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Symptoms of Bipolar Disorder or Cyclothymia – How They Differ?

Submitted by on April 19, 2011 – 12:05 amNo Comment




People who have continually experienced a constant cycling of mild-ranging mood variations might be having a milder type of bipolar disorder called as cyclothymic disorder or cyclothymia.

These duo types of disorder are typified by acute rapid changes in mood from maniac peaks to plummets of depression interspersed with brief spells of neutral time amid them. The variation lies in the degree of symptoms experienced. Bipolar disorder sufferers would undergo major depression & clinical diagnosis of mania, whereas cyclothymia sufferers would be experiencing low-grading depression & mild-ranging mania called as hypomania.

In case of cyclothymia, it might appear as though the person is experiencing a succession of fine days & low days. However, the mood swings are continually experienced with hardly any neutral period in-between.

Signs & Symptoms of Cyclothymia

Apart from flitting in-between the duo extremities of mood, the other decisive factor which would assist in determining an identification of cyclothymia are:

  • The person would be experiencing such mood vacillations for a minimum of 2 years.
  • The person would be non-symptomatic for a minimum of duo years.
  • The person’s symptoms are not meeting the requisites of any other bipolar disorder.

Symptoms of Bipolar Disorder & Cyclothymia – How they Differ?

Solely a physician could precisely diagnose the medical difference in-between symptoms of bipolar disorder & those of cyclothymia. However, in general, the signs of a bipolar depression entail:

  • Drastic sleep interruption.
  • Lack of attentiveness & craving for food.
  • Incapacitating thought process of triviality.
  • Pitiable self-worth.
  • Also suicidal thought process.

Symptoms could be long-term & drastically lowering quality of existence.

The analogous signs & symptoms might exist in case of cyclothymic depression, though mild-ranging. They might be lasting over a fortnight & might be causal to lesser disruptions in everyday routines.

The actual bipolar disorder mania, basically is the contrary to major depression, could similarly incapacitate the person. It might be felt alongside feeling euphoric & indestructible – a sense of I’m the King of the World – which then might be manifesting as perilous behaviours such as reckless driving or drug/ alcohols abuse. The individual experiencing a mania might stay sleepless for 1-2 days, be a fast talker and move between topics sans making much sense.

Hypomania noted with cyclothymia is lesser vivid & not as long-term. A person’s symptoms might be that mild-ranging that nothing abnormal is noted – mild insomnia, for instance, being chatty or an increase in energy levels.

Even as several patients who live with cyclothymia are content sans undergoing therapy, it might be crucial for those around to spot, make a diagnosis & check their condition due to the likelihood of it escalating. An approximate 1/3rd to ½ of individuals having cyclothymic disorder would be going on to suffer from full-on bipolar disorders. Such intensification is particularly common when the condition is familial. Though preventative therapy has not been made out, there is yet some sanguinity amongst scientists that an earlier therapy in case of cyclothymia might soon avert full-fledged bipolar disorder from arising.

Treatment for Cyclothymia

Since cyclothymia is incurable hence medication prescriptions to treat bipolar disorder like mood stabilizer medicines fail to be working in case of cyclothymia.

More frequently, cyclothymia therapy entails talk therapy with trustworthy psychologists who could assist patients in identifying the triggering factors which might heighten the acuteness & regularity of their mood changes. For instance, mood swings could be activated by sleep deficits, intake of alcohols or having travelled via several time zones. Light therapy could additionally be helpful in treating cyclothymia.

In due time & under the guidance & assistance of a trustworthy support group – commencing with the doctor who did the diagnosis – one could comprehend ways of better mood management & patient’s reaction to them & living a lesser disorderly life due to cyclothymia.

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