Cyclothymia is a mild mood disorder which is sometimes seen as more of a personality trait than an illness. Cyclothymia is characterised by repetitive periods of mild depression followed by periods of normal or slightly elevated mood. A percentage of cyclothymics go on to develop full-blown bipolar disorder (normally bipolar II type) 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 come up with new ideas during their brief high periods, and then grind doggedly through the work necessary to achieve that new idea during their lengthy low periods. Historically, cyclothymia has been associated with various ethnic groups, including the Scots. See James Boswell's London Journal, 1762-1763, for some observations about the Scottish character and "moodiness". Winston Churchill was cyclothymic.
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