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What Is Cyclothymic Disorder?

cyclothymic disorderIntroduction

You may have heard of Major Depressive Disorder. However, there is another type of disorder that also causes symptoms associated with depression. It is called Cyclothymic Disorder. If you are wondering what Cyclothymic Disorder is, continue reading this article. This article will describe what Cyclothymic Disorder is, as well as the symptoms associated with Cyclothymic Disorder.

What Is Cyclothymic Disorder?

According to–5-301.13-%28F34.0%29, “Cyclothymic Disorder is a DSM-5 (Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, fifth edition), diagnosis assigned to individuals who experience mood cycling over a two year period, but have not met the diagnostic criteria for Bipolar I, Bipolar II, or Depressive disorder.” Hence, to receive a diagnosis of Cyclothymic Disorder mood cycling must occur for over a two year period without meeting the criteria for Bipolar I, Bipolar II, or Depressive Disorder.

What Are The Symptoms Associated With Cyclothymic Disorder?

In addition to describing what Cyclothymic Disorder is, I will also describe the symptoms associated with Cyclothymic Disorder. According to–5-301.13-%28F34.0%29, there are six diagnostic criteria for Cyclothymic Disorder. According to–5-301.13-%28F34.0%29, they include the following:

  1. For at least a two year period, there have been episodes of hypomanic and depressive experiences which do not meet the full DSM-5 diagnostic criteria for hypomania or major depressive disorder.
  2. The above criteria had been present at least half the time during a two year period, with not more than two months of symptom remission.
  3. There is no history of diagnoses for manic, hypomanic, or a depressive episode.
  4. the symptoms in criterion A are cannot be accounted for by a psychotic disorder, such as schizophrenia, schizoaffective disorder, schizophrenifrom disorder, or delusional disorder.
  5. The symptoms cannot be accounted for by substance use or a medical condition.
  6. The symptoms cause distress or significant impairment in social or occupational functioning.

In addition to these six criteria, according to–5-301.13-%28F34.0%29, there is one specifier for Cyclothymic Disorder, with Anxious Distress.


With that said, there are six diagnostic criteria for a diagnosis of Cyclothymic Disorder to be given. In addition, there is one specifier, with Anxious Distress. Also, to recap, for a diagnosis of Cyclothymic Disorder to be given, a diagnosis of Bipolar I Disorder, Bipolar II Disorder, or Depressive Disorder must not be met. Hence, criteria must be present for a two year period at the very minimum. If you have concerns about meeting the criteria for this disorder, consult with your physician.

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What Is Cyclothymic Disorder?

Lauren Walters

My name is Lauren Walters. I am currently heading into my final semester of graduate school for Mental Health Counseling in the Spring of 2016. Through my own experiences with mental illness, I love to inspire others through my writings and reassure them that they can live healthy, productive lives, despite mental illness. I hope you enjoy my articles. Feel free to comment. I will be sure to respond to you questions and/or comments in a prompt manner. Enjoy!

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APA Reference
Walters, L. (2016). What Is Cyclothymic Disorder?. Psych Central. Retrieved on October 31, 2020, from


Last updated: 6 Apr 2016
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