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Cyclothymia: A Mild Form of Bipolar II Disorder

Updated on January 10, 2012

Just a tad bit of fire and sadness

There are so many variations of Bipolar Disorder.. the up and downs of depression and mania can be severe or mild.

This page is about the milder form, Cyclothymia, which Mayo clinic describes as:

"Cyclothymia, or cyclothymic disorder, is a chronic mood disorder that results in short periods of mild emotional and behavioral "highs" alternating with short periods of mild to moderate depression. People with cyclothymia also experience intermittent periods of emotional and behavioral stability."

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Great Websites about Cyclothymia and Bipolar II - Light, Mild, or Soft Versions of Bipolar Disorder

Cyclothymia or Bipolar II is a mild form of Bipolar Disorder. It consists of hypomanic episodes alternating with depression. Here's some information about it:

Facts About Cyclothymia

It's a Common Mood Disorder

1. It effects up to 1% of the general population.

2. The disorder often begins between ages 13-30.

3. In about 30% of people with cyclothymia, an episode of major depression or mania will cause the diagnosis to change to Bipolar I or Bipolar II.

For those who have Bipolar Disorder... - Let us know about Hypomania

Tell us a little bit about why you like or dislike the up mood. It will help others to understand what it's like.

Do you enjoy the Hypomania - the "high" mood swings?



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    • Rose Jones 5 years ago

      No - not now that I understand the price to pay.

    • sousababy 6 years ago

      I suffer from dysthymia, a chronic low-grade depression. But, in my family there are those with Bipolar Disorder.

    • anonymous 6 years ago

      I never had that many of them, and when they did come they were a little extreme, so they wore me out emotionally and physically.


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      • anonymous 4 years ago

        I enjoy the Hypomania. I get a lot done, and wonder how I can keep myself in that phase longer.

      • anonymous 4 years ago

        Yes most of the time, it's extremely seductive and the allure to delve deeper always pulls, whether its the pull to feel "higher" or to feel "lower". The temptation is to push it to the extreme, as if to push it to the breaking point.

      • anonymous 5 years ago

        YES! However, I have Bipolar II and at 47...hypomania never visits me anymore. Just trying to keep severe depression from coming back.

      • modernchakra 5 years ago

        When I know they are happening, absolutely... but if I am fatigued or not balanced... eek.

      • avgsuperheroine 6 years ago

        Yes, it's hard to train yourself to recognize those "highs" as something to be tended to, just as a depressive episode would be. I feel able to get things done, have lots of energy and creative juices are flowing, it's usually great.

      • Othercatt 6 years ago

        I don't have Bipolar. I have BPD, which gives the same feelings of mania and hypomania. Personally, I enjoy it. More than that, I love it. When I'm manic, I'm on top of the world. I have so much energy and willpower and I can get things done that I can't do normally. I don't know what I would do if I couldn't be manic anymore.

      • darciefrench lm 6 years ago

        Absolutely. It is very black and white for me. I am either up or down, flat out or moving mountains. I have managed to transcend the energy variances spiritually, still working on them socially.

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          anonymous 7 years ago

          I have Cyclothymia...and the depression can get pretty bad. I miss my manic states. I was just a little too happy. There was no price to pay. But, what comes to haunt me are the horrid bouts of depression. That can last for two weeks. I can hardly get out of bed. But, I'm hoping adjusting to my new medication is just taking time and I will even out. But, I still will miss the days wear I wore rose colored glasses.

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          hotbrain 7 years ago from Tacoma, WA

          @anonymous: I'm sorry to hear about your depression. I also seem to be dealing with depression more frequently than mania. In some ways, that's a blessing because the mania can cause so many problems... But the depression is difficult too. I'm trying zinc to see if it will help with the depression as some studies say that it has an antidepressant effect.. I wrote a blog post about it recently: Also, I've had some success with B12 for depression.

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          anonymous 6 years ago

          There's just many "conditions" these days related to mental health that the whole art of being able to diagnose them is a very fine one. Here in the UK, in my experience, the Doctors frequently get it wrong and then just diagnose a "catch all" anti depressant that deals with the symptoms, but we never do find out the cause.

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          anonymous 6 years ago

          @anonymous: I need to update. My diagnosis is now Bipolar II. Makes more sense because of the severe depressions I am experiencing. I still miss the hypomania because unlike mania there are no major negative consequences from my hypomania. i was always happy. Who can complain about that? Now, I'm either bored or depressed. Today is one of the few days I would say is a good day! So, I'm enjoying it.

        • hotbrain profile image

          hotbrain 6 years ago from Tacoma, WA

          @anonymous: Hi Trish - Thanks for the update. I've found that zinc has been helping me keep the melancholy away... I've been alternating between taking 25mg and 50mg every other day and I do seem to be happier. However, I still have some days with anxiety and mild depression. I really don't like the depression because it distorts everything I think. I hope that you have more happy days! I think there's got to be a way to have more normal more days than not, you know? Best wishes, HB

        • darciefrench lm profile image

          darciefrench lm 6 years ago

          Fabulous lens. Thank-you for sharing and raising awareness. Lensrolled and blessed.

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          kimmanleyort 6 years ago

          I'm really glad that there are people like you and Darcie writing about bipolar disorder on Squidoo. It is very helpful, not only for people going through it (so they won't feel so alone), but also for people who interact or care for someone with bipolar disorder.

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          anonymous 6 years ago

          @anonymous: I also experienced a lot of depression. It is tough. I remember my Mom always saying that I wallow in my sorrows.

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          miaponzo 6 years ago

          Thanks for bringing up this interesting disease. I love anything psychology!

        • sousababy profile image

          sousababy 6 years ago

          Another great lens which needs exposure. So many people do not understand how hard it is for those to live with this disorder. Acceptance, empathy and understanding need to be taught. You educate so gently, keep 'em coming Heidi (should I use your proper name? Oh, but I love to say 'Hotbrain' too). Sincerely, Rose

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          sousababy 6 years ago

          Lensrolled to my: Bell Let's Talk, Getting IT together...Finding Happiness, Squidoo people with a good heart, Contest Winners for Squidoo people with a good heart and Not good enough - as is.

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          Othercatt 6 years ago

          I didn't know there was another type of Bipolar. Thanks for bringing awareness to another part of Mental Health. Blessed!

          By the way, for those times when I'm manic and I really need to come down, I take Melatonin. It works fast, but doesn't have the nasty side effect of bringing me too far down.

        • hotbrain profile image

          hotbrain 6 years ago from Tacoma, WA

          @Othercatt: Thanks for the blessing and the comment! I have found melatonin helpful for going to sleep at night, but haven't tried it specifically for mania. Good to hear that it works for you! I also like the fact that it is mild.

        • hotbrain profile image

          hotbrain 6 years ago from Tacoma, WA

          @sousababy: Thank you! :)

        • avgsuperheroine profile image

          avgsuperheroine 6 years ago

          great lens, i didn't realize there were so many resources available for cyclothymic disorder.

        • darciefrench lm profile image

          darciefrench lm 6 years ago

          I've been here before - came back with a blessing for this awesome mental health resource.

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          Rose Jones 5 years ago

          Wonderful. I live peacefully with my bipolar disorder, and I am committed to making sure that everyone who suffers with this has the same success that I do.

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          candidaabrahamson 5 years ago

          Thank you for the well-put-together lens on the most esoteric of the bipolar subtypes. Candida

        • MermaidDoc profile image

          MermaidDoc 5 years ago

          Thanks for this great lens. I haven't experienced the hypomania but definitely lived the depressive side.

        • TransplantedSoul profile image

          TransplantedSoul 5 years ago

          I had not heard of Cyclothymia before. There are so many related areas, it is always good to be aware of the things people go through.

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