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An Introduction to Cyclothymia

What's cyclothymia? It's a mild form of the docs used to call "manic-depression," but which they re-name periodically. Cyclothymics can actually function decently well, and as such often don't know they've got it. If you cycle through highs and lows, are particularly artistic, or that describes someone you love, then read this post in full and please comment with your own experience. I'm still learning, myself.


Knowing the term "Cyclothymia" would have been very helpful to me a few years ago. This essay is plain English and, if I've done a good job, might help people who associate with a cyclothymic relate better to them, and might help a cyclothymic manage themselves better and produce better.

I'm against the "medical-ization" of life. We need medical terms, but we need to be able to explain things in plain English without labeling. Labeling, by definition, drastically simplifies.

Cyclothymia is simple at its roots, simple enough for a plain discussion without medicalization. Here's how it works for me -

When To Change Your Life

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No, not now.

Chances are, if you want to change your life, you've found yourself at the end of a series of bad choices. If you're a student cramming for finals, if you're a freelancer who didn't do the project you have to give your client next week, or an employee who hasn't been meeting their daily quotas for a while now, you're thinking "Alright, it's time to change my life so this never happens to me again."

Right now, while you're in this rut, do whatever's working for you. Sprint over the finish line because you walked the rest of it. Do whatever works, no matter how cheap it feels.

Then, when everything's calmed down--a new semester, a new client, a new year, change your life.

Changing your life is slow and it requires you to not have this much on your plate. You can only change one thing at a time, and if you're trying to change while all of your energy is going towards cleaning up your mess, you won't change--and worse, you'll forget about changing your life until things get this drastic again.

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