Similarities exist in many mental health diagnoses and, for this reason, mental health professionals must take prudent steps to ensure proper testing and diagnosis are achieved. Such is the case for the individual suffering from symptoms of Bipolar disorder. With a pre-cursor of Bipolar disorder often found in Cyclothymic disorder, the mental health professional should take precaution when diagnosing a patient so as to ensure proper medication management and psychotherapy are applied. As patient experiencing fluctuating mood swings, it is important to recognize the variety of mental health complications which could persist and, what if any, misdiagnoses may occur.
Within Bipolar disorder and Cyclothymic disorder there are significant common characteristics of the mental health sufferer. Such behaviors include oscillating from depression to euphoria over a period of weeks or even months. In addition to oscillating mood swings, the Bipolar disorder and Cyclothymic disorders are both believed to be genetic in nature, exacerbated by social events or trauma and may even be complicated with co morbid complications such as a thyroid disorder.
Treating both Bipolar disorder and Cyclothymic disorder is also quite similar, at face value. While both mental health disorders require the use of mood stabilizing drugs, it is the degree and severity of these conditions which determine the collaborated or supportive prescription drugs to be administered. So, what makes these two mental health conditions so different?
In contrast to one another, Bipolar disorder and Cyclothymic disorder show significant differences in terms of symptoms and treatment. For example, in patients with Cyclothymic disorder, the condition is marked by a non-existence of a specific manic depression or mania episode. While Cyclothymic disorder is commonly a precursor to Bipolar disorder, it is not Bipolar disorder. As a result, Cyclothymic disorder sufferers will often respond well to a mood stabilizing drug such as lithium whereas Bipolar disorder patients may require a combination of prescription drugs including Lithium but also anti-depressants, to treat manic depression, as well as antipsychotic drugs used to reduce the effects of mania.
Also, in contrast, Bipolar disorder, statistically, appears to equally affect men and women whereas Cyclothymic disorder is believed to affect women more often. However, it is important to note that the statistics with regard to Cyclothymic disorder may be slightly skewed due to the common trait of men to delay in seeking treatment until symptoms are quite severe, thus missing the pre-cursor diagnosis of Cyclothymic disorder in addition to the thyroid complications, more often afflicting women, which, in turn, leads to a greater incidence of Cyclothymic disorder.
Diagnosing and treating mental health disorders is an art as well as a science. For many mental health patients, a diagnosis of one condition often leads to a diagnosis into another mental health condition and, for Cyclothymic disorder and Bipolar disorder patients, this is no exception. With co morbid complications, both physical and emotional, individuals experiencing extreme fluctuations in mood are encouraged to seek out the advice of a mental health professional to ensure proper diagnosis, if necessary, is obtained. When delayed in diagnosis, mental health complications, such as Bipolar disorder and Cyclothymic disorder can lead to impaired activities of daily living including poor job and academic performance and a breakdown in familial and social networks.