A mood disorder is a medical condition characterized by elevated and lowered moods. Examples include different types of depression and bipolar disorder. If you have a mood disorder, you may alternate between episodes of depression and a heightened mood. Mood disorders can disrupt people\u2019s lives in a variety of ways impairing an individual\u2019s work, relationships, and lifestyle. People suffering from mood disorders often withdraw from their community. Unfortunately, without the proper mood disorder treatment, they may suffer needlessly for months or even years. It\u2019s important to get the correct diagnosis to go to the right mood disorder treatment center for you. Let\u2019s take a look at the most common mood disorders, their symptoms, causes, and available treatment. Different Types of Mood Disorders Major Depression Major depressive disorder (or MDD) is defined by persistent sadness, low self-esteem, hopelessness, fatigue, irritability, and decreased interest in activities for two weeks or more. Most people with the condition experience their first major depressive episode in their mid-20s. Thus, the earlier you experience an episode of major depression, the more persistent and severe it tends to be in adulthood. Dysthymia Dysthymia is a persistent, milder form of depression. People struggling with dysthymia tend to experience low-grade depression symptoms lasting for at least one year. Bipolar Disorder Bipolar disorder (or manic depression) is a mental health disorder characterized by alternating periods of depression and mania or elevated mood. The periods of mania can be so extreme they impair the person\u2019s sense of reality and consequences. The periods of depressed mood are expressed with a lack of interest in activities they usually enjoy. Substance-Induced Mood Disorder Substance abuse can also lead to symptoms of depression known as a substance-induced mood disorder. For example, withdrawing from addictive drugs like heroin and meth can cause depressive symptoms. Mood Disorder Symptoms No two people with mood disorders experience the condition in the same way. Thus, even people suffering from the same mood disorder, such as major depression, will experience their depression differently. For example, low self-esteem can manifest in different ways. Also, each person may experience a varying set of symptoms. Major depression symptoms include ongoing sadness, helplessness, low self-worth, and anger. On the other hand, bipolar disorder switches between depressive symptoms and periods of mania, leading to high energy, exaggerated self-confidence, racing thoughts, impulsive or reckless behavior, and decreased need for sleep. Additional mood disorder symptoms include: \tGuilt \tChanges in appetite (i.e., overeating or undereating) \tExcessive pessimism \tTrouble sleeping or sleeping too much \tDifficulty concentrating \tSuicidal thoughts The Causes of Mood Disorders Specific genes can make you vulnerable to a mood disorder, and environmental factors \u2013 such as your upbringing or major life events \u2013 can trigger the mental health condition. Triggers include stressful events like job loss, financial problems, the death of a loved one, or a divorce. Painful early childhood experiences such as neglect, abuse, or trauma, can also be underlying causes. Mood Disorder Treatment There are various types of effective mood disorder treatments: Medication In the case of depressive disorders, a psychiatrist may prescribe antidepressant medication such as: \tSelective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs), such as Prozac, Zoloft, Lexapro, Paxil, and Celexa \tSerotonin and norepinephrine reuptake inhibitors (SNRIs) \tTricyclic antidepressants \tMonoamine oxidase inhibitors (MAOIs) \tAntidepressants can also ease the symptoms of dysthymia and bipolar disorder. A mental health professional may recommend mood-stabilizing medication for bipolar disorder such as drugs like lithium. Some antipsychotic medications, such as Risperdal, can also offer relief for bipolar patients. Therapy Therapy can help stabilize daily life for those with a mood disorder. Some patients find that therapy combined with medication offers the best results. Evidence-based therapies for mood disorders include: \tCognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) \tDialectical behavior therapy \tInterpersonal therapy \tFamily therapy \tGroup therapy \tTrauma-focused therapy (such as EMDR) Lifestyle Changes as Mood Disorder Treatment Mood disorder treatment can also include healthy lifestyle changes. For example, some people find they can lessen their mood disorder symptoms through: \tYoga or other forms of exercise \tMindfulness meditation \tRestful sleep \tHealthy levels of social interaction \tA balanced and healthy diet Inpatient Programs for Mood Disorders Visiting a specialized treatment center may be necessary for those with intense mood disorder symptoms. Patients stay on the premises of residential treatment centers to recover for more severe mood disorders. During their stay, patients can benefit from a calm and stabilizing environment, therapy and counseling, alternative therapy, medication recommendations, mental health education, and support groups. With the right kind of mood disorder treatment, you can gain control over your symptoms and lead a healthy, stable life. There\u2019s no need to suffer in silence. Promises Behavioral Health treatment centers provide comprehensive depression and mood disorder care across the country. Call us today at to speak with a caring professional.