Mood Disorder Therapy

Therapists laughing | mood disorder treatment arlington tx

What is a Mood Disorder?

A Mood is an emotional state, or ongoing feeling, that can span a few minutes to several days. Moods are a response to the stimuli around you (environment, stressors, people, events, etc.) or how we think about the stimuli. Moods are hypothesized to be helpful in communication, decision-making, and helping to make events more memorable.

When moods are more pronounced or extreme, it can color your experiences and your behavior, either positively or negatively. That’s why when someone is depressed, they have a hard time seeing anything as positive or enjoyable around them or even the ability to recall more positive memories. And when someone is overjoyed, it’s hard for them to think of anything that would bring them down.

When extreme or unpleasant moods get “stuck” for more than a few weeks, it can lead to problems in how we see ourselves, others, and the future, as well as issues in our relationships and ability to function in roles. This is when it is called a disorder.

Mood disorders can be considered any prolonged mood that leads to functional impairments. This can span from a persistent depressed state to a bipolar state with high levels of arousal. We classify a mood disorder by the characteristics of the mood, the duration, and its effects on our behavior and cognition.

Types of Mood Disorders

There are several Mood disorders, but one of the most common types is that of Depression. It’s not always known why a person may develop Depression or another mood disorder. However, common contributing factors can include genetics/brain chemistry, environment (an event, ongoing situation), or a combination of both.

Some examples of these risk factors are:

-Severe or ongoing exposure to stress or traumatic situation(s)
-Family member(s) with Depression or another Mood Disorder
-Intake of illicit drugs, or certain medications
-Certain health conditions (Diabetes, Heart Disease, Cancer) or other mental health conditions such as Anxiety
-Lack of sleep or overactive stress response can also trigger or exacerbate a Mood disorder.

Depression

This is feelings of sadness or indifference nearly every day for at least two weeks or longer. Depression is classified as mild, moderate, or severe based on the severity of symptoms, which can include:

-Feelings of hopelessness, pessimism, or ongoing sadness
-Lack of motivation, lack of energy, or lethargy
-Irritability
-Loss of interest or pleasure in things you used to enjoy
-Headaches, stomachaches, body aches
-Difficulty sleeping
-Thoughts of wanting to die, that you or others might be better off if you weren’t around, self-harm, thoughts of suicide or attempt. (*If any of these symptoms apply to you and you feel you cannot keep yourself (or others) safe, please go to your nearest Emergency Room for urgent evaluation or call 911)

Premenstrual Dysphoria

Most of us have heard of “PMS” which is often associated with moodiness or a lowered frustration tolerance during the time of a menstrual cycle. However, a less know problem is Premenstrual Dysphoric Disorder and is characterized by the onset of symptoms such as mood swings, sadness, anxiety, irritability, or sensitivity that often starts within the week prior to menses and resolves within the first few days of onset of menses.

 

Peripartum Onset

Being pregnant or a mother can be overwhelming and some feelings of anxiety, sadness, tearfulness, or feeling exhausted are normal. However, if the criterion for a major depressive episode is present, this could be more than just a difficult time adjusting. Most women that experience depression with pregnancy experience it during pregnancy and not after. It is often associated with severe anxiety and even panic attacks, and can occasionally become severe enough where hallucinations or false beliefs are present.
Any symptoms of anxiety or depression-while pregnant or up to a year after giving birth-are exceptionally important to take seriously for your well-being and for your child(ren).

(*If you are having thoughts of wanting to die, that your or others may be better off if you weren’t around, self-harm, thoughts of suicide, or you cannot keep yourself (or your child(ren)) safe, please go to your nearest Emergency Room for urgent evaluation or call 911)

Seasonal Pattern

This is a mood disorder that is seasonal. Just like with life events such as pregnancy, depression can also be associated with times of the year. The most common is the fall and winter months and has been known as seasonal affective disorder (SAD).

Psychotic Depression

This includes symptoms of depression but is also accompanied by psychosis. Some psychosis symptoms are:

-Hearing or seeing things that others cannot
-Experiencing disturbing fixed and false beliefs or delusions
-Paranoia

The psychotic symptoms often have a depressive theme like guilt, death, illness, or poverty.

Other Depressive Disorders

Depression can be associated with other medical conditions such as low thyroid, androgen, or vitamin D levels. It is also not uncommon for depression to be a secondary symptom of substance use such as cannabis, opioids, or cocaine.

If you are having thoughts of wanting to die, that your or others may be better off if you weren’t around, self-harm, thoughts of suicide, or you cannot keep yourself (or your child(ren)) safe, please go to your nearest Emergency Room for urgent evaluation or call 988

Take the PHQ-9 Depression Assessment

Do any of the depression symptoms above sound familiar? Take the survey to for more information.

Click Here for the PHQ-9

Take the Mood Disorder Questionnaire (MDQ)

Experiencing bi-polar symptoms? Take the mood disorder questionnaire to find out more.

Click Here For the MDQ

You Are Not Alone

If you have depression or another mood disorder, you are not alone! Pre-pandemic, about 12% of Americans reported symptoms of a depressive disorder. At the height of the pandemic, depression rates were around 38% of Americans. Today, the percentage of U.S. adults battling depression is still high. A survey was conducted of a cross-section of adult Americans (22,000 people) between March 2 and April 4, 2022 in which 26% reported moderate to severe Depression symptoms.

That’s 1 in 4 adults in the U.S. with a Depressive Disorder!

About 4.4% of adults reported a bipolar episode within their lifetime pre-pandemic. While there are no widely circulated stats yet for bipolar disorder post-pandemic, given the trends in mental health disorder prevalence as a whole following COVID, it is likely that this percentage is higher now as well.

How to Treat Mood Disorders

There are several ways to treat Mood disorders depending on the particular condition and symptoms. Oftentimes a combination of several treatments is most effective. Some common ways to treat mood disorders include:

Therapy such as Cognitive Behavioral Therapy helps identify symptoms, triggers, and ways to reframe thoughts. This reframing of thoughts helps to change one’s behaviors, thereby training the body and the mind to not react in the same way. Other therapy techniques can also be used to process past behaviors or events, thinking traps, or the expression of emotion.

Medication such as antidepressants or mood stabilizers can be used to help control symptoms by improving the way the brain sends signals and regulates chemical levels. This ultimately helps improve your mood and your ability to manage emotions more appropriately again. These medications often take several weeks to build up within your system and can take a time to start feeling the full benefit of the medication(s). Therefore, it’s very important to give it time before determining if and what medications work best for you.

You are not alone! Carencia providers can work with you to figure out what treatment is best for you. We will work collaboratively with you on a treatment plan and help you meet your goals to feel better again.

Mental Healthcare Support

The licensed behavioral therapists at Carencia dedicate themselves to developing a deeper understanding of our patient’s mental health and wellbeing. We focus on the person’s whole mental health and not just certain aspects of it. Using their own beliefs, behavior, and biology we help craft a therapy plan to help the whole person and enhance their quality of life.

At Carencia we have dedicated ourselves to giving out patients the best mental health support possible. We accomplish this two ways, with traditional in-office therapy and with online telehealth counseling.