Mental health treatment has come a long way in the past few decades. With online resources, people suffering from mood disorders and other mental health conditions can identify their symptoms and seek comprehensive treatment easily.
What is a Mood Disorder?
With so many terms floating around, you might be wondering, "What is a mood disorder, anyways?"
Mood disorder symptoms vary from person to person. In general, a mood disorder impacts a person’s ability to function on an emotional level. A person who suffers from a mood disorder may experience varying degrees of depression, anxiousness, irritability, and apathy.
Below, we list several signs and symptoms of mood disorders. A person who suffers from a mood disorder may experience just one or several of the following symptoms:
- Having chronically low energy levels
- Losing interest in previously enjoyable activities
- Regularly feeling bored and lacking motivation
- Not having an appetite or overeating
- Experiencing sleep disruptions, such as insomnia or oversleeping
- Frequently feeling sad or bummed out
- Experiencing mood swings or irritability
- Turning to alcohol or drugs
- Feeling chronically guilty or worthless
- Experiencing periods of poor judgment, restlessness, and even euphoria
- Feeling apathetic or indifferent
- Having a hard time focusing and concentrating on daily tasks
Types of Mood Disorders and Their Symptoms
It is essential to understand the signs and symptoms of different mood disorders. By educating yourself, you can take a proactive approach to ensure the safety and well-being of yourself and your loved ones. Help is out there, and it is okay to speak up.
Major Depressive Disorder
Major depressive disorder (MDD) is also known as clinical depression. This form of depression manifests as feelings of guilt, apathy, sadness, and worthlessness that interfere with a person’s ability to complete daily functions. A person who suffers from major depressive disorder may also experience physical symptoms like weight gain, weight loss, or chronic pain.
Dysthymia, also known as dysthymic disorder, is essentially a low-grade, long-term type of depression. Symptoms usually last at least two years and may include apathy, lack of self-esteem, low energy, and loss of concentration.
Typically, people who have bipolar disorder experience drastic mood swings. Individuals may seek thrills one day and exhibit signs of depression the next day. Symptoms include periods of mania with risk-taking behavior followed by bouts of major depressive disorder.
Cyclothymic disorder is a milder form of bipolar disorder. Individuals facing this disorder can typically function on a day-to-day basis without the disorder interfering with their lives. Periods of highs and lows usually do not come and go as quickly as they do with bipolar disorder.
Substance-induced Mood Disorder
Regularly taking substances like alcohol, drugs, or medications can induce mood disorders like depressive disorder and bipolar disorder.Likewise, stopping the usage of alcohol, drugs, or medications can also initiate a mood disorder. Using drugs or alcohol to self-medicate a mood disorder creates a vicious cycle that can reinforce symptoms.
Health-related Mood Disorder
It is very common for medical conditions and poor health to trigger mood disorders, especially among people with chronic disabilities. Chronic pain and depression go together because one can prompt the other. A sedentary lifestyle and obesity can also contribute to the onset of depression and other mood disorders.
When Should You Seek Help and What Does Mental Health Treatment Include?
If a person is experiencing any of the 12 signs listed above, there is no reason that the person should have to suffer without help.
Many people may put off seeking help for their mood disorder if their mood disorder does not impact their ability to work or if they can still get out of bed in the morning. However, mental health treatment is an option for any degree of a mood disorder.
At the same time, if a person experiences any of the following thoughts, feelings, or events, the person should seek out professional help as soon as possible. These serious thoughts, feelings, and events include:
- Suicidal thoughts or actions
- Self-harm or behavior that could put a person in danger
- Having trouble getting out of bed in the morning
- Missing days of school or work due to mood disorder symptoms
- Deteriorating personal relationships with friends and family
- Being homeless or being on the verge of becoming homeless due to mood disorder symptoms
Remember that even if a person can function with day-to-day tasks, they should still seek help if they experience symptoms of mood disorders. Professional care can help the person avoid turning to unhealthy coping tools like alcohol or drugs and exacerbating mood disorder symptoms.
Mental Health Treatment Approaches for Mood Disorders
All mental health treatment should be completely personalized. No one experiences symptoms the same way, and each person has their own unique environmental conditions. Accordingly, it is important to develop an individualized treatment plan to help people suffering from mood disorders to recover.
Below, we list common treatment methods for helping people recover from mood disorders:
- Short-term or long-term, mood-stabilizing medications
- Substance abuse detox and recovery programs
- Learning healthy coping mechanisms for dealing with symptoms
- Identifying which environmental conditions trigger symptoms
- Building positive communication techniques to express feelings and develop relationships properly
- Sticking to a brain-healthy diet
- Physical activity
If you need help with a mood disorder, talk to your primary care doctor or a local social worker to discuss your specific circumstances and treatment options. You can also contact the National Suicide Prevention Hotline at +1 (800) 273-8255 at any time.
Dallas Behavioral Healthcare Hospital: Comprehensive Mental Health Treatment
Dallas Behavioral Healthcare Hospital utilizes an evidence-based, highly-structured, and comprehensive treatment program for mood disorders and other mental health conditions.
A variety of life events can trigger mood disorders, and no two cases of mood disorders are the same. That is why we provide both inpatient psychiatric treatment options and intensive outpatient treatment options, which our clinicians use to develop a personalized treatment plan for each patient. Our staff includes psychiatrists, registered nurses, social workers, dieticians, and activity therapists who assist with each patient’s integrative recovery process.