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The treatment of cyclothymia 

The treatment of cyclothymia
Chapter:
The treatment of cyclothymia
Author(s):

Giulio Perugi

, Giulia Vannucchi

, and Lorenzo Mazzarini

DOI:
10.1093/med/9780198748625.003.0010
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date: 23 October 2019

The treatment of cyclothymia is problematic due to its rather complex clinical picture (early onset, lack of clear-cut episodes, high co-morbidity), a challenging patient–doctor relationship and a high sensitivity to medications. This chapter summarizes available evidence on pharmacological treatment, psychoeducation, and psychotherapy for cyclothymic patients. The management of cyclothymia should rely on integrated strategies. The psychopharmacological treatment has to follow the principle of ‘go slow and stay low’. Mood stabilizers should be the first option and antidepressants and antipsychotics should be used cautiously and for short periods of time to manage depressive, anxious, or hypomanic symptoms. Psychoeducation should be started from the beginning and is aimed to promote a better knowledge of the disorder and its effects on daily life as well as adherence to medications. The inclusion of individual psychotherapeutic treatments (eg, cognitive behavioural treatment) should also be considered.

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