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What is cyclothymic disorder?


Author: Canadian Mental Health Association, BC Division



Cyclothymic disorder is a subtype of bipolar disorder. Much like bipolar disorder, the symptoms of cyclothymia include three or more symptoms of hypomania, and five or more symptoms of depression. Like bipolar disorder, people may experience wellness between episodes of hypomania and depression.

Symptoms of hypomania include:

  • Unusually 'high' or upbeat mood
  • Inflated sense of self-esteem
  • Increased irritability or anger
  • Racing thoughts or ideas
  • Faster speech than usual
  • Decreased need for sleep
  • Difficulties concentrating and focusing
  • Decreased judgement, leading to riskier decisions than usual

Symptoms of depression include:

  • Low mood, hopelessness, or emptiness
  • Low self-esteem
  • Irritability
  • Worry or guilt
  • Loss of interest in things you usually enjoy
  • Difficulties concentrating or making decisions
  • Changes in sleep (too much sleep or not enough sleep)
  • Changes in eating habits (eating too much or eating too little)
  • Fatigue
  • Withdrawal from others
  • Thoughts of suicide

Talk to a doctor or mental health professional if you think you might have cyclothymic disorder.

Where can I learn more?


About the author

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The Canadian Mental Health Association promotes the mental health of all and supports the resilience and recovery of people experiencing a mental illness through public education, community-based research, advocacy, and direct services. Visit



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