2. A psychiatric disorder in which the patient has frequent, relatively mild mood swings, between elation and depression.
Cyclothymia is a mild mood disorder which is sometimes seen as more of a personality trait than an illness. It is characterised by repetitive periods of mild depression followed by periods of normal or a slightly elevated mood (depressions and euphorias). A percentage of cyclothymics go on to develop full-blown bipolar disorder at some stage in their lives, while others suffer from forms of depression or other more severe mood disorders.
Some researchers have theorized that cyclothymia is common among creative and high-achieving people, with the idea being that cyclothymics develop new ideas during their brief high periods and then persist through the work necessary to achieve that new idea during their lengthy low periods.