Mood disorders can cause much distress, impacting one’s work, family, and social life. According to the Depression and Bipolar Support Alliance, about 9.5% of the American population – that estimates to 20.9 million people – experience a mood disorder in a given year. Two mood disorders, when diagnosed, can be managed through medication and therapy, along with other forms of unique treatment. There are two mood disorders that often go undiagnosed – dysthymic disorder and cyclothymic disorder.

According to a 2009 study published in the Journal of Psychiatry, dysthymic disorder is “a smoldering mood disturbance characterized by a long duration as well as transient periods of normal mood.” The study states that this disorder is fairly normal, with approximately 3-6% of the population experiencing it. Symptoms of dysthymic disorder include experiencing a generally low mood for 2 years or more, with little interest in normal activities, feelings of hopelessness and low self-esteem, low appetite, energy, and sleep changes, and more. Dysthymic disorder is mild but can be distressing for individuals who experience it long-term. Many people find their symptoms dissipate completely, while others experience a reduced quality of life and are at risk for developing major depression, according to Harvard Health.

Psychology Today defines cyclothymic disorder as “a mild form of bipolar disorder, is characterized by chronic, fluctuating mood swings – from symptoms of depression to symptoms of hypomania.” The symptoms experienced from this disorder are not severe enough in intensity to classify as bipolar disorder. In order for a person to be diagnosed with this, they must experience both depressive and hypomania symptoms separately for at least 2 years. However, not much research has been conducted regarding this disorder, which has caused many to go undiagnosed.

If you believe you may have a mood disorder, reach out to a healthcare professional to receive an official diagnosis. This will be the first step towards helping you understand your experiences and learn more about how you can better manage your symptoms. Thankfully there are several effective tools that you can use to manage your disorder. You are not alone – help is available.

New Vista Behavioral Health is home to several world-renowned, California state-licensed mental health and substance abuse recovery treatment programs. If you are ready to seek help, call us today at 888-316-3665 for a consultation. Now is the time to seek help, and there are so many people ready to help you.

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