People with cyclothymic disorder have, for at least 2 years (1 year in children and adolescents), the presence of numerous periods with hypomanic symptoms that do not meet criteria for a hypomanic episode and numerous periods with depressive symptoms that do not meet criteria for a major depressive episode. Cyclothymic disorder usually begins in adolescence or early adult life and is sometimes considered to reflect a temperamental predisposition to other bipolar and related disorders.
During the above 2-year period (1 year in children and adolescents), the person has not been without the symptoms above for more than 2 months at a time.
Note: After the initial 2 years (1 year in children and adolescents) of cyclothymic disorder, there may be superimposed manic or mixed episodes (in which case both bipolar I disorder and cyclothymic disorder may be diagnosed) or major depressive episodes (in which case both bipolar II disorder and cyclothymic disorder may be diagnosed).
*Note: in accordance with DSM-5 changes that acknowledge high levels of anxiety within this population, “with anxious distress” can be added to a cyclothymic disorder diagnosis as an optional clinical specifier.
The disturbance is not better accounted for by schizoaffective disorder and is not superimposed on schizophrenia, schizophreniform disorder, delusional disorder, or psychotic disorder not otherwise specified. The symptoms can not be due to the direct physiological effects of a substance (e.g., a drug of abuse, a medication) or a general medical condition (e.g., hyperthyroidism). Furthermore, the symptoms must cause clinically significant distress or impairment in social, occupational, or other important areas of functioning.
The lifetime prevalence of cyclothymic disorder is approximately 0.4%–1%. In the general population, cyclothymic disorder is apparently equally common in males and females. In clinical settings, females with cyclothymic disorder may be more likely to present for treatment than males.
For more on treatment, please see general treatment for cyclothymic disorder.
This entry has been updated in accordance with DSM-5 changes; diagnostic code 301.13.