Understanding the Symptoms and Treatment Options

Cyclothymia is a mental health condition that causes cyclical mood swings lasting for at least two years. Learn about symptoms and treatment options here.


What Exactly Is Cyclothymia?

Cyclothymia is a rare mood disorder which causes a person to experience cyclical mood swings. It usually ranges from mild depression to hypomania (elevated mood). While it's less severe than bipolar disorder, it still have a significant impact on a person's daily life. There are no manic or depressive episode as with bipolar, but having this condition can still affect a person's relationship with other people.


What Are the Symptoms of Cyclothymia?

Cyclothymia is characterized by recurrent periods of hypomanic symptoms and depressive symptoms. The symptoms are not as severe or prolonged as those seen in bipolar disorder, but they are chronic and can affect a person's daily life. Mood swings may last for over a period of time of at least two years, but in terms of severity people who have cyclothymia do not experience a full-blown episode unlike those who have depression or manic attack. The key symptoms of cyclothymia include:

For hypomania:

  • Gets easily distracted and difficulty in concentration
  • Increased and rapid or pressured talkativeness
  • Elevated mood and decreased need for sleep
  • Overconfidence and high level of confidence
  • Racing and repetitive thought patterns
  • Impulsive and aggressive behavior 

For depressive:

  • Feelings of hopelessness, sadness, and emptiness
  • Insomnia and changes in sleep patterns
  • Feelings of guilt or worthlessness
  • Suicidal thoughts (in severe cases)
  • Difficulty concentrating at tasks
  • Fatigue and low energy levels
  • Changes in appetite or weight


What Causes Cyclothymia?

The exact cause of cyclothymia is unknown, but it's believed to be a combination of genetic, environmental, and neurobiological factors. Some studies suggest that the condition may be related to imbalances in certain neurotransmitters, such as serotonin, norepinephrine, and dopamine.

Risk factors for cyclothymia include a family history of bipolar disorder or depression, substance abuse, chronic stress, and trauma.


Diagnosis of Cyclothymia

Diagnosing cyclothymia can be quite difficult for psychiatrists and neuropsychologists as it has many overlapping symptoms from other mental health conditions. While that may be the case, proper diagnosis is not impossible, but it may take a bit for them to exactly determine whether a person has it or not.

The process of diagnosis of cyclothymia is based on a thorough evaluation of symptoms and medical history. A mental health professional may also use various screening tools to assess mood and other symptoms. It's important to rule out other medical conditions that can mimic the symptoms of cyclothymia, such as thyroid disorders or substance abuse.


Treatment of Cyclothymia

Cyclothymia can be treated with a combination of medication and therapy. Mood stabilizers, such as lithium or valproate, may be prescribed to help regulate mood swings. Antidepressants may also be used to alleviate symptoms of depression.

Therapy can also be helpful for managing symptoms of cyclothymia. Cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) can help individuals identify negative thought patterns and develop coping strategies to manage mood swings. Interpersonal therapy (IPT) can help individuals improve relationships and communication skills, which can reduce stress and improve mood.



Self-help strategies, such as regular exercise, healthy eating, stress management, and relaxation techniques, can also be helpful for managing symptoms of cyclothymia.

Cyclothymia is a chronic mental health condition characterized by cyclical mood swings that last for at least two years. While less severe than bipolar disorder, it can still have a significant impact on a person's daily life. If you or someone you know is experiencing symptoms of cyclothymia, it's important to seek help from a mental health professional. With the right treatment and support, individuals with cyclothymia can manage their symptoms and improve their quality of life.

Serin Center experts have been utilizing applied neuroscience to enhance the lives of children, adolescents, adults, families, and executives with effective and innovative therapy.

Get to experience the power of innovative and effective applied neuroscience therapy for mental and emotional wellness when you visit Serin Center. We have clinics in Peoria, AZ, and Scottsdale, AZ. Contact us today to provide you with cutting-edge approaches for faster, long-lasting results.