Cyclical Depression: Causes, Symptoms, and Treatment

Cyclical Depression: Causes, Symptoms, and Treatment

Cyclical depression, also known as bipolar disorder or manic-depressive illness, is a mental health condition that causes extreme mood swings. These mood swings can cause people to feel high and happy one moment, and low and sad the next. Cyclical depression can be very disruptive to everyday life and can lead to further problems. In this blog post, we will discuss the causes, symptoms, and treatment of cyclical depression.

What Is Cyclical Depression?

What Is Cyclical Depression?Cyclical depression is a type of clinical depression that occurs in cycles. The low points of the cycle are called depressive episodes, while the high points are called remission periods. Cyclical depression is also sometimes known as recurrent major depression, or simply as recurrent depression.

This condition is often characterized by a pattern of depressive episodes followed by remission periods, during which the person experiences relatively normal moods. However, not everyone with cyclical depression will experience remission periods, and the length of time between depressive episodes can vary from person to person.

It is believed that cyclical depression is more common in women than men. And usually begins in young adulthood. Moreover, studies have found that people who have cyclical depression are more likely to have a family history of mood disorders. If you are experiencing any of the symptoms below, you should consult with a mental health professional.

As cyclical depression can be extremely debilitating, it is important to be aware of the symptoms and to seek professional help if you are struggling.

What Are The Symptoms Of Cyclical Depression?

The symptoms of cyclical depression are similar to those of other types of clinical depression. However, there are some key differences. For example, people with cyclical depression may experience more changes in appetite and weight, sleep patterns, and energy levels. They may also have more difficulty concentrating and making decisions.

Cyclical depression is characterized by episodes of clinical depression that occur in a seasonal pattern. The symptoms of cyclical depression typically begin in the fall or winter and improve or resolve during the spring or summer. However, some people with cyclical depression experience symptoms year-round. Some of the common symptoms of cyclical depression include:

  • Feelings of sadness, hopelessness, or emptiness
  • Loss of interest in activities that were once enjoyable
  • Fatigue and decreased energy
  • Changes in appetite or weight
  • Sleep problems
  • Difficulty concentrating, making decisions, or remembering things
  • Restlessness or irritability
  • Physical symptoms such as headaches, stomachaches, or back pain
  • Thoughts of death or suicide

If you are experiencing any of these symptoms, it is important to talk to your doctor. Cyclical depression is a serious condition that can be effectively treated with medication and therapy. With treatment, you can manage your symptoms and live a healthy, productive life. Also, understand that this situation can be improved with time and treatment. So, seek help as soon as possible.

What Are The Possible Causes?

What Are The Possible Causes?The exact cause of cyclical depression is unknown. However, there are several theories about what may contribute to the development of this condition. So according to these theories, some common causes are:

Family history of depression

This is one of the major impactful causes of why a person might develop cyclical depression. If someone in your family has suffered from depression, you’re at a greater risk of developing it as well. In fact, if you have a family history of any mood disorders then you will more likely to develop cyclical depression. Because your family’s genes may play a role in your condition.

Hormonal changes

Another possible cause of cyclical depression is hormonal changes. This is especially true for women who experience premenstrual dysphoric disorder (PMDD), postpartum depression (PPD), menopause, or premenopause. These hormonal changes can trigger the onset of depressive episodes. In fact, hormonal changes are thought to be one of the main reasons why women are more likely to suffer from depression than men.

Sleep disturbances

Sleep is very important for our overall health and well-being. And research has shown that sleep disturbances can trigger depressive episodes. This is especially true for people who suffer from insomnia or sleep apnea. So if you’re not getting enough quality sleep, it can lead to cyclical depression.

Biochemical imbalance

It’s thought that people with cyclical depression may have a chemical imbalance in their brains. This imbalance could be due to a problem with how the brain uses or produces certain chemicals called neurotransmitters. These include serotonin, norepinephrine, and dopamine. So, when levels of these chemicals are low, it can lead to depression.

Environmental factors

Environmental factorsIt is believed that environmental factors are the new biggest factors that play into cyclical depression. Things in a person’s environment can trigger the onset of a depressive episode. These triggers can include:

  • Stressful life events, such as the death of a loved one, job loss, or financial problems
  • Problems with relationships
  • A history of abuse or trauma
  • Substance abuse
  • Certain medical conditions, such as thyroid problems or cancer

These are some of the most common environmental factors that can play a role in the development of cyclical depression. If you are experiencing any of these, it is important to seek help from a mental health professional. Because cyclical depression can be really tough to deal with on your own.

How Does It Impact Life?

Many peopleе with cyclical depression find that their symptoms tend to follow a pattern. For most people, this means that they will feel relatively normal and symptom-free for a period of time, followed by a period of time when their symptoms are more severe. This can make it difficult to maintain life normally. There are some common negative consequences if you live with cyclical depression:

Work-life may suffer

It can be difficult to concentrate or get anything done when you’re in the midst of a depressive episode. As a result, you may find that your work performance suffers, which can lead to problems at your job. In fact, depression is one of the most common reasons why people miss work.

Relationship problems

Depression can take a toll on your personal relationships. It can be difficult to muster up the energy to spend time with loved ones, and you may find yourself withdrawing from social activities. Depression can also make it difficult to communicate effectively, which can lead to conflict.

Problems with self-care

When you’re depressed, it’s easy to let your physical health suffer. You may not feel like eating or taking care of yourself, which can lead to weight loss or gain, sleep problems, and other physical health problems. Additionally, depression can make it difficult to stick to treatment plans for chronic conditions like diabetes or heart disease.

Physical impacts

When you are ill from cyclical depression, it is best to see your doctor for help. Cyclical depression can have physical impacts such as:

  • Changes in appetite
  • Weight changes
  • Sleep changes
  • Fatigue

These physical consequences can be mild to severe. If you are experiencing any of these, it is best to seek professional help. Otherwise, it can turn into something more serious.

Withdrawal from activities

When you are dealing with cyclical depression, you may find that you withdraw from activities that you used to enjoy. This can include hobbies, social activities, and even work. This withdrawal can lead to feelings of isolation and loneliness. Additionally, it can make it difficult to maintain healthy relationships.

So, overall these negative consequences can make it difficult to maintain a normal life. However, with proper diagnosis and treatment, many people are able to manage their cyclical depression and live relatively normal lives. If you think you may be dealing with cyclical depression, it’s important to talk to your doctor. They can help you get the treatment you need to improve your symptoms and quality of life.

How It Is Diagnosed?

How It Is Diagnosed?The diagnosis of cyclical depression, also known as seasonal affective disorder (SAD), is made when a person experiences symptoms of major depression during specific seasons for at least two years. The diagnosis is made by a mental health professional after ruling out other potential causes of the person’s depressive episodes, such as medical conditions or substance abuse.

There are several methods to diagnose cyclical depression. One is to track the person’s symptoms and mood changes over time. This can be done through a daily journal, where the person records their mood, energy level, sleep patterns, and other relevant information. Another method is to have the person complete a questionnaire that assesses symptoms of depression.

The most important factor in diagnosing cyclical depression is the timing of the person’s depressive episodes. If the episodes always occur during the same season and go away when that season ends, it is likely that the person has cyclical depression.

So, an accurate diagnosis is necessary and that can be made by a mental health professional. So you must keep a track of your symptoms to be able to tell the doctor. If you are experiencing symptoms of depression, talk to your doctor or mental health professional. They can help you get an accurate diagnosis and develop a treatment plan.

What Are The Treatment Options For Cyclical Depression?

There are many ways to treat cyclical depression, and the best course of action will vary from person to person. Some common treatment options include:


This is a type of therapy that can help you understand your thoughts and feelings, and develop healthy coping mechanisms. It is also known as talk therapy as this is the primary way that it is conducted. In fact, there are several types of psychotherapy that can be used to treat cyclical depression. These include:

These therapies aim at helping you change the negative thought patterns that are associated with depression and teach you how to better deal with stressful situations. So you should consider this type of therapy if you want to learn how to manage your depression in a more positive way.


There are also several types of medication that can be used to treat cyclical depression. The most common type of medication is antidepressants, which can help relieve the symptoms of depression by balancing the chemicals in your brain. However, it is important to note that antidepressants can take several weeks to start working, and they may not work for everyone.

Other types of medication that may be used to treat cyclical depression include:

These medications can help regulate your mood and make it more stable, which can in turn help reduce the symptoms of depression. However, it is important to speak with your doctor about the potential risks and side effects of these medications before starting them.

Light therapy

Light therapyThis is a type of therapy that involves exposure to artificial light. It is typically used in the winter months when there is less natural sunlight. Light therapy can help improve your mood and energy levels, and it may also help reduce the symptoms of depression. It works with your body’s natural sleep cycle to help you feel more rested and alert during the day.

As it is believed that cyclical depression is caused by a disturbance in the body’s natural sleep cycle, light therapy can be an effective treatment option. More often, studies have found that light therapy is most effective when used in combination with other treatment options, such as medication or psychotherapy.

Electroconvulsive therapy (ECT)

This is a type of therapy that uses electrical impulses to stimulate the brain. It is typically used as a last resort for treating severe depression. If other treatments have not responded well in treating the condition. ECT can be an effective treatment for cyclical depression, although it can have some side effects, such as confusion and memory loss.

Overall, ECT is considered a safe and effective treatment for cyclical depression, with a success rate of 70-80%. If you are considering this treatment option, be sure to discuss the risks and benefits with your doctor. And you will more likely to have a successful outcome if you have a good support system in place.

Support groups

Support groups are a great way to connect with others who are dealing with similar issues. These groups can provide emotional support and practical advice for coping with depression. If you’re interested in finding a support group, ask your doctor or mental health professional for recommendations. You can also search online or look in your local phone book.

As depression can be a very isolating illness, it’s important to have a supportive network of friends and family. If you don’t have close friends or family who can offer support, consider joining a support group. These groups can provide much-needed social interaction and allow you to share your experiences with others who understand what you’re going through.


This is the vital first step in managing cyclical depression. You need to nurture and care for yourself, both physically and emotionally. This means:

  • getting enough rest
  • eating a healthy diet
  • exercising regularly
  • practicing meditation
  • journaling
  • avoiding alcohol and drugs

These lifestyle changes will help to reduce stress and promote feelings of well-being. In addition, self-care can also include seeking out support from friends and family, or a professional therapist. Also, do not underestimate the power of self-love and self-compassion. Beating yourself up will only make things worse. Accepting yourself, flaws and all is an important step in managing cyclical depression.

Take time out for yourself

Take time out for yourselfIt seems simple, but making time for activities that make you happy is crucial when managing cyclical depression. This could be anything from reading to going for walks in nature, to listening to music. It doesn’t matter what it is, as long as it brings you joy. When you’re feeling down, do your best to engage in these activities, even if you don’t feel like it. It will make a world of difference.

In fact, it is believed when you do some self-talk and participate in activities that make you feel good on a regular basis, it will help to rewire your brain and break the negative thought patterns associated with cyclical depression. So, you should make sure to schedule some “me time” every day, even if it’s just for a few minutes.

However, if you find that your symptoms are impacting your quality of life, it’s important to seek professional help. A therapist can provide additional support and guidance, and may recommend medication if necessary. Remember, you don’t have to go through this alone. There is help available.


Conclusively, cyclical depression is described as a pattern of depressive episodes that occur at regular intervals. The most common interval is every two years, although some people experience depressive episodes more frequently, such as every year. It is often known as seasonal affective disorder (SAD), winter depression, or summer depression, depending on the person’s typical pattern.

So, this condition can be disturbing if not treated on time. It can have a negative impact on every sphere of life, from personal to professional. Cyclical depression is characterized by low mood, lethargy, difficulty concentrating, and changes in appetite and sleeps patterns. If you experience any of these symptoms regularly, it’s important to talk to your doctor.

For more information, please contact MantraCare. Depression is a mental illness characterized by persistent feelings of sadness, hopelessness, and loss of interest in daily activities. If you have any queries regarding Online Depression Counseling experienced therapists at MantraCare can help: Book a trial Depression Therapy session

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