Have you been experiencing any of the following symptoms of mild to moderate depression alternating with the second set of symptoms of hypomania (often characterized as mood swings) for at least two years?
- Mild to moderate depressive symptoms
- Lack of appetite or overeating
- Sleep issues
- Lack of energy
- Deflated self-esteem
- Difficulty concentrating
- Feeling hopeless or helpless
- Inflated self-esteem
- Feeling of grandiosity
- More talkative or pressured speech
- Racing thoughts
- Distractibility, excessive involvement in pleasurable experiences that are likely to be harmful
Cyclothymia is experienced by alternating between emotional highs and lows. The highs are classified as hypomanic symptoms which are less severe than the mania symptoms experienced by those with bipolar, and the lows are usually mild to moderate depressive symptoms. Cyclothymia is often considered to be a less harsh version of bipolar disorder. It frequently does not interrupt your life in a significant way but can feel very disconcerting because you never know how you might feel. You may feel out of balance and unsure of how to plan for your days, weeks, and your future because you do not always function fully and well, and your symptoms are irregular and unpredictable.
Cyclothymia is extremely difficult to heal on your own, and it has been reported that 33 percent of those with cyclothymia end up with depression if left untreated. It can disrupt relationships, your career, and many other aspects of your life because your mood changes so frequently. You may feel happy and excited one week and down and sad the next not being able to identify what has changed. Those around you may not be able to relate or approach you because they are not sure how you are feeling or what they might experience from you. You maybe highly motivated to progress in your career at one point and unable to complete a task the next. This can cause confusion for you and those around you leading to a lack of satisfaction in your life.
Those struggling with cyclothymia often feel like they just do not know how to get their emotions and feelings in line with their life and experiences. They may feel that the ups and downs are their fault and do not realize that this is a psychological issue that can be treated. They often feel out of control and unstable and that they “should” be able to regulate their emotions. Many struggling with this issue find it difficult to maintain healthy relationships, and as many as 50 percent struggle with some type of substance abuse issue. With the right help and treatment, those with cyclothymia can begin to experience a productive and fulfilling life.
The therapists at Noyau are expertly trained and have significant experience in working with those with cyclothymia. Many have been prescribed antidepressants to deal with their problem, which can lead to mania. Your therapist will work with you to determine if a mood stabilizer is right for you or if you need medication at all. You will learn about your unhealthy, negative beliefs and identify how to replace them with more positive ones. You will also learn how to develop better coping mechanisms and tackle stress more actively. You may also want to bring your partner or other family members into therapy to help you identify and heal any aspects that may have been harmed during your depressive or hypomanic episodes. Your close ones may also be able to help you through this process with the support that is essential to your healing. You can feel more balanced and lead a more fruitful and fulfilling life. You will take control of your life, your emotions, and your future.