2013 Bipolar Update
Bipolar Disorder: Cyclothymia Symptoms
Bipolar disorder is one of the most common mental illnesses. It is usually referred to as a mood disorder as it for the most part gives individuals extreme high and low mood swings. As such, a patient with a bipolar disorder may have episodes of depression and mania alternating in changing cycles.
Often, bipolar disorder goes undiagnosed due to the patient failing to recognize the instability of their mental condition. Moreover, if the bipolar disorder is mild, it can go on unrecognized for an extended period of time. One of the most common forms of mild bipolar disorder is Cyclothymia.
Cyclothymia symptoms, much like other forms of bipolar disorder, include episodes of depression and mania. However, the difference is that the Cyclothymia symptoms are rather distinct and are characterized by short episodes of mild mania often alternating with equally short episodes of mild depression. In our context, the word short may refer to a period of a few days to a few weeks as this period tends to differ from patient to patient. In most cases, one will find that the Cyclothymia symptoms of depression and mania are separated by an episode of a normal mood.
Cyclothymia symptoms are referred to as mild when compared with more severe bipolar symptoms such as those common with Bipolar Disorders I and II. However, no matter how mild they are, Cyclothymia symptoms can easily disrupt an individual’s life as well as create an atmosphere of confusion and chaos in the affected person’s life.
Cyclothymia symptoms are equally distributed among genders and in general Cyclothymia as a form of Bipolar disorder affects about 1 percent of the general population. Studies concerning this form of Bipolar disorder indicate that the symptoms begin to manifest at an early age, appearing when the individual is in their early teenage years. As such, the symptoms can easily be confused with normal mood swings characteristic of most teenagers.
The specific symptoms of Cyclothymia tend to vary from one individual to the next. However, there are some general symptoms which should alert one that they could be suffering from some form of Bipolar disorder. Such Cyclothymia symptoms include constant shift in mood from episodes of elation to gloom, personal relationship problems, sleep difficulties, self medication, as well as abrupt changes in an individual’s personality.
When a physician is making a diagnosis of Cyclothymia symptoms, they are likely to consider a number of factors. These include an individual having experienced a number of episodes of both mania and depression for at least two years, as well as having experienced episodes of normal mood in between.
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