Mood disorders are a type of mental illness that can severely impact one’s ability to regulate emotions. Most classifications of mood disorders share common features including extreme manic highs and lows, lack of control over one’s feelings, routinely experiencing distorted emotional states, and persistent feelings of depression.
An individual suffering from a mood disorder typically encounters significant challenges in their daily life. In more extreme cases, an individual diagnosed with a mood disorder can become debilitated by their drastic mood swings and/or their incapacitating anxiety and might struggle to complete typical daily living tasks. They may also experience physical symptoms including stomach pain, migraines, insomnia, and chronic fatigue.
Unfortunately, mood disorders can affect any individual, regardless of their age, gender or life circumstance.
Types of Mood Disorders
The 5 most common mood disorders are as follows:
Major Depressive Disorder
Major Depressive Disorder (MDD) is characterized by recurring and overpowering feelings of hopelessness, sadness, and a loss of interest in daily activities, that lasts at least two weeks. More than 16 million people in the US are diagnosed with MDD. Women are about twice as likely to receive a diagnosis of MDD, some experts partially believe this is due to the fact that women are more likely to seek treatment. If MDD is left untreated, medically or therapeutically, it can cause severe depression and can lead to significant functional and cognitive impairment.
Bipolar Disorder causes extreme mood swings including severe depression, and intense elevated states of emotion known as mania. During these manic episodes, people diagnosed with BD can feel as if they have little to no control over their actions, leading them to potentially endangering themselves or those around them. There are three subtypes of BD: Bipolar I Disorder, Bipolar II Disorder, and Cyclothymic Disorder.
Seasonal Affective Disorder
This mood disorder is related to the changing of seasons. The number of hours from daylight in fall to spring can affect a person’s depression, sleep patterns, and lethargy. Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) typically begins during late fall and early winter and lessens during sunnier days during spring or summer.
Persistent Depressive Disorder
Persistent Depressive Disorder, formerly known as Dysthymia, includes a diagnosis of Major Depressive Disorder. If MDD lasts two or more years and also results in a low-grade feeling of depression, one may have Persistent Depressive Disorder.
Substance-Induced Mood Disorder
Substance abuse can have an extremely negative impact on an individual’s mental health, even if they have no previous history of mental illness. In certain cases, depression, fatigue, and mood swings are caused by the abuse of drugs, alcohol, and/or prescription medications. Symptoms of withdrawal and addiction typically require professional treatment such as rehab, hospitalization, and more.
Symptoms and the intensity of the symptoms may vary largely from person to person and can fluctuate over time. No two individuals will experience the same symptoms.
Causes of Mood Disorders
Like most mental illnesses, there is no one single answer to what causes a mood disorder, however experts believe that brain chemistry, traumatic life events, and genetics can all play a role. If an individual has a relative with a mood disorder, the likelihood of them being diagnosed with a mental illness increases drastically.
Mood Disorder Treatment
Mood disorders can be treated through medication however they often require additional treatment such as therapy, or Life Adjustment Team’s Case Management model. LAT’s Case Management assists clients with becoming stable, active and productive members of society. Our Master’s level clinicians individualize rehabilitation goals to cater to client’s needs. Participation includes 2-hour visits from 1 – 7 days per week, depending on the individual’s needs. Through honest conversation and personal approaches, LAT helps clients develop goals in several areas of functioning to assist with reintegration in the community. To learn more about LAT’s case management model, check here.
Contact Life Adjustment Team
With over 40 years of experience in clinical treatments and evidence-based methods, we are dedicated to helping every client achieve the highest level of functioning and well-being possible. Through personalization, we bring our case management and IOP programs to you, where you are, to help you realize your true potential. Our Team can provide assistance using care coordination to connect you and your loved ones with local transportation needs, to help improve living situations, and to assist with problem solving in most areas of one’s life.
Contact Life Adjustment Team today to start your journey on “Learning to Live Well.”