View Full Version : The difference between cyclothymia and bipolar?

03-26-13, 01:53 PM
I've been doing a little bit of reading since I got diagnosed yesterday with cyclothymia... and by bit, I mean pretty much only the definition.

From what I read, it's bipolar, only miniature. But how is that really different? One's a big cycle, one's a little cycle, but they are both still cycles....

I feel like I should be more concerned with this... but I'm not... am I just not processing yet, or not understanding something?

03-26-13, 02:09 PM
No I am with you. I am curious about this for myself. So far on meds I haven't had a prolonged dip or rise so I may be on the clear but I would love for someone with cyclo to speak about their experiences.

03-26-13, 02:28 PM
We are only tweaking one thing at a time, so I can't actually distinguish the highs/lows yet... she's working on my anxiety levels first because apparently that's the worst of the three.

Apparently though, my cycles were blending with my ADHD and making everything so much worse.

Dunno... still confused.

03-26-13, 03:48 PM
Cyclothymia is a type of bipolar disorder. Bipolar disorder is (in the DSM-IV-TR) separated into four "types." Three of them are illustrated here:

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You can see how bipolar I ranges from full-blown mania to major depression, bipolar II ranges from hypomania to major depression, and cyclothymia ranges from dysthymia to hypomania.

The fourth type is "Bipolar NOS (Not Otherwise Specified)" which means that the mood episodes don't conform to the diagnostic criteria for bipolar I, II, or cyclothymia, but are still clearly abnormal and probably some type of bipolar disorder.