A mood disorder is an illness that creates a serious and significant change in mood. Major depressive disorder, bipolar disorder, persistent depressive disorder, cyclothymia, and SAD (seasonal affective disorder) and all classified as mood disorders. A person’s moods, thoughts and emotions are interrelated to health, both mental and physical.

How Common Are Mood Disorders?

Research shows that about 20% of the Americans reports at least one symptom of depression each month, and 12% report two or more symptoms in a year. A survey conducted in 2002 found rates of major depression reaching 5% in the previous 30 days, 17% for a lifetime. bipolar disorder is less common, occurring at a rate of 1% in the general population, but some mental health professionals believe that bipolar disorder is often misdiagnosed or overlooked because manic elation is too rarely reported as an illness. (source Mental Health America)

What is the Relationship Between Psychiatric Disorders and Mood Disorders?

Depression is a common companion of almost all mental illnesses.  A person with a history of any serious psychiatric disorder has a very high chance developing depression. Anxiety is also often seen in conjunction with psychiatric disorders.  Mood disorders go hand-in-hand with other psychiatric disorders and this fact makes getting a correct diagnosis paramount to mood disorder treatment.

What is Dual Diagnosis?

Dual diagnosis is when substance abuse and another psychiatric disorder occur at the same time. It is an increasingly serious psychiatric concern. Whether drug abuse causes depression, depression leads to drug abuse, or both have a common cause, a vicious spiral ensues.  For example, cocaine and other stimulants act on neurotransmitters in the brain’s pleasure center, causing elation that is followed by depression as the effect subsides. Sometimes what appears to be major depression clears up after abstinence from alcohol or drugs. People with serious mood disorders also have twice the average rate of nicotine addiction, and many become depressed when they try to stop smoking. (source Mental Health America)

Can You Have Both Anxiety and Depression?

Yes.  Depression can cause feelings of shame, guilt, impulsive behavior and hypersensitivity. Most people with major depression also show some signs of anxiety, and 15-30% report having anxiety attacks. Anxiety is a biological mechanism for coping with danger, anxiety creates a need for help or protection that may give way to depression when the need is not met. Those that suffer from anxiety and panic attacks often cope by medicating themselves with drugs and alcohol that can contribute to depression. It is important that a qualified mental health professional evaluate a patient’s anxiety and/or depression to understand what treatment is best. Each patient is an individual and their mood disorder treatment must be tailored to their unique situation. Those that suffer from depression sometimes don’t realize they have anxiety and vise versa. (source NAMI)

Does Physical Illness Cause Depression?

Depression is associated with many physical illnesses, a change in physical health can be a factor that can cause depression. It has been reported that 25% of hospitalized medical patients have noticeable depressive symptoms and about 5% are suffering from major depression. Chronic medical conditions associated with depression include heart disease and stroke, cancer, vitamin deficiencies, diabetes, hepatitis, as well as serious conditions including Parkinson’s, Alzheimer’s diseases, multiple sclerosis, and brain tumors. Even moderate depressive symptoms are associated with a higher than average rate of heart disease, heart attacks, stroke and high blood pressure. Depression can mimic medical illness and any illness feels worse to someone suffering from depression. We recommend that anyone that receives a diagnosis of a chronic or serious illness, be referred for a mental health evaluation. Identifying depression in it’s early stages can significantly improve a patient’s ability to heal and to achieve mental and physical wellness. (source NAMI)

How are Mood Disorders Treated?

Depending on the diagnosis and severity, mood disorders can be treated with a combination of medications, counseling, nutrition, and lifestyle changes.  One size does not fit and your mood disorder treatment should be customized to your unique situation.  If you or a loved one is suffering from a mood disorder and need help, don’t delay.  The sooner you are properly diagnosed, the sooner treatment can begin.

Exult Healthcare offers a unique treatment for Mood Disorders.  Our Intensive Outpatient Program combines group, individual therapy, nutrition, pilates, yoga and medication management (if needed) in a safe and compassionate environment.  If you would like to learn more about our Mood Disorder IOP, call today and schedule a free assessment 469-714-0006.

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