Mood disorders are a challenge that impacts people of all ages. When you have a mood disorder, it affects your emotional state. While it is normal to experience changes in mood, when someone struggles with a mood disorder, the changes are extreme and sometimes unpredictable. Mood disorder symptoms often lead to prolonged periods of intense and overwhelming sadness, happiness, or both.
What is a Mood Disorder?
Mood disorders are a specific category of mental illness. The term “mood disorder” is used in mental health treatment to identify all types of depression and bipolar disorders.
The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-5) Fifth Edition provides the diagnostic criteria needed to help mental health providers accurately assess the presence of a mood disorder. The most recent version of the DSM, released in 2013, categorizes mood disorders into two groups; bipolar disorders and all forms of depression.
Mood disorders can affect anyone regardless of age. Understanding mood disorders requires knowing what mood disorders are, what the symptoms of a mood disorder may be, and how they are treated as part of a New Jersey mood disorder treatment program.
What are Common Mood Disorders?
As previously noted, the category of “mood disorders” is divided into two smaller groups. These groups include diagnoses of major depressive disorders, Bipolar I, and Bipolar II disorders. Although each diagnosis is different, each “type” of mood disorder also shares common symptoms with the others.
Major Depressive Disorder
The DSM lists the criteria for major depressive disorder as having symptoms of depression, including extreme hopelessness, sadness, and emptiness for more than two weeks. These symptoms must also lead to a notable (significant) impairment in your day-to-day functioning.
Bipolar I Disorder
Bipolar I (previously manic depression) is characterized by manic phases. Someone with Bipolar I will have alternating states of high energy, activity, and euphoria followed by irritability and lethargy. During manic phases, a teen with Bipolar I may participate in activities that harm themselves or those around them. Unfortunately, stages of mania often lead to a disconnect between actions and consequences. Because of this disconnect, someone struggling with manic symptoms may not fully understand their actions’ hurtful or harmful effects on themselves or others.
Bipolar II Disorder
A Bipolar II diagnosis requires one to experience at least one episode of hypomania and other bipolar symptoms. Hypomania is a less severe form of mania. They must also experience a bout of depression. This does not have to be present-day depression; it can occur at any time in the past or currently. A Bipolar II diagnosis requires you not to experience manic episodes.
What are the Signs of a Mood Disorder?
Regardless of the specific diagnosis, mood disorders will present with a combination of physical, psychological, and behavioral symptoms. Someone with a mood disorder may experience recurring physical ailments such as headaches, stomach pains, or fatigue. You may also experience difficulties with sleep, decreased energy, and changes in diet and weight.
Mood disorders cause emotional and behavioral changes as well. You may feel a wide range of emotions, including guilt, sadness, despair, and reduced self-esteem. You may lose the desire to spend time with social groups or participate in activities or hobbies you once enjoyed. Mood disorders make it difficult to focus on completing a task or staying organized. If your symptoms persist for more than two weeks or interfere with your ability to complete daily tasks, seeking help from a New Jersey treatment center like Relevance Recovery may help you better understand your symptoms and the steps to overcome them.
What is the Best Treatment for Mood Disorders?
The best mood disorder treatment combines therapy and (often) medications. Talk therapy is considered the most successful therapy used in mood disorder treatment. Widely used forms of talk therapy include cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) and dialectical behavior therapy (DBT). Cognitive-behavioral therapy, or CBT, is often used for various mental health conditions, including mood disorders and addiction treatment. CBT is considered the most widely researched therapy for mood disorders.
DBT sessions are designed to help you learn how to safely manage and regulate the emotions that stem from mood disorder symptoms. Another goal of DBT is to help someone with a mood disorder learn how to process stressful, upsetting emotions while improving strained relationships with family and friends.
For some, medications may help reduce the intensity of symptoms as part of a comprehensive retreatment plan. It is important to remember medications are not suitable for everyone. A member of our team of professionals at Relevance Recovery will work with you to determine how (or if) specific medications may help to alleviate the difficulties associated with some symptoms, especially in the early days of treatment. Commonly used medications include mood stabilizers, antidepressants, and antipsychotic drugs. If you are concerned about a mood disorder and would like to learn more about mood disorder treatment, let the team at Relevance Recovery help. Contact a member of our admissions team today to learn more about our programs and how New Jersey outpatient treatment at our mood disorder treatment program can help you.