Classification and external resources
ICD-10 F34.0
ICD-9 301.13
MeSH D003527

Cyclothymia is a serious mood and mental disorder in the bipolar spectrum that causes both hypomanic and depressive episodes. It is defined medically within the bipolar spectrum and consists of recurrent disturbances between sudden hypomania and dysthymic episodes. The diagnosis of cyclothymic disorder is not made when there is a history of mania or major depressive episode or mixed episode. The lifetime pre-eminence of cyclothymic disorder is 0.4-1%. The rate appears equal in men and women, though women more often seek treatment. Unlike some other forms of bipolar disorder (to be specific, bipolar I disorder), people with cyclothymia are more often either somewhat or fully functioning[citation needed], sometimes even hyper-productive.

Cyclothymia is similar to bipolar II disorder in that it presents itself in signature hypomanic episodes. Because hypomania is often associated with exceptionally creative, outgoing, and high-functioning behavior, both conditions are often undiagnosed. As with most of the disorders in the bipolar spectrum, it is the depressive phase that leads most sufferers to get help. The term derives from the Greek κύκλος (kuklos), "circle"[1] + θυμός (thumos), "temper".[2]


Differential diagnosis

This disorder is common in the relatives of patients with bipolar disorder, and some individuals with cyclothymia eventually develop bipolar disorder themselves. It may persist throughout adult life, cease temporarily or permanently, or develop into more severe mood swings, meeting the criteria for bipolar disorder or recurrent depressive disorder in rare cases.


Dysthymic phase

Symptoms of the dysthymic phase include difficulty making decisions, problems concentrating, poor memory recall, guilt, self-criticism, low self-esteem, pessimism, self-destructive thinking, continuously feeling sad, apathy, hopelessness, helplessness, irritability, quick temper, poor judgment, lack of motivation, social withdrawal, appetite change, lack of sexual desire, self-neglect, fatigue, and insomnia.[3]

Euphoric phase

Symptoms of the euphoric phase include unusually good mood or cheerfulness (euphoria), extreme optimism, inflated self-esteem, rapid speech, racing thoughts, aggressive or hostile behavior, being inconsiderate of others, agitation, massively increased physical activity, risky behavior, spending sprees, increased drive to perform or achieve goals, increased sexual drive, decreased need for sleep, tendency to be easily distracted, and inability to concentrate.[4]


There may be a genetic component to Cyclothymia. In one study, it was found that an individual is 2-3 times more likely to have the disorder if an identical twin is affected.[5]




See also


  1. ^ κύκλος, Henry George Liddell, Robert Scott, A Greek-English Lexicon, on Perseus
  2. ^ θυμός, Henry George Liddell, Robert Scott, A Greek-English Lexicon, on Perseus
  3. ^ "Dysthymic disorder and chronic depression". Retrieved 2010-11-18. 
  4. ^ "Cyclothymia (cyclothymic disorder): Symptoms". Retrieved 2010-11-18. 
  5. ^ Bartelsen, A; Harvald, B; and Hauge, M. "A Danish twin study of manic-depressive disorders.". Retrieved 6 September 2011. 

External links

Wikimedia Foundation. 2010.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • cyclothymia — n. a mild bipolar disorder. [WordNet 1.5] …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • cyclothymia — [sī΄klō thī′mē ə, sī΄kləthī′mē ə] n. [ModL < CYCLO + Gr thymos, spirit: see DULL] an emotional condition characterized by alternate periods of elation and depression: considered by some to be a mild form of BIPOLAR (AFFECTIVE) DISORDER… …   English World dictionary

  • cyclothymia — noun see cyclothymic …   New Collegiate Dictionary

  • cyclothymia — cyclothymic, adj. /suy kleuh thuy mee euh, sik leuh /, n. Psychiatry. a mild bipolar disorder characterized by instability of mood and a tendency to swing between mild euphorias and depressions. [1920 25; CYCLO + THYMIA] * * * …   Universalium

  • cyclothymia — noun a chronic mental disturbance characterized by mood swings and depression …   Wiktionary

  • Cyclothymia — A form of bipolar disorder in which the mood swings are less severe. See also bipolar disease. * * * A mental disorder characterized by marked swings of mood from depression to hypomania but not to the degree that occurs in bipolar disorder. SYN …   Medical dictionary

  • cyclothymia — n. cyclical condition in which depression alternates with elation (Psychiatry) …   English contemporary dictionary

  • cyclothymia — [ˌsʌɪklə(ʊ) θʌɪmɪə] noun Psychiatry, dated manic depressive tendency. Derivatives cyclothymic adjective Origin 1920s: from cyclo + Gk thumos temper …   English new terms dictionary

  • cyclothymia — cy·clo·thy·mia …   English syllables

  • cyclothymia — n. the occurrence of marked swings of mood from cheerfulness to misery. These fluctuations are not as great as those of bipolar affective disorder. They usually represent a personality trait for which psychotherapy is sometimes helpful …   The new mediacal dictionary

Share the article and excerpts

Direct link
Do a right-click on the link above
and select “Copy Link”

We are using cookies for the best presentation of our site. Continuing to use this site, you agree with this.