Cyclothymic Disorder and Addiction

Cyclothymic disorder and addiction very frequently occur together. When this is the case, they are known as co-occurring disorders. It can be very difficult for people to cope with the symptoms of cyclothymic disorder. This drives them to use drugs or alcohol, and eventually, they become addicted.

Cyclothymic Disorder Information

Cyclothymia, along with other types of bipolar disorder are said to affect 2.6% of the adult population in the U.S. This number increases to more than 11% for 13 to 18 year olds, according to SAMHSA. The symptoms of cyclothymic disorder can become quite severe at times. Even so, this condition is known as a milder form of bipolar disorder.

Cyclothymic Disorder Statistics

For those who are struggling with cyclothymic disorder, they often fail to get the treatment they need. As a result, they frequently turn to substances to soothe their inner pain and turmoil.

Here at Northpoint Washington, patients with Cyclothymia are quite common for us. We understand this condition, and we know how closely it relates to drug and alcohol addiction. It's important for us to offer treatment for both conditions for this reason.

Perhaps you're suffering from Cyclothymia and you also have an addiction. You feel as though you're all alone in your struggles. You don't know where to turn, and you also didn't think the two could be related. Getting the right kind of treatment is important for your recovery.

However, the first thing you should do is learn as much about cyclothymic disorder as you possibly can. You need to know if this is a condition you are struggling with or not. Educating yourself is so important. We can provide you with everything you need to know right here.

Understanding what Cyclothymic Disorder is

“Feelings are like waves. They come and go.” – Anonymous

According to WebMD, cyclothymic disorder (or Cyclothymia) is a mood disorder that affects many people. It may be mild, but it can cause a lot of problems for those who have it. People with this condition will experience mood swings over short periods of time. They may go between depressive episodes and experiencing hypomania.

What is Cyclothymia?

These mood swings are what place cyclothymic disorder in the bipolar disorder category. However, unlike with other types of bipolar disorder, their symptoms are much milder. They're often much more manageable as well.

As many as 1% of the United States population has been diagnosed with Cyclothymia. This, of course, does not account for those who have not been officially diagnosed. It is a condition that can affect both men and women, and symptoms usually start during the adolescent years.

The Signs and Symptoms of Cyclothymic Disorder

It's important to be able to recognize the symptoms of cyclothymic disorder. You may sympathize with many of the symptoms on both of the following lists. However, you might have assumed that you were just different from other people. Knowing your symptoms can help you recognize this disorder for what it is.

The hypomanic symptoms of cyclothymic disorder include:

  • Experiencing a sense of euphoria or happiness
  • Feeling extremely optimistic
  • Having an inflated self-esteem
  • Talking more than you usually do
  • Making poor decision that can result in unwise choices
  • Partaking in risky behaviors
  • Having racing thoughts
  • Feeing irritable or agitated
  • Excessive physical actions
  • Having more motivation than usual to complete your goals
  • Not needing as much sleep as normal
  • Becoming easily distracted
  • Finding it difficult to concentrate

The depressive symptoms of cyclothymic disorder include:

  • Feeling hopeless or sad
  • Becoming easily tearful
  • Bouts of irritability
  • Losing interest in favorite activities
  • Changes in weight
  • Feeling guilty
  • Feeling worthless
  • Having sleep problems
  • Becoming restless
  • Feeling fatigued
  • Problems with concentration
  • Having thoughts of suicide or death

People who suffer from Cyclothymia will shift between these two extreme sets of symptoms. This is troubling for them because they never really know how they're going to feel. These individuals can function in their everyday lives, although not as well as others. Their mood shifts can be very unpredictable, and this can be very disruptive to their lives.

Are You Suffering from Cyclothymia?

As you look over these sets of symptoms, many of them may ring true for you. Up until now, the way you are may have been a bit of a mystery to you. You may not have really known why you do some of the things you do. At this point, you might be getting closer to understanding yourself, but you still need help.

Taking a cyclothymic disorder quiz might give you some better insight into your condition. Answer the following questions as honestly as you can.

  • Do you think you are a moody person?
  • When you feel happy, do you think that you are more joyful or exuberant than others?
  • Do you have times when you feel excessively energetic?
  • When you're not in a good mood, does it feel as though you're extremely depressed?
  • When your mood is down, do you find it hard to enjoy the things you normally like?
  • When you're not in a good mood, does it feel as though the future is bleak?
  • Do you ever think about committing suicide?
  • Do you have sleep problems, but find that they're always different in nature?
  • Have people told you that you seem to shift moods quickly?
  • Are you having problems with relationships in your life because of mood changes?

If you answered yes to several of these questions, it's possible that you do have cyclothymic disorder. It's important to talk with a professional so that you can know for sure.

If you find that you have Cyclothymia, and you also have an addiction, it's important to make this fact known. That way, you can get the right kind of help.

Professional Treatment for Cyclothymic Disorder

It's vital for those with cyclothymic disorder to get treated for their conditions. Unfortunately, about half of these individuals fail to get help. They may not recognize their symptoms as being problematic. They may also try to cope with them on their own, by using drugs or alcohol.


Several forms of treatment have proven to be good at helping people with Cyclothymia. These include:


Talking with a therapist in a one on one setting is so important for cyclothymic disorder. Talk therapy allows people to share their innermost thoughts and feelings in a safe setting. For these individuals, it can help to talk about what they're thinking and know that they're understood. Different types of therapy have been very helpful, including cognitive-behavioral therapy.


There are some medications that can help with cyclothymic disorder. Mood stabilizers can be very effective, as can antidepressants like Prozac and Zoloft. Lithium is a medication that has helped a lot of people.

Even so, it's important to note that medications are not the answer for everyone. In some cases, people with Cyclothymia don't respond to them as well as people with bipolar disorder. This is one reason why another form of therapy is so critical.

Group Therapy

Group therapy has long been known as one of the most effective treatments for mental health issues. Group therapy works by allowing participants to share with others about what they're going through. It can help to get others' perspectives on certain situations. It's also helpful to know you're not alone in what you're experiencing. Group therapy gives people hope who might not have experienced it otherwise.

The Connection Between Cyclothymia and Addiction: Co-Occurring Disorders

It's understandable why addiction and cyclothymic disorder might be connected to each other. Given the fact that so few people ever get the help they need, they will often turn to substances. Drugs and alcohol can help with their symptoms, but the help they offer is only short-term.

Cyclothymia and Addiction

In time, the effects of drugs and alcohol begin to wear off. In order to compensate for that, people have to use more. However, there may come a time when even that isn't enough. Eventually, continued substance abuse can make cyclothymic disorder symptoms much worse. They can even lead to the development of bipolar disorder.

Dual Diagnosis Treatment Can Help with Addiction and Cyclothymic Disorder

Dual diagnosis treatment (or integrative addiction treatment) has been show to help so many people with co-occurring disorders. Cyclothymic disorder might be one of the more under diagnosed mental health conditions. Many people who have it don't realize they have it. When it occurs alongside addiction, getting treatment for both conditions is important. Otherwise, the person is likely to relapse.

Dual Diagnosis Treatment

In many cases, cyclothymic disorder is the cause of addiction. Dual diagnosis treatment works by treating this root cause. So many drug and alcohol treatment centers fail to recognize the reasons behind addiction. They provide drug and alcohol detox treatment and rehab, but they fail to provide help to prevent relapses. That is one of the things that makes dual diagnosis treatment so different.

If you're suffering with cyclothymic disorder and addiction, you need appropriate help. A new approach is needed in order to give you the best chance of recovering properly. This will involve addressing your mental health condition and how it has affected your life. You'll learn new coping skills, and you'll learn how to live your life without drugs or alcohol.

Finding the Right Integrative Addiction Treatment Center for Addiction and Cyclothymic Disorder

If you have both Cyclothymia and an addiction to drugs or alcohol, it's important to get help. However, you might be feeling confused about where you should even begin. A lot of addiction treatment centers don't offer help for co-occurring disorders. Choosing one of them means that you would need to get treatment separately. That's not something you will want to do.

It's much more effective to get treated for Cyclothymia and addiction at the same time. Integrative addiction treatment centers will provide you with the type of support you need. In order to find the right drug and alcohol rehab program for you, you should search for:

  • A facility that will provide you with 24 hour a day nursing care
  • A program that offers a holistic approach to treating addictions
  • A center that specializes in treating co-occurring disorders
  • An addiction treatment facility that will target your treatment to suit your specific needs
  • A center that will offer you adequate referrals for follow-up care

We offer all of these and a lot more at Northpoint Washington.

How long have you been affected by your addiction and cyclothymic disorder? Whether it's been a few months or several years, please know that help is available to you. Contact us today to learn more.

Talk to a Rehab Specialist

Our admissions coordinators are here to help you get started with treatment the right way. They'll verify your health insurance, help set up travel arrangements, and make sure your transition into treatment is smooth and hassle-free.

(888) 663-7106 Contact Us

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Cyclothymia and Addiction Infographic