Mood Disorders

Do you experience ongoing sadness or feelings of hopelessness or helplessness?

Or maybe you experience increase energy, excitement, and impulsivity?

These can be symptoms of a mood disorder. Mood disorders, also known as affective disorders, are a group of mental health conditions characterized by persistent and pervasive changes in mood. Common types include depression, bipolar disorder, anxiety disorder and dysthymia. These disorders can range from mild to severe, with symptoms ranging from sadness or hopelessness to chronic irritability or episodes of mania and hypomania.

There are several types of mood disorders, including major depressive disorder, bipolar disorder, cyclothymic disorder, and persistent depressive disorder. Major depressive disorder is characterized by low moods that last for two weeks or more and interfere with normal daily activities. Bipolar disorder is a condition in which people experience both extreme highs (mania) and lows (depression). Cyclothymic disorder is like bipolar disorder but with more mild symptoms. Persistent depressive disorder causes a low, sad mood that lasts for two years or longer.

Mood swings are often confused with having a mood disorder, but the two are quite different. Mood swings can be an occasional part of life and can often be managed with lifestyle changes such as regular exercise, healthy eating, and a balanced schedule. In contrast, people with mood disorders experience symptoms that are persistent and affect their daily life and relationships.

Mood disorders can often be traced back to genetics or traumatic events. People with a family history of mood disorders are more likely to develop one themselves, and environmental factors such as abuse, or neglect may also play a role. Our clinical therapist can assess symptoms and determine the best course of treatment to help manage mood disorder symptoms.

Our clinical therapist helps individuals recognize patterns in their thoughts, feelings and behaviors that may be contributing to the symptoms of a mood disorder. Counselors may provide cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) or other types of talk therapy, which can help individuals identify negative thought patterns and replace them with healthier coping mechanisms. Additionally, medications such as antidepressants or mood stabilizers may be prescribed to help manage mood disorder symptoms.

Seeking help is the key to living a full and meaningful life despite having a mood disorder. With proper treatment, people with mood disorders can learn how to manage their symptoms, build healthy relationships, and even thrive despite the challenges they face. There is no shame in getting help—its strength to take the initiative to build a better life.

Finally, remember that although mood disorders can be difficult at times, those who live with them can still find joy and meaning in their lives. With courage and determination, you can learn how to cope with your mood disorder and lead a meaningful and fulfilling life.

If you think that you or someone close to you may have a mood disorder, it is important to talk to a professional. Our clinical therapist can work with you to diagnose and treat your condition. Treatment options may include medication, psychotherapy, lifestyle changes, and support groups. The sooner treatment begins, the greater the chance of recovery.

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