Mood disorders disrupt everyday life, yet they often go undiagnosed and untreated. Fortunately, people who understand mood disorders can quickly recognize the warning signs of a mood disorder and take steps to treat their symptoms.
A mood disorder refers to a mental illness that affects a person’s emotional state or mood. Mood disorders affect men, women, and children, and there are many types of mood disorders, including:
- Bipolar Disorder: Causes alternating periods of depression and mania.
- Cyclothymic Disorder: Causes emotional highs and lows; cyclothymic disorder symptoms are less severe than those associated with bipolar disorder.
- Major Depressive Disorder: Causes extended periods of extreme sadness.
A mood disorder may cause extreme sadness, emptiness, or irritability, and periods during which a person transitions back and forth between feelings of euphoria and depression. In addition to affecting a person’s emotional state, a mood disorder makes it difficult — if not sometimes impossible — to function in daily life.
Depression and mania are two of the most common symptoms of a mood disorder, and in some cases one can experience both. Depression results in negative feelings that affect a person’s overall well-being. This can cause behavioral and cognitive effects that can influence sleep, weight, energy, and more. Depression symptoms also include apathy and loss of interest in previously enjoyable activities, along with mood swings and sadness.
Comparatively, mania can cause a person to feel energized and happy for a short period of time. However, these positive feelings may be characterized by delusions of grandeur, psychosis, or other potentially dangerous thoughts. The elevated mood associated with mania generally lasts for three days or more. Symptoms of mania include decreased sleep, displaying poor judgement, and making irrational or harmful decisions.
The ability to identify depression, mania, and other mood disorder symptoms is critical for proper diagnosis and treatment. Thankfully, awareness of mood disorders is spreading, and once an individual’s mood disorder is identified, he or she can seek the right professional help and explore effective ways to treat mood disorder symptoms.
Medications and psychotherapy are two of the most common treatments for mood disorders, and in some cases, patients receive both treatments simultaneously. This can depend on personal preferences, the severity of symptoms, and the efficacy of different treatment options for each individual based on presenting symptoms. Common medications used to treat mood disorders include:
- Antidepressants: Medications that help a person manage depressive symptoms associated with mood disorders. The effectiveness of antidepressants to treat symptoms depends on the patient, and it can take several weeks before a patient starts to improve.
- Mood Stabilizers: Medications which help to regulate both elevated and depressed moods. Mood stabilizers have been shown to help regulate abnormal brain signaling which can occur in some mood disorders.
- Antipsychotics: Also known as “neuroleptics,” these are medications that help treat both the depressive and manic symptoms of mood disorders. Antipsychotics are often used in conjunction with other medications.
In contrast to medications, psychotherapy involves meeting with a mental health counselor to discuss mood disorder symptoms. It allows a patient to share thoughts and feelings about life with a mood disorder and discover ways to cope with symptoms. There are different types of psychotherapy available depending on the patient and symptoms.
Transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS) therapy may also be used in conjunction with medications and/or psychotherapy or on its own to help treat a mood disorder. TMS therapy is an FDA-approved treatment option for severe depression which involves the use of magnetic pulses that stimulate neurons associated with depressive symptoms. TMS therapy does not involve anesthesia, electric shocks, or a hospital trip. It only requires five 20-minute treatment sessions per week over the course of six weeks, and also allows a patient to return to normal activities after each treatment session.
At Achieve Concierge, we offer a selection of treatments for mood disorders that addresses the body, mind, and spirit. To schedule a free mood disorder treatment consultation with Achieve Concierge, please contact us online or call us today at (858) 221-0344.