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Cyclothymic Disorder

  1. Lauren B. Alloy1,
  2. Lyn Y. Abramson2

Published Online: 30 JAN 2010

DOI: 10.1002/9780470479216.corpsy0249

Corsini Encyclopedia of Psychology

Corsini Encyclopedia of Psychology

How to Cite

Alloy, L. B. and Abramson, L. Y. 2010. Cyclothymic Disorder. Corsini Encyclopedia of Psychology. 1–2.

Author Information

  1. 1

    Temple University

  2. 2

    University of Wisconsin-Madison

Publication History

  1. Published Online: 30 JAN 2010


Cyclothymic disorder is characterized by two or more years of recurrent and intermittent mood episodes in which the individual oscillates or “cycles” between periods of depression and hypomania, with or without normal periods interspersed between the depressive and hypomanic states. Cyclothymic depressions include symptoms such as sadness, anhedonia, low energy, pessimism, poor concentration, and sleep and appetite changes resembling those observed in episodes of major depression. Cyclothymic hypomanic periods involve symptoms such as euphoria, high energy/activity, talkativeness, high self-confidence and grandiosity, decreased sleep, and impulsive, reckless behaviors typically observed in mania. However, unlike major depression and mania, both types of cyclothymic mood episodes are of subsyndromal intensity and duration (two to three days on average). Cyclothymic disorder can present as predominantly depressed, predominantly hypomanic, or balanced with approximately equal proportions of high and low periods (Goodwin & Jamison, 1990).