Cyclomania is a mild form of bipolar disorder consisting of hypomania and mild depression. Cyclomania is also commonly referred to as cyclothymia. Bipolar disorder is a mood disorder that is sub-characterized into three different forms: bipolar I, bipolar II and bipolar III or cyclomania.
In general, bipolar disorder consists of shifts in mood, energy levels and thought patterns. These shifts vacillate between mania and depression. While cyclomania is a less severe form of bipolar disorder, the symptoms are still serious enough to impact an individual’s health, wellbeing and everyday life.
Diagnosing bipolar disorder alone is a difficult task due to its contradicting symptoms and episodes. Diagnosing cyclomania is even more difficult because the symptoms are less exaggerated than other forms of bipolar disorder. It can also be difficult for individuals to recognize the difference between the symptoms of different forms of bipolar disorder.
The most obvious differentiation between cyclomania and other forms of bipolar disorder is that cyclomania does not induce full-on mania, symptoms of psychosis, delusions and loss of reality. In more severe forms of bipolar disorder, the highs and lows from mania to depression may be so intense that a person is at risk of suicidal thoughts and behaviors; this generally is not a risk associated with cyclomania.
Symptoms of Cyclomania
The symptoms of cyclomania differ greatly from hypomanic to depressive episodes. Symptoms of hypomania include the following:
- Intense increase in energy levels
- Extreme periods of irritability
- Over-the-top feelings of optimism, cheerfulness and self-esteem or confidence
- Racing thoughts and speech, poor judgment and impulsive behavior, which may lead to risky behavior, sexual indiscretion or heavy spending
- Decreased need for sleep or rest
- Difficulty concentrating and short-attention span
These symptoms can persist for hours, days, weeks or months at a time, but they will never reach levels of paranoia, delusions or psychosis.
It is estimated that close to 50 percent of people with cyclomania experience depression as their major symptom with minor episodes of hypomania. Symptoms of depression include the following:
- Extreme feelings of sadness, hopelessness or despair
- Feelings of low self-esteem and self-worth
- Loss of appetite
- Decrease in energy, fatigue and a general feeling of tiredness
- Loss of interest in normal activities and hobbies
- Inability to experience joy or feelings of pleasure
- Impaired libido
While not common, individuals may also experience unexplainable suicidal thoughts or chronic pain.