Alice tracked her life in moods—she was happy and productive, super productive, in the spring…
Cyclothymia Quiz: Recognizing the Signs
Everyone can be moody sometimes, but how do you know if you have an actual mood disorder, such as bipolar disorder or cyclothymia? What are some of the telltale signs and symptoms? Can you take a quiz to see if you have the signs for one of these mood disorders?
While diagnosing a mental illness is more subtle and complex than taking an online quiz, there are a few key questions you can ask yourself to get started. Let’s focus on cyclothymia, since it is a mood disorder that can masquerade as normal, if somewhat intense, moodiness.
Mood Disorder Quiz: Answer Honestly!
- Do you have mood swings that disrupt your daily life? Lots of people experience mood swings and general moodiness, but in order to diagnose an illness like cyclothymia, you must have symptoms that interrupt or impair your ability to function in more than one setting. Cyclothymia can’t be limited to only one part of your life; it must affect multiple areas. For example, do your moods impact your job performance, family relationships, parenting, friendships or social activities?
- Do you have distinct periods of time when you are sad most of the day, on most days? Do you also have feelings of guilt, regret or hopelessness? Have you struggled with thoughts of suicide? Do these low times last for weeks or even a couple of months at a time? And, do they seem to come on for no reason, without any precipitating event?
- Do you also have periods of time when you feel hypomanic? Hypomania is a mood state where you feel happy, or even euphoric, and energetic – but also a little racy, jittery, and distracted. Do you have trouble concentrating? Do you feel impatient and irritable most of the time, despite your good mood? Are you sleeping less than usual (maybe even not sleeping at all for a day or two)?
- Are there times when you don’t have either of these symptoms of low or high moods? To meet diagnostic criteria for cyclothymia, you will experience very little time (less than 2 months) in between the sad and hypomanic moods.
Take an honest look at your answers to these questions. Do you see a pattern of low moods alternating with energetic or happy moods? Has this been going on for more than 2 years? Bring your answers to these questions and any concerns to your doctor and talk to him or her about the possibility of cyclothymia.
Cyclothymia is treatable, and many people with this disorder function well and enjoy life much more once they receive treatment and are no longer at the mercy of their moods. Talk with your doctor and your therapist about your suspicions and concerns, and explore treatment options with them. It’s time to feel better.