A mood disorder is a medical condition characterized by elevated and lowered moods. Examples include different types of depression and bipolar disorder. If you have a mood disorder, you may alternate between episodes of depression and a heightened mood.
Mood disorders can disrupt people’s lives in a variety of ways impairing an individual’s work, relationships, and lifestyle. People suffering from mood disorders often withdraw from their community. Unfortunately, without the proper mood disorder treatment, they may suffer needlessly for months or even years.
It’s important to get the correct diagnosis to go to the right mood disorder treatment center for you. Let’s take a look at the most common mood disorders, their symptoms, causes, and available treatment.
Different Types of Mood Disorders
Major depressive disorder (or MDD) is defined by persistent sadness, low self-esteem, hopelessness, fatigue, irritability, and decreased interest in activities for two weeks or more. Most people with the condition experience their first major depressive episode in their mid-20s. Thus, the earlier you experience an episode of major depression, the more persistent and severe it tends to be in adulthood.
Dysthymia is a persistent, milder form of depression. People struggling with dysthymia tend to experience low-grade depression symptoms lasting for at least one year.
Bipolar disorder (or manic depression) is a mental health disorder characterized by alternating periods of depression and mania or elevated mood. The periods of mania can be so extreme they impair the person’s sense of reality and consequences. The periods of depressed mood are expressed with a lack of interest in activities they usually enjoy.
Substance-Induced Mood Disorder
Substance abuse can also lead to symptoms of depression known as a substance-induced mood disorder. For example, withdrawing from addictive drugs like heroin and meth can cause depressive symptoms.
Mood Disorder Symptoms
No two people with mood disorders experience the condition in the same way. Thus, even people suffering from the same mood disorder, such as major depression, will experience their depression differently. For example, low self-esteem can manifest in different ways. Also, each person may experience a varying set of symptoms.
Major depression symptoms include ongoing sadness, helplessness, low self-worth, and anger. On the other hand, bipolar disorder switches between depressive symptoms and periods of mania, leading to high energy, exaggerated self-confidence, racing thoughts, impulsive or reckless behavior, and decreased need for sleep.
Additional mood disorder symptoms include:
- Changes in appetite (i.e., overeating or undereating)
- Excessive pessimism
- Trouble sleeping or sleeping too much
- Difficulty concentrating
- Suicidal thoughts
The Causes of Mood Disorders
Specific genes can make you vulnerable to a mood disorder, and environmental factors – such as your upbringing or major life events – can trigger the mental health condition.
Triggers include stressful events like job loss, financial problems, the death of a loved one, or a divorce. Painful early childhood experiences such as neglect, abuse, or trauma, can also be underlying causes.
Mood Disorder Treatment
There are various types of effective mood disorder treatments:
In the case of depressive disorders, a psychiatrist may prescribe antidepressant medication such as:
- Selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs), such as Prozac, Zoloft, Lexapro, Paxil, and Celexa
- Serotonin and norepinephrine reuptake inhibitors (SNRIs)
- Tricyclic antidepressants
- Monoamine oxidase inhibitors (MAOIs)
- Antidepressants can also ease the symptoms of dysthymia and bipolar disorder. A mental health professional may recommend mood-stabilizing medication for bipolar disorder such as drugs like lithium. Some antipsychotic medications, such as Risperdal, can also offer relief for bipolar patients.
Therapy can help stabilize daily life for those with a mood disorder. Some patients find that therapy combined with medication offers the best results. Evidence-based therapies for mood disorders include:
- Cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT)
- Dialectical behavior therapy
- Interpersonal therapy
- Family therapy
- Group therapy
- Trauma-focused therapy (such as EMDR)
Lifestyle Changes as Mood Disorder Treatment
Mood disorder treatment can also include healthy lifestyle changes. For example, some people find they can lessen their mood disorder symptoms through:
- Yoga or other forms of exercise
- Mindfulness meditation
- Restful sleep
- Healthy levels of social interaction
- A balanced and healthy diet
Inpatient Programs for Mood Disorders
Visiting a specialized treatment center may be necessary for those with intense mood disorder symptoms.
Patients stay on the premises of residential treatment centers to recover for more severe mood disorders. During their stay, patients can benefit from a calm and stabilizing environment, therapy and counseling, alternative therapy, medication recommendations, mental health education, and support groups.
With the right kind of mood disorder treatment, you can gain control over your symptoms and lead a healthy, stable life.
There’s no need to suffer in silence. Promises Behavioral Health treatment centers provide comprehensive depression and mood disorder care across the country. Call us today at 844.875.5609 to speak with a caring professional.