Cyclothymia or cyclothymia disorder is the one of the mood disorders and is not as severe as bipolar II disorder. Cyclothymia is characterized by mild depressive and mania phases, while between these two stages, the person usually feels well.
Symptoms of cyclothymia
Hypomaniac cyclothymia stage has its well-recognized signs, such as increased physical activity, rapid speech, euphoria, great optimism, and sleeplessness. Agitation and aggressive behavior are also very frequent in this phase of cyclothymia, and the person who suffers from this usually has increased sexual drive and is often not able to concentrate. Furthermore, the person is inconsiderate of others, or has poor judgment. Racing thoughts and risky behavior are also symptoms of hypomanic cyclothymia. In the cases when the person has the symptoms such as suicidal thoughts, sadness, anxiety, guilt, then he or she is in the depressive phase of cyclothymia disorder. In addition to these symptoms many other may occur, for example, decreased sexual drive, appetite problems, hopelessness and chronic pain without apparent reason.
Best medications for cyclothymia
Once diagnosed, cyclothymia must be treated, because otherwise, it can lead to serious bipolar disorders and can have extremely negative effect on the emotional life of the person who suffers from this kind of emotional disorder. The physician must do some test before diagnosing cyclothymia, and they include physical test, laboratory test, and psychological assessment. It is very important to take medications correctly and consistently in order to control cyclothymia and prevent hypomania and depression. Medications used for this disorder can be divided into four groups: mood stabilizers, anti-seizure medications, antidepressants, and other medications.
• Mood stabilizers are the most frequently prescribed for cyclothymia, because they stabilize and regulate mood. Lithium is the most commonly used as a mood stabilizer.
• Anti-seizure medications are popularly known as anticonvulsants. They are very potent in preventing mood swings, and the most popular anticonvulsants are valproic acid, divalproex sodium and lamotrigine.
• Olanzapine and risperidone are two atypical antipsychotic medications that are proven to be very good for those who do not react to anticonvulsants. Benzodiazepines, as well as quetiapine, are regarded to be very helpful for treating cyclothymia.
• Antidepressants combined with a mood stabilizer are also recommended, although antidepressants alone should not be used to treat cyclothymia, because mania episodes may suddenly occur.
High blood pressure, the increase in the weight, and diabetes are the most common side effects that can appear while using the medication for cyclothymia. Cognitive behavioral therapy, family therapy, group therapy, and social rhythmic therapy are four types of psychotherapy that is, besides medications, one of the most effective ways to treat cyclothymia.