Cyclothymic disorder is a mood disorder similar to bipolar disorder. It causes mood swings but not as severe as bipolar. Those with the disorder may feel like everything is wonderful followed by periods of mild depression and lack of energy. Some of the symptoms children and teens have are extreme optimism, poor judgment, rapid speech, and hostile behavior.
Children with this disorder may become agitated, indulge in excessive physical activity, go on spending sprees, have increased drive to perform and achieve goals, are easily distracted, and have a hard time concentrating. Other symptoms may be the person has a range of emotions like sadness, anxiety, sleep problems, guilt, and chronic pain without a cause.
Andrew Solomon who suffered from the disorder wrote a book Noonday Demon: An Atlas of Depression that won the National Book Award in 2001. He said the often he felt good but suffered from angry outbursts. Once after an annoying phone call he slammed the phone down so hard it broke. Another time he broke a glass and told someone that drank too much to leave his home.
He found out at age 42 that was a name for this disorder. It is called cyclothymic disorder. If not treated it has the risk factor of turning into bipolar disorder. This disorder produces depression in youth and adults. The American Psychiatric Association estimates that about 2.2 million adults have this disorder. This disorder is now being identified and treated in children and adults more than ever.
Awareness of cyclothymic disorder symptoms have become more known due to that prominent people that have written and spoken on the subject to others. A new drug recently came out called Lamictal an anticonvulsant seems to delay mood swings. When a new drug come out there is often a push to find people that it can be used on.
Often this illness begins in the teens and continues into adulthood. It has genetic components because often the person has a family history of this disorder. The brain has less hormones to control the person’s perceptions or reactions of whats happening in the environment. One woman Ann Sexton was diagnosed with the disorder after having children. She suffered form periods of depression and highs where she went out and bought ten pairs of shoes. In her case the symptoms became worse when she was treated with anit-depressants.
This is a mild bipolar disorder that is common in both boys and girls. It can lead to strained relationships with family and friends, poor performance in school, problems with job performance, and a history of ambitious but unachieved goals. When a child or teen has cycloymia often treatment is needed.
It often starts with a general medical exam and lab tests are performed and often a thyroid test. Sometime they test urine for drug or alcohol use. A doctor may give you an assement to fill out to determine; your personality and moods. Often the doctor will talk to family members to find out their perception of the situation.
For a child or teen to be diagnosed with cyclothymic disorder they must have elevated moods and depressive symptoms for at least two years. These symptoms have to affect the person at school, work, and in other situations. These symptoms cannot be caused by a medical condition or substance abuse.
Often this disorder is treated by prescribing medications for the patient. Often mood stabilizers are given that help regulate the person’s mood. Lithium is a widely prescribed drug. Others drugs prescribed for this disorder are Depakote, Lamicital, and Equetro. Antipsychotics are often prescribed when patients don’t benefit from anti-depressants. Some drugs even help improve sleep.
Often patients benefit from different forms of psychotherapy like cognitive therapy. This helps them learn new ways to cope with negative beliefs and behaviors. Group therapy can help patients learn to communicate better with other people. When someone has this disorder learn about it by reading and talking to others and with family members or kids that suffer from it.
Joining a support group of parents or caregivers with kids and family members can help you cope with the problem. The patient can find ways to cope through exercise and hobbies. Patients can learn stress reduction techniques like meditation or yoga.
Another form of therapy used with cyclothymic disorders is social rhythms therapy. It focuses on maintaining a regular schedule and reducing triggers that cause mood swings. Patients learn new skills in dealing with social realtionships. Exercise, sleep management, and diet also play a role. This disorder represents a constant cycle of up and down moods.
During the elevated mood cycle children can often work for long periods of time and have little need for sleep. When their mood changes projecst are left unfinished and they feel depressed and lazy. Often social and work relationships suffer from mood swings.
A man that is a salesman describes suffering from high and low moods since he was 14. In bad periods he would sleep excessively and lose motivation. Then his mood would shift after 4 to 7 days where he would in a high activity state and engage in alcohol and sex to improve his mood.
Most children and teens with this disorder appear to function normally. Many do not seek treatment because their mood swings are not severe. It is considered a lifelong condition that needs treatment. Often cyclothymic disorders is rarely diagnosed. It is often called a mood disorder or depression.
Many children and teens with this disorder may struggle to perform in school, become argumentative, and have trouble keeping a job for long period of time. They may have trouble with relationships with family and friends due to mood swings. If your child has the symptoms of cyclothymic mood disorder you should seek medical help.
Often when you go to your regular doctor they can recommend another doctor that can help treat this disorder. Many hospitals have outpatients psychiatric units that treat children and teens for different disorders. This is another place to seek help. When in an emergency situations you can go to the emergency room and often a hospital can start the process of treatment for disorders like cyclothymic disorder.
Often hospitalization is not necessary for bipolar disorders medication and group or individual therapy can help the person cope with the problem. Many kids with mood disorders are treatable but need some help coping with the condition. It is often just a matter of time until the medication and routine helps them cope better.
Family and group therapy helps kids see they are not the only one with the problem. It helps to know that you are not alone with cyclothymic disorder.