudden life changing events such as the loss of a loved one, lack of satisfaction with the direction of life, and financial problems are common causes for Cyclothymic Disorder.
  • Social - Unhappy childhood, failure to find a life partner, a lack of good friends or an inability to develop strong or sound relationships.

Cyclothymic Disorder treatments include;
  • Exercise - Particularly in the Dysthymic phase exercise can release endorphins to combat the low levels of seretonin often found within sufferers of Cyclothymic Disorder. Regular daily exercise is encouraged under the direction of your doctor.
  • Psychotherapy and Cognitive Behaviour Therapy