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Mood Disorders: What You Need to Know

Aug 15, 2022

Mood disorders are mental health conditions that involve changes in how a person feels, thinks, and handles daily activities. There are several types of mood disorders, each with its own set of symptoms. This blog post will discuss four common types of mood disorders: bipolar disorder, major depression, dysthymia, and substance-induced mood disorder.

Mood disorders are not always easy to spot. They can often be mistaken for other conditions or simply chalked up to a bad day. However, if you or a loved one are experiencing any of the following symptoms, it may be time to seek help from a mental health professional. Mood disorders can be difficult to deal with alone, but there is help available.

What is Bipolar Disorder?

Bipolar disorder is a mental health condition that can cause extreme changes in mood. For example, people with bipolar disorder often go from feeling very high and happy to feeling very low and sad. This can be a very difficult condition to live with, both for the person who has it and for their loved ones.

Symptoms of bipolar disorder include:

  • Extreme changes in mood and energy levels
  • Periods of mania (where a person feels excessively happy, irritable, or impulsive)
  • Periods of depression (where a person feels sad or hopeless)
  • Changes in sleep patterns
  • Changes in appetite

These shifts in mood can last for days, weeks, or even months. Bipolar disorder can be a very debilitating illness, but there are treatments available that can help.

Bipolar disorder is thought to be caused by a combination of genetic and environmental factors. It is believed that people with specific genes are more likely to develop the condition, but it is not yet known exactly which genes are involved. Additionally, it is thought that stress or other life events may trigger the onset of bipolar disorder in people who are genetically predisposed to the condition.

There are two main types of bipolar disorder: type I and type II. People with type I bipolar disorder experience very extreme highs and lows, known as mania and depression. People with type II bipolar disorder do not experience mania, but they do experience periods of hypomania, which are less severe than mania but still involve significant changes in mood and behavior.

What is Major Depression?

Major depression can cause a wide variety of physical and psychological symptoms. Some people may only experience a few of these symptoms, while others may experience many. The most common symptoms of major depression include:

  • Persistent feelings of sadness or emptiness
  • Loss of interest in activities you used to enjoy
  • Fatigue or decreased energy
  • Difficulty concentrating
  • Changes in appetite or weight
  • Sleep disturbances
  • Feelings of worthlessness or guilt
  • Suicidal thoughts or attempts

These symptoms must last for at least two weeks for a person to be diagnosed with major depression. It is important to note that these symptoms can vary in severity from person to person. Some people may only experience a few mild symptoms, while others may have more severe symptoms that make it difficult to function in everyday life.

There is no single cause of major depression. Instead, it is thought to be caused by a combination of genetic, biological, psychological, and environmental factors. Certain life events or experiences may trigger a depressive episode for some people. These events could include the death of a loved one, financial problems, relationship difficulties, job loss, or any other significant life change or stressor. People with a family history of depression may be more likely to experience it themselves. Additionally, people who suffer from chronic medical conditions or abuse substances are at a higher risk of developing depression. Major depression can be very disabling, but there are treatments that can help.

What is Dysthymia?

Dysthymia is a mood disorder similar to major depression, but the symptoms are not as severe. People with dysthymia may feel down or blue most of the time, but they can still function in their daily lives. While dysthymia is not as disabling as major depression, it can still be a very difficult illness to live with.

Symptoms of dysthymia include:

  • Persistent sadness or low mood
  • Loss of interest or pleasure in activities that were once enjoyed
  • Fatigue
  • Difficulty concentrating
  • Changes in appetite or sleep patterns
  • Feelings of hopelessness
  • Low self-esteem

People with dysthymia may also suffer from anxiety or substance use disorders.

What is Substance-Induced Mood Disorder?

Substance-induced mood disorder is a type of mood disorder caused when someone uses drugs or alcohol to self-medicate for another mental health condition. For example, someone with depression may turn to alcohol to make themselves feel better. However, substance use only exacerbates the underlying mental health condition and creates new problems.

People with a substance-induced mood disorder may feel happy and energetic when using substances but then feel depressed and anxious when not using. Symptoms of Substance-induced mood disorder can include mood swings, depression, anxiety, and irritability.

Substance-induced mood disorders can be very dangerous, as they can lead to addiction.

What is the Treatment for Mood Disorders?

Treatment for Mood Disorders can include the following modalities:

  • Medication management
  • Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT)
  • Dialectical Behavioral Therapy (DBT)
  • Psychiatric interventions
  • Coping skills education
  • Neurotherapy
  • Biofeedback
  • Mindfulness and meditation training
  • Group therapies
  • Continuing care planning
  • Medical detox

Some people may only need medication to manage their symptoms, while others may benefit from therapy, support groups, or a combination of both. Medications used to treat mood disorders may include antidepressants, anti-anxiety medications, and mood stabilizers. Therapy can help people learn how to cope and make positive changes in their lives. Support groups provide a space for people to share their experiences and connect with others who understand what they are going through.

Cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) is a type of psychotherapy that can help people with mood disorders manage their symptoms. CBT focuses on changing negative thinking patterns and behaviors. It can be an effective treatment, especially when combined with medication.

If you or someone you know is suffering from a mood disorder, there is help available.

If you are worried about someone, the best thing to do is to talk to them about it. There are many resources available to help people suffering from mood disorders. With the right support, people with mood disorders can lead happy and healthy lives.

If you or someone you know is in crisis, please call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 988. This free, 24/hour hotline can provide you with support and information. You are not alone. There is help available.

Origins Counseling is a program in Dallas, Texas, made available by a well-known care provider offering a range of treatment programs targeting the recovery from substance use, mental health issues, and beyond. Our primary mission is to provide a clear path to a life of healing and restoration. We provide a comprehensive diagnostic assessment and evaluation, as well as renowned clinical care for addiction. We have the compassion and professional expertise needed to guide you toward lasting sobriety. For information on our programs, call us today: 561.841.1264.

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