What is a Mood Disorder?
A mood disorder is a mental health condition that primarily affects your emotional state. It’s a disorder in which you experience long periods of extreme happiness, extreme sadness or both. Certain mood disorders involve other persistent emotions, such as anger and irritability.
It is more intense and difficult to manage than normal feelings of sadness, anxiety or excitement. When parents get divorced, a loved one dies, a break up with a girlfriend or boyfriend happens, or grades are not what the adolescent wants them to be, coping with the pressure may be difficult. These life events and stress can bring on feelings of sadness, depression, mood disorders, or make the mood harder to manage.
Most Common Types of Mood Disorders
- Major depression. Having less interest in normal activities, feeling sad or hopeless, and other symptoms for at least 2 weeks may mean depression.
- This is an ongoing (chronic), low-grade, depressed, or irritable mood that lasts for at least 2 years.
- Bipolar disorder. With this condition a person has times of depression alternating with times of mania or a higher mood.
- Mood disorder linked to another health condition. Many health conditions (including cancer, injuries, infections, and chronic illnesses) can trigger symptoms of depression.
- Substance-induced mood disorder. Symptoms of depression that are due to the effects of medicine, drug abuse, alcoholism, exposure to toxins, or other forms of treatment.
Signs and Symptoms
People who suffer from mood disorders will likely display one or more of the following behaviors:
- Feelings of worthlessness, hopelessness, helplessness, total indifference and/or extreme guilt
- Prolonged sadness; unexplained crying spells
- Jumpiness or irritability; withdrawal from formerly enjoyable activities or relationships
- Inability to concentrate or remember details
- Loss of appetite or great increase in appetite; constant fatigue, insomnia
- Physical ailments that cannot be explained otherwise
- Thoughts of death or suicide attempts
What you can do to improve your mood disorders?
In addition to following the treatment plan determined by your health care providers, you may be able to improve your mood disorder by:
- Engaging in social activities
- Getting enough sleep
- Getting regular exercise
- Talking to a trusted person about your mood disorder and everyday stress
The more honestly you communicate with a doctor, the better they will be able to help you by coming up with a treatment plan.
Mood disorders are treated primarily through medications and psychotherapy. Even with treatment though, it is not uncommon for mood disorders to persist throughout a lifetime or to come and go on occasion. Education about mood disorders help individuals suffering from these conditions recognize patterns of behavior and thought that are indicative of a mood disorder resurfacing – and prompt them to seek additional treatment.
Cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) is a common form of therapy used to treat many types of mental health conditions, including depression and bipolar disorder. With CBT, Dr. Carla teaches you to reframe negative thought patterns and redirect potentially harmful behavior by using healthy coping mechanisms instead. Set up a time to talk with her about your problem.