Your doctor or other health care provider must determine if you have cyclothymia, bipolar I or II disorder, depression, or another condition that may be causing your symptoms. To help pinpoint a diagnosis for your symptoms, you'll likely have several exams and tests, which generally include:
- Physical exam. A physical exam and lab tests may be done to help identify any medical problems that could be causing your symptoms.
- Psychological evaluation. A doctor or mental health provider will talk to you about your thoughts, feelings and behavior patterns. You may also fill out a psychological self-assessment or questionnaire. With your permission, family members or close friends may be asked to provide information about your symptoms, such as possible hypomanic or depressive symptoms.
- Mood charting. To identify what's going on, your doctor may have you keep a daily record of your moods, sleep patterns or other factors that could help with diagnosis and finding the right treatment.
For a diagnosis of cyclothymia, the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-5), published by the American Psychiatric Association, lists these points:
June 04, 2015
- You've had many periods of elevated mood (hypomanic symptoms) and periods of depressive symptoms for at least two years (one year for children and teenagers) — with these highs and lows occurring during at least half that time.
- Periods of stable moods usually last less than two months.
- Your symptoms significantly affect you socially, at work, at school or in other important areas.
- Your symptoms don't meet the criteria for bipolar disorder, major depression or another mental disorder.
- Your symptoms aren't caused by substance use or a medical condition.
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