Mood disorders are mental health conditions that feature moods or mood swings that are extreme or protracted in nature. People with a mood disorder may exhibit persistent depressed mood, long-term mild depression, manic behaviors, or mood issues attributed to substance use disorders. When the disordered mood begins to impair normal daily functioning or becomes disruptive or a danger to self or others, it should be treated appropriately.
Different Types of Mood Disorders
There are different types of mood disorders, each having features of extreme mood or mood fluctuations that disrupt normal functioning. These include:
Bipolar I Disorder. Characterized by extreme manic episodes that can last up to a week, alternating with depressive episodes that may last two weeks or more.
Bipolar II Disorder. Features a pattern of hypomanic episodes alternating with depressive episodes, but the manic episodes are not as severe as in bipolar I.
Cyclothymic Disorder. Defined by multiple periods of where both the symptoms of mania and depression exist, but not to the level of an “episode.”
Major Depressive Disorder. Features persistent sadness, despair, fatigue, changes in eating and sleep habits, loss of interest in activities once enjoyed, and suicidal thoughts that last more than two weeks.
Persistent Depressive Disorder. Also referred to as dysthymia, features long-term lower grade depression lasting more than two years in duration.
Premenstrual Dysphoric Disorder. A severe form of PMS that features irritability, extreme sadness, anger, and hopelessness in relation to a woman’s menstrual cycle.
What Causes a Mood Disorder?
It is still unknown exactly what causes a mood disorder. However, there are certain factors that science has recognized as potentially causal, including genetics, brain chemistry imbalance, extreme protracted stress, personality traits, and substance use disorders.
Treatment for a Mood Disorder
Because mood disorders have the potential to negatively impact all aspects of life, it is important to seek treatment from a mental health professional. Through a combination of interventions, mood disorders can be adequately managed, improving the quality of life. Once a medical condition is ruled out as a possible cause of the mood disorder, the next step is to visit a psychiatrist who can design a tailored treatment plan to suit the features of the individual’s mood disorder.
Treatment primarily consists of:
Psychotropic medications. The doctor will determine the medication intervention best suited to the individual’s unique needs. This may involve antidepressants, mood stabilizers, anti-anxiety drugs, or anti-psychotic medications depending on the specific diagnosis.
Psychotherapy. Through psychotherapy, patients are taught ways to reshape their self-defeating thought patterns that can trigger symptoms, and to replace the disordered thought-behavior patterns with healthier beliefs and more positive behaviors.
Holistic activities. The doctor may suggest the patient engage in a variety of holistic activities that will help them manage their stress levels and lead to relaxation. These might be yoga, deep-breathing exercises, mindfulness meditation, art therapy, acupuncture, or massage therapy.
When is Residential Care Appropriate for a Mood Disorder?
If an individual diagnosed with a mood disorder has found that outpatient mental health services have not adequately improved their functioning, or if the individual displays psychotic symptoms or signs of considering suicide, a residential treatment program is the best level of care. A residential program can provide acute stabilization services to immediately safeguard the patient in distress.
In cases where there is no acute event, a residential treatment environment offers a plethora of daily therapeutic activities and 24-hour support. The combination of psychotherapy, group therapy, medication management, and holistic activities work congruently to help improve the patient’s overall functioning and management of their mood disorder.
Elevation Behavioral Health Treats Mood Disorders
Call our Admissions Team at Elevation Behavioral Health to receive a free confidential telephone assessment and to learn more about the treatment program options at 888-561-0868.