The key difference between dysthymia and cyclothymia is that dysthymia is a type of mood disorder characterized by a milder but long-lasting form of depression, while cyclothymia is a type of mood disorder characterized by fluctuating low levels of depression along with periods of hypomania.
Dysthymia and cyclothymia are two types of mood disorders. Mood disorder is a mental health term used by health professionals to broadly describe all types of depression and bipolar disorders. Children, teens, and adults can experience mood disorders. But children and teens won’t always have the same symptoms as adults. The most common types of mood disorders include major depression, dysthymia, cyclothymia, bipolar disorder, mood disorders related to other health conditions, and substance-induced mood disorder.
1. Overview and Key Difference
2. What is Dysthymia
3. What is Cyclothymia
4. Similarities – Dysthymia and Cyclothymia
5. Dysthymia vs Cyclothymia in Tabular Form
6. Summary – Dysthymia vs Cyclothymia
What is Dysthymia?
Dysthymia is a type of mood disorder characterized by a milder but long-lasting form of depression. It is also known as persistent depressive disorder. People who are suffering from this condition also may suffer from major depression at times. Normally, dysthymia affects women twice as often as men. Doctors think it is due to the chemical imbalances in the brain. Moreover, chronic stress and trauma have also been linked to dysthymia. Dysthymia seems to run in the families as well.
The symptoms of this condition may include long-lasting sadness, anxious mood, inability to concentrate, think, or make decisions, less energy, fatigue, feeling hopeless, weight or appetite changes due to over or under eating, changes in sleep pattern (fitful sleep, inability to sleep, early morning awakening, too much sleeping), and low self-esteem. This condition can be diagnosed through psychiatric exams and medical history. The treatment options for dysthymia include medicine (antidepressants for 4 to 6 weeks to have a full effect), therapy (cognitive therapy or interpersonal therapy), and lifestyle changes (trying to be with other people, regular exercising, eating healthy, staying away from alcohol or drugs).
What is Cyclothymia?
Cyclothymia is a type of mood disorder characterized by fluctuating low levels of depression along with periods of hypomania. The depressive symptoms of cyclothymia may include irritability, aggressiveness, insomnia, changes in appetite, weight loss or gain, fatigue, low sexual desire, feelings of hopelessness, inattentiveness, lack of concentration, and unexplained physical symptoms. The maniac symptoms of this condition include extreme self-esteem, excessive talking, racing thoughts, lack of focus, restlessness, increased anxiety, going for days with no sleep, argumentativeness, hypersexuality, and impulsive behavior. Researchers are not sure what triggers symptoms of cyclothymia. However, this condition is known to run in families.
Moreover, this condition can be diagnosed through lab tests to rule out other medical conditions and medical history. Furthermore, the treatment options for cyclothymia are mood stabilizers (lithium), anti-seizure medications (divalproex sodium), atypical antipsychotic medication (olanzapine), anti-anxiety medication (benzodiazepine, antidepressants, psychotherapy, cognitive behavioral therapy, well-being therapy, and group therapy.
What are the Similarities Between Dysthymia and Cyclothymia?
- Dysthymia and cyclothymia are two types of mood disorders.
- Both are milder forms of mood disorders.
- They are characterized by a low level of depression.
- Both are chronic mood disorders.
- Both mood disorders are run in the families.
- They are treated by using specific medicines, psychotherapy, and cognitive therapy.
What is the Difference Between Dysthymia and Cyclothymia?
Dysthymia is a type of mood disorder characterized by a milder but long-lasting form of depression, while cyclothymia is a type of mood disorder characterized by fluctuating low-level depression along with periods of hypomania. Thus, this is the key difference between dysthymia and cyclothymia. Furthermore, dysthymia has an increased risk of developing into severe chronic depression over time, while cyclothymia has an increased risk of developing into bipolar disorder over time.
The below infographic presents the differences between dysthymia and cyclothymia in tabular form for side-by-side comparison.
Summary – Dysthymia vs Cyclothymia
Dysthymia and cyclothymia are two types of mood disorders. Dysthymia is characterized by a milder but long-lasting form of depression, while cyclothymia is characterized by fluctuating low-level depression along with periods of hypomania. So, this summarizes the difference between dysthymia and cyclothymia.
1. “Hyperthymia” By Fel23 – Own work (CC BY-SA 4.0) via Commons Wikimedia
2. “Bipolar mood shifts” By Osmosis – Derived from screenshots of the video File: Bipolar disorder.webm (at times 3:30 and 3:51) (CC BY-SA 4.0) via Commons Wikimedia