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Could my mood swings be a sign of cyclothymia?


Do you experience frequent mood swings, where you have periods of feeling low mood (depression) and periods of extreme highs (hypomania)? The symptoms of cyclothymia are often overlooked, unlike those who have bipolar disorder or manic depression. Without intervention or treatment, cyclothymia can develop into bipolar disorder so it’s important to be aware and access further support if you need it.

So what is cyclothymia?

The periods of low mood in cyclothymia means that you may feel lethargic, disinterested in doing things although not enough for it to stop you from your normal daily activities. The extreme highs means that your have a lot of energy, feel excited and need less sleep. Between the period the mood swings, it’s possible to experience times where your mood feels more level or normal. However, it’s likely that your symptoms occur on a regular basis; at least every couple of months. While cyclothymia is not as severe as bipolar disorder, it can still be problematic or debilitating if it is unmanaged.

What can help cyclothymia?

Treatment for cyclothymia is usually medication and some form of mental health support or therapy. Mood stabilisers, antidepressants or even antipsychotics may be prescribed to help level out the mood fluctuations. Not everyone responds well to medication though. It is also possible to manage your symptoms though psychological support, where you are able to think and behave more adaptively when symptoms arise. Developing coping strategies helps your resilience as well helping you feel better.

Next steps

If you have concerns that you may have cyclothymia, it’s important to find out more from your GP. Further information on cyclothymia can be found on www.nhs.uk/conditions/cyclothymia.

Ling Salter of Compassionate Cuppa offers mentoring to individuals to optimise their emotional wellbeing. Feel better and live life well. Find out more or to book your first FREE session on www.compassionatecuppa.co.uk.

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