Generally, bipolar disorder is known as one of the mental disorders that cause a person to experience depressive symptoms and manic symptoms alternately. However, almost similar symptoms will be experienced by people with mental health disorders, such as cyclothymia. Cyclothymia is difficult to detect because people rarely realize the symptoms experienced.
However, cyclothymia or known as cyclothymic disorder is a milder mood swing disorder when compared to bipolar disorder. People with cyclothymia experience mood swings from mild depression to improved mood in a relatively rapid time. Get to know the symptoms and treatments to deal with cyclothymia well, here’s the review.
What is cyclothymic disorder?
Cyclothymic disorder or cyclothymia is a mild mood disorder similar to type 2 bipolar disorder. Because it is similar to bipolar type 2, cyclothymia makes sufferers experience mood swings. Sufferers can feel excessive pleasure, but can immediately go down into very sad and empty.
The symptoms of cyclothymia are similar to bipolar disorder. However, the two psychological problems can differ in intensity. The mood changes in cyclothymia tend to be mild and not as extreme as bipolar.
In the case of bipolar, mood fluctuations can move from excessive pleasure (mania) that goes down to major depression. Meanwhile, cyclothymia is characterized by excessive pleasure under a mania called hypomania. From hypomania, people with cyclothymia will feel sad, empty, and mild depression.
Although symptoms of cyclothymia tend to be milder, this psychological problem risks leading to bipolar disorder if left untreated.
Cyclothymic Disorder Causes
It is not yet known specifically what is the exact cause of this cyclothymia. This disorder can be experienced by both men and women. Generally, new sufferers show symptoms at the age of adolescence. Some of the things that are believed to be the cause of the emergence of this disorder include:
- Changes in the nervous system of the brain
- Environment, such as a traumatic experience or prolonged stress.
Cyclothymic disorder symptoms
A person with cyclothymia can usually still move normally, but it may not be as good as when symptoms are not relapsing.
Mood swings and emotions that rise and fall can have an effect on daily activities, especially because the sufferer does not know when his emotions will change.
People with cyclothymia usually experience several weeks of low-level depressive symptoms, followed by mild manic episodes for several days.
Here are the symptoms of low-grade cyclothymia depression:
- Appetite changes
- Weight loss or gain
- Insomnia or sleeping too much (hyper insomnia)
- Decreased se**xual appetite
- Lack of concentration
- Feeling hopeless, guilty, to worthless
- Loss of interest in activities that are usually fun
While the symptoms of manic cyclothymia include:
- High confidence
- Chaotic thoughts
- Lack of focus
- The mind is easily distracted
- Feeling anxious
- Hold back from sleeping for days without feeling tired
- Talk too much and very fast
- Too much activity
How to treat cyclothymic disorder
Cyclothymia is a chronic psychological disorder that makes sufferers need lifelong treatment. If they stop taking the drug, then the symptoms will recur or even become more severe. The main treatment needed by sufferers is drugs and psychotherapy.
Medication for cyclothymic disorder
Treatment using drugs can only be prescribed by a psychiatric specialist. Psychologists do not have the authority to prescribe drugs to patients. Some types of drugs prescribed for sufferers include:
- Mood stabilizing drugs such as lithium
- Anti-seizure or anticonvulsant medications, such as divalproex sodium, lamotrigine, and valproic acid
- Atypical antipsychotic drugs such as olanzapine, quetiapine, and risperidone. Atypical antipsychotics can help patients who do not respond to anticonvulsant drugs.
- Anti-anxiety drugs such as benzodiazepines
- Antidepressants. This medicine should usually be accompanied by mood stabilizing drugs because it can cause dangerous manic episodes if taken alone.
Therapies that are generally carried out by patients are cognitive therapy, Interpersonal and Social Rhythm Therapy (IPSRT), and well-being therapy. Cognitive therapy (CBT) is done as a focus on negative thoughts and beliefs and turns them into positive thoughts and beliefs. CBT also teaches stress management techniques and develops problem coping techniques.
Interpersonal therapy and social rhythms focus on stabilizing daily rhythms, especially those related to sleep, wakefulness, and mealtimes. People with mood disorders can create a daily routine to help stabilize their mood.
Well-being therapy is done with a focus on improving the overall quality of life. Well-being therapy as a part of positive psychology that aims to help the individual by improving their positive aspects and developing their strengths.