Cyclothymia or cyclothymic disorder is a relatively mild mood disorder. In cyclothymic disorder, moods swing between short periods of mild depression and hypomania, an elevated mood. The low and high mood swings never reach the severity of major depression or full mania. It is not as frequent as that of bipolar disorder. The pathophysiology of Bipolar disorder is under active investigation.
Cyclothymia requires lifelong treatment. No medications are approved by the Food and Drug Administration specifically for cyclothymia, but your doctor may prescribe medications used to treat bipolar disorder. These medications may help control cyclothymia symptoms and prevent periods of hypomanic and depressive symptoms. Psychotherapy, also called psychological counseling or talk therapy, is a vital part of cyclothymia treatment and can be provided in individual, family or group settings. The use of Lithium and Quetiapine (Seroquel) have both shown to be particularly valuable, though several other medications of the anticonvulsants and atypical antipsychotics classes may also be helpful.
Research is the key to understanding bipolar disorder. The National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH), the world's leading mental health biomedical research organization, conducts and supports studies on the causes, diagnosis, and treatment of bipolar disorder. A variety of research approaches are being used, including neuroscience studies, basic science approaches to brain and behavior, genetic investigations, epidemiological studies, and clinical research. Clinical treatment research is underway to determine the best use of available treatments and treatment combinations. Better treatments and, eventually, ways to prevent and cure the illness will be found only through careful scientific study.
Cyclothymia with a prevalence of 1.7 to 3.7 percent in the adult populationin in Norway.