Cyclothymia is rarer than bipolar, so there is much less research on it. The good news is that the same general treatment principles work.
There are no medications which are always better or worse. Any particular medication will be better or worse for you; there are no tests we can do to determine the best medication for you. Despite all our science, there is a trial & error approach.
Lithium & depakote are usually the top 2 mood stabilizers. Any traditional antidepressant has the risk of increasing mania or cycling moods. Wellbutrin is the least likely to do this. Lamictal has been a great medication for those with bipolar depression, but it doesn't sound like it worked for you.
One option is to try either a different version or lower dose of wellbutrin. Wellbutrin comes in at 3 main versions: 1) regular, or immediate release, 2) SR (sustained release), and 3) XL (extended release). The 1st 2 versions work best if taken twice/day and the XL only needs to be taken once/day. Sometimes the side effects are less on the XL version because the blood levels are a bit smoother (less peaks & valleys). On the other hand, sometimes insomnia is less on one of the other 2 versions b/c the blood level at night goes down more.
Other medicines you can try include topamax & trileptal. Those are my top 2 other choices.
Don't forget that it's important to treat any mood symptoms holistically.
This would include 1) psychotherapy with a live therapist, and 2) learning some formal relaxation therapy.
The last 2 treatments I mentioned are proven by sophisticated studies using brain scans (CT, MRI, EEG, pet scans) to improve brain function.
Also, by formal relaxation therapy I mean yoga, meditation
, or similar methods. Having relaxing hobbies is also important, but not quite the same as formal relaxation therapy.
And remember you can't separate emotional health from physical health, so exercise & nutrition are vital.
There are also several self-help books you can read which can help including: 1) "The Seven Spiritual Laws of Success" by Deepak Chopra, 2) "The Feeling Good Handbook" by David D. Burns, 3) "The Relaxation & Stress
Reduction Workbook" by XXXXX XXXXX, & 4) "The Depression Workbook: A Guide for Living with Depression and Manic Depression" by Mary Ellen Copeland and Matthew McKay.
I hope this helps. Let me know if you need more feedback. Good luck & take care.
Please let me know if you need more information. We can continue the dialog until you are satisfied. Once you are happy with the answers don't forget to hit the ACCEPT button & provide expert feedback. Also remember that this is not an official doctor patient relationship and not a substitute for a full live psychiatric evaluation. Thank you for using justanswers.com