Like bipolar disorder, cyclothymia has high and low phases, though the highs are not as high and the lows not as low.
But as bipolar disorders have gained visibility in the clinical community and popular culture, cyclothymia is being identified and treated more often.
Kleinman, an assistant clinical professor of psychiatry at George Washington and a psychiatrist in private practice in Chevy Chase, Maryland, estimates that 60 percent of people with cyclothymia respond to an anticonvulsant agent.
People who suffer from cyclothymia say no two days are alike.
The depressive phase of cyclothymia symptoms include fatigue, sadness, anxiety, guilt, sleep problems, loss of interests, social withdrawal, irritability and chronic pain with a clear cause.
Schaffer treated 28 patients with treatment-resistant bipolar I disorder, bipolar II disorder, and cyclothymia
with adjunctive gabapentin (to antidepressants, antipsychotics, benzodiazepines, or other anticonvulsants).
For example, Jamison (1993) identified a number of historical figures who were believed to suffer from cyclothymia
, depression, or bipolar disorder, including poets, such as Blake, Lord Byron, and Shelley; writers, such as Clemens, Greene, and Stevenson; composers, such as Berlioz, Handel, and Rossini; and artists, such as Gauguin, Gericault, and Pollock.
If we found more than 50% of the total available class meetings identified with corresponding DSM headings (such as "DSM-IV Introduction," "Psychotic Disorders: Schizophrenia," or "Mood Disorders: Mania, Bipolar Disorder, and Cyclothymia
," in Case 4), we judged the syllabus to be organized and structured by the DSM.
Cyclothymia is a disorder in the bipolar spectrum that is characterized by frequent low-level mood fluctuations that range from hypomania to low-level depression, with symptoms existing for at least 2 years (American Psychiatric Association [APA] 1994).
Bipolar II disorder and cyclothymia are even more difficult to reliably diagnose because of the more subtle nature of the psychiatric symptoms.
For example, cyclothymia and bipolar I disor der have demonstrated similar rates of family psychopathology, lithium response, and type of symptoms (Akiskal et al.
Identification of dysthymia and cyclothymia by the General Behavior Inventory.