Family Magazine

Cyclothymia Is Not A Milder Form Of Bipolar

By Therealsupermum @TheRealSupermum


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They say Cyclothymia is a milder form of bipolar, I disagree. I was diagnosed with Cyclothymic Disorder in November 2010 after many years of misdiagnosis and medications that did not help and it has been a rollercoaster of a time.

The difference between bipolar 1 and 2 is that with Cyclothymia you experience rapid mood changes that often combine mixed moods. You are not happy or sad; you experience many moods all at the same time.

I can personally experience up to 10 different mood changes in a 24 hour period, I do not get time to familiarise myself with my mood pattern as it abruptly changes so regularly. It’s exhausting and frustrating.

I bounce between mild hypomania and moderate depression. Once in a while, I slip down into severe depression. Anxiety always accompanies my depression and hypomania’s, there is no rest from that. I also hear voices and see things, nobody else can hear or see these things. I starve my body of food as a form of punishing myself too. I am a hamster stuck on a wheel that never stops turning.

I have yet again new medication;

40mg Citrolporam and 150mg Trazodone I am also taking 100mg Tramadol (un-prescribed) daily

An example of a “normal” day;

I woke one morning full of the joys of spring, we had sex that morning and my sex drive was in over drive, he went back to sleep, I got up. I had completed all of the housework and ironing before anyone else in the house had even woke up. I had so many happy thoughts and plans for the day.

An hour later I went for a shower while the husband entertained the children, stood under the hot shower head I hummed a tune in my head. I was then sat shaking, curled into a ball on the cold shower floor. Distraught and frightened I lay alone, cold and frightened. I never had any warning it just happened. I went from up there to down there within minutes.

Cyclothymia Symptoms

  • Besides cycling between the two mood extremes, the other criteria that will help determine a diagnosis of Cyclothymia include:
  • You have experienced these mood swings for at least two years.
  • Your symptom-free intervals last no more than three months.
  • Your symptoms don’t meet the requirements of any other bipolar disorder.

I am elated, happy, positive, angry, sad and agitated all at the same time. I have become so frustrated and angry at myself that I have banged and smashed my head off the wall in the past.

I feel so guilty that my rapid mood changes affect the whole family. It is difficult to plan days out with the children in case my mood changes and I cannot go. I am my own worst enemy as I never keep on top of my medications and I know I have to start gaining control over this.

I feel hopeless at times, the lack of control I have angers me.

Please don’t tell me my mental illness is mild, it destroys me and controls every aspect of my life.

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