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What Are The Different Types Of Mood Disorders?

Sometimes our moods can become extreme, let’s talk about it!

By: Melissa Tijerino

Mood Disorders

What are Mood Disorders exactly? Our mood affects us everyday, sometimes worse than others. We might feel sad at times, while other times were perfectly happy. We might even feel happy AND sad on the same day. But with some individuals, their mood can get stuck on only being “sad”, our moods change constantly but sometimes get extreme.

When this happens, it can affect our day to day lives and routine. This is when it might be a good time to consider looking into the different types of mental illnesses called mood disorders.

In this blog post, we’ll be going over all the different types of mood disorders, what to look out for, like the signs and symptoms, as well as treatment for them!

Let’s Go More In Depth

Mood Disorders are a variety of mental illnesses that can affect how you think of yourself, other people, and life in general. Children, teens and adults can have mood disorders.

However, children and teens don’t always have the same symptoms as adults

It’s a bit more difficult to diagnose children with Mood Disorders because they aren’t always able to express how they feel

Medication, Therapy, Support from loved ones and Self-care can help treat Mood Disorders

It’s very normal for someone’s mood to change, depending on the situation they are in. But in order to be diagnosed with a Mood Disorder, symptoms have to be present for several weeks or months

Different Types of Mood Disorders

Let’s go over the different types of mood disorders:

  • Depression - (Major or Clinical) Depression is the most common mental disorder. Experiencing grief or sadness is a typical response to a traumatic event or life crisis, such as a death of a parent, close family member, loss of a job or chronic illness. However, if the depression symptoms continue well after the event and there is no apparent cause or reason, physicians would classify this as Clinical Depression or Major Depression. As we mentioned above, in order for someone to be diagnosed, their symptoms must last longer than 2 weeks or more

There is also different types of depression:

  • PostPartum Depression - This type of depression could happen during pregnancy and after delivery

  • Seasonal Affective Disorder - This is a type of depression that can occur during certain seasons of the year. This typically starts between late Autumn and early Winter and can last until spring or summer time. However, some people do experience SAD during the warmer months as well. Symptoms of SAD may resemble those of major depression

  • Persistent Depressive Disorder - This kind of depression is more on a chronic level that can last for at least 2 years. Although, symptoms can lessen in severity during this time.

  • Psychotic Depression - This type of depression is combined with psychotic episodes, such as hallucinations (hearing or seeing things that aren’t there) or delusions (having fixed but false beliefs) These episodes are often disturbing and upsetting while usually having a theme.

Depression Related to a Medical Condition, Medication or Substance Abuse

Bipolar Disorder - Bipolar Disorder is defined by mood swings from periods of depression to mania. When someone experiences low mood, symptoms may resemble those of clinical depression. Depressive episodes alternate with manic episodes. During manic episode, a person can feel irritable or have increased level of activity

  1. Bipolar 1 Disorder - This form of Bipolar Disorder is the most severe one! Manic episodes last 7 days or more which can lead to hospitalization. Depressive episodes can often last for at least two weeks. Oftentimes, depression and mania can be present at the same time.

  1. Bipolar 2 Disorder - This type of Bipolar is similar to Bipolar 1. A person with this illness also experiences hypomania, which is slightly less severe than mania. Hypomanic episodes are not as intense or disruptive. Someone with Bipolar 2 disorder will usually be able to handle life, daily responsibilities and does not require hospitalization

  1. Cyclothymia Disorder - This type of Bipolar Disorder has been defined as a mild form of Bipolar. People with Cyclothymia experience irregular mood swings on a continuous basis - from mild to moderate emotional “highs'' to mild to moderate “lows'' - for extended periods of time. These changes to their mood happen quickly and at any time. There are only short periods of a “normal mood”

Other Mood Disorders

  • Intermittent Disorder - This mood disorder isn’t as common as the ones we mentioned above, this one is marked by unwarranted anger. Individuals will experience rage for no apparent reason

  • Premenstrual Dysphoric Disorder - This type of mood disorder occurs seven to 10 days before menstruation and goes away within a few days of the start of the menstrual period. Researchers believe this disorder is brought about by the hormonal changes related to the menstrual cycle. Symptoms may include anger, irritability, tension, decreased interest in usual activities, and sleep issues.

What Causes Mood Disorders?

There could be several underlying causes, depending on the type of disorder. This varies from Genetics, Biological, environmental and other factors that have been associated with Mood Disorders

Risk Factors:

  • Family History

  • Previous diagnosis to a mood disorder

  • Trauma, stress or major life changes

  • Physical Illness or use of certain medications

What Are The Symptoms?

Remember, symptoms will vary depending on the type of disorder a person has,

Symptoms of Bipolar Disorder can include both Depression & Mania. Symptoms of Hypomanic or manic episodes include:

  • Feeling extremely energized or elated

  • Rapid speech or movement

  • Agitation, restlessness or frequent irritability

  • Risk-taking behaviors, such as driving recklessly or spending too much money

  • Trying to do too many things at once

  • Rapid or racing thoughts

  • Insomnia or trouble falling asleep

  • Feeling on edge or jumpy for no apparent reason

How Are Mood Disorders Diagnosed?

Your physician may do a physical exam to rule out other factors that might be causing the disorder such as Thyroid problems or a possible vitamin deficiency. Your physician will ask you about your medical history, family history, any medications you are currently taking, and if you or a family member has been diagnosed with a mood disorder in the past.

A mental health professional, such as a psychologist or a psychiatrist will come in and do an assessment themselves, asking about your symptoms, eating and sleeping habits, along with other behaviors that could be contributing.

What Are The Treatments For Mood Disorders?

Treatment will depend on the specific illness and symptoms that are present. Treatment usually includes a combination of medication and psychotherapy.

Psychotherapy - Brain stimulation therapies are sought to work by causing changes in the brain's chemicals. Patients with depression or other mood disorders may benefit from various types of Psychotherapy & counseling sessions.

The different types of therapy include:

  • Problem-Solving therapy

  • Interpersonal Therapy

  • Cognitive-behavioral therapy

Is Therapy Right For You?

Here at AlexDixonTherapy, I’m here to help! Asking for help is nothing to be ashamed of.

Everyone responds differently to different types of therapy and experiences symptoms on different levels which is why my services are individualized to fit your specific needs. I am a certified clinical hypnotist offering Heart-Centered Hypnotherapy and experienced in helping you develop the long-term skills needed to address and manage trauma, anxiety and depression.

Book your session with me here! Let’s get you on the path to success! Be in charge of your life, take back control, find support today and be a better you.

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