Mood disorders is a widely encompassing category of mental illness that are characterized by severe elevation or lowering of a person’s mood.
Professional Help is Available
- Our staff is CSAT trained, professional, knowledgeable, caring, and discrete
- We offer state-of-the-art assessment instruments for accurate diagnosis
- We employ scientifically proven and evidence based practices to help you achieve and maintain recovery
- We offer a variety of treatment options to meet your individual needs, including: individual therapy, couples therapy, group therapy, treatment for other mental health conditions that may be interacting with your compulsive behaviors
Types of Mood Disorders
What is anxiety?
Have you ever felt the butterflies in your stomach before a big performance or speech or test? That’s anxiety. Put simply, anxiety is fear. Anxiety is normal. It’s normal to feel scared before a big event. Anxiety can show up as a variety of body signals: elevated heart rate, excessive sweating, cold hands, diarrhea or those butterflies in your stomach. It can also show up as difficulty sleeping, difficulty concentrating, and jumbled thoughts. These symptoms are telling you that you are feeling threatened and they are your body’s way of telling you to “get ready”.
Why is anxiety sometimes overwhelming?
Anxiety is normal. It’s normal to feel somewhat scared prior to a big event. In fact, anxiety may even help you prepare to meet the challenge at hand. Research has clearly demonstrated that having some anxiety enhances performance. However, if the anxiety gets too high it can decrease performance. This happens because the person feels overwhelmed by the anxiety. Athletes and other performers learn to regulate this anxiety so that they can have just the right amount. If they don’t have any they won’t perform up to their potential … but if they have too much it will interfere with performance. The same is true for you. Learning to keep your anxiety from overwhelming you is the key. Untreated anxiety can easily become overwhelming given the right high-pressure situation.
Why do some people get more anxious than others do?
There are a variety of factors that seem to be involved here. In general, people with more self-confidence and higher self-esteem get less anxious than other people. They seem to get less “scared” when facing threatening situations. Another factor seems to be a person’s comfort in being “out of control”. The more comfortable you are with being out of control or not knowing how things will turn out (for example – a test), the less anxiety you will have. A third factor seems to be heredity. It appears that the tendency to experience overwhelming anxiety may run in families. Research shows that about 20% of the population reacts to threatening situations with more anxiety than the rest of the population. So if you have a parent who struggles with anxiety you may also be prone to the same. Finally, some people are less likely to be affected or overwhelmed by anxiety because they have learned ways to react to, and control, normal anxiety when it arises. They have learned strategies for controlling anxiety and hence they don’t get overwhelmed.
I have a friend who drinks a lot to control his fear of social/romantic situations … is this normal?
Unfortunately, yes. Many people use alcohol and other drugs to control anxiety. Marijuana is a very common one that people use. It does often calm you down and make you worry less while you are high, but the anxiety just returns when you’re not high. The same is true with alcohol and other drugs. However, this can become a vicious cycle. Using drugs more and more to control the anxiety can lead to addiction. Drugs are a short-term, not very effective way, to deal with anxiety. The same can be true for smoking cigarettes, and other compulsive type behaviors – e.g.; TV-watching, computer/internet addition, etc. that give temporary, but not long-lasting, relief from anxiety and stress.
Does too much anxiety ever lead to depression?
Yes, it can. Anxiety and depression are very much related. If anxiety goes unchecked, you will eventually feel overwhelmed. This can lead to an intense feeling of helplessness, which often ends up as depression. In a sense, if your body/mind cannot deal with all the anxiety, it will eventually “shut down” (i.e. get depressed). Often, part of the treatment for depression is learning new ways to deal with anxiety. Once the anxiety is under control the person feels less depressed.
If you believe you may be experiencing unhealthy levels of anxiety contact us today to schedule a thorough evaluation.
Depression is associated with emotions such as anger, shame, and fear, and sometimes these emotions can manifest in the body in the form of aches, pains, nausea, and other complaints. People with depression may feel tense, irritable, or weepy, and it is not uncommon to feel intensely fatigued without relief. In severe cases, a person may express no emotion whatsoever, and suicidal thoughts or behaviors are not uncommon.
A person experiencing depression is likely to encounter difficulty coping with daily stressors and may feel helpless and alone. In fact, sometimes the most mundane of activities—getting out of bed, bathing, and dressing—can feel like an impossible feat. These challenges can leave a person more susceptible to a decline in positive mood, resulting in a negativity bias that informs all experiences. Depression can make it difficult for a person to accept comfort from others, sometimes based on the belief that they do not deserve it or that the affection is insincere. Similarly, the lethargy, irritability, and hopelessness experienced by the partner who is depressed may make expressions of love nearly impossible. Depression can also interfere with communication and sexual intimacy in a romantic relationship. Some people may become more distant during depression, while others appear more needy or dependent on their partners.
Symptoms of depression often include one or more of the following:
- Feelings of helplessness and hopelessness. A bleak outlook—nothing will ever get better and there’s nothing you can do to improve your situation.
- Loss of interest in daily activities. No interest in former hobbies, pastimes, social activities, or sex. You’ve lost your ability to feel joy and pleasure.
- Appetite or weight changes. Significant weight loss or weight gain—a change of more than 5% of body weight in a month.
- Sleep changes. Either insomnia, especially waking in the early hours of the morning, or oversleeping (also known as hypersomnia).
- Anger or irritability. Feeling agitated, restless, or even violent. Your tolerance level is low, your temper short, and everything and everyone gets on your nerves.
- Loss of energy. Feeling fatigued, sluggish, and physically drained. Your whole body may feel heavy, and even small tasks are exhausting or take longer to complete.
- Self-loathing. Strong feelings of worthlessness or guilt. You harshly criticize yourself for perceived faults and mistakes.
- Reckless behavior. You engage in escapist behavior such as substance abuse, compulsive gambling, reckless driving, or dangerous sports.
- Concentration problems. Trouble focusing, making decisions, or remembering things.
- Unexplained aches and pains. An increase in physical complaints such as headaches, back pain, aching muscles, and stomach pain.
If you believe you may be suffering from depression please contact us today to schedule a thorough evaluation.
This disorder is a less severe form of depression. Though less extreme, dysthymic disorder causes chronic long-lasting moodiness.
Symptoms are similar to depression, but less sever, and may include:
- Feeling of hopelessness or helplessness
- Trouble sleeping or daytime sleepiness
- Abnormal eating habits, including poor appetite or overeating
- Regular fatigue
- Low self-esteem
- Trouble concentrating or making decisions
Factors of dysthymic disorder may include
- Abnormalities in how the brain processes emotions
- Chronic stress
- Medical illness
- Poor coping strategies to life stressors or other adjustments
Treating dysthymic disorder is important not only to relieve a constant state of moodiness, but also to prevent the disorder developing into more severe depression.
Individual therapy is typically the treatment of choice for dysthymic disorder, however treatment may also include medications if psychotherapy alone does not seem to be producing desired results.
If you believe you may be suffering from dysthymic disorder, please contact us today to schedule an assessment.
Bipolar disorder, or manic-depressive disorder, causes marked shifts in mood, energy, activity levels, and the ability to carry out day-to-day tasks. Those suffering with bipolar disorder may feel extreme mood swings between feeling depressed and periods of extreme productivity.
Each episode may last days to weeks at a time. Manic episodes are typically categorized by high-energy, reduced need for sleep, and high productivity. Depressive episodes typically include feelings of sadness, lack of energy, and low motivation.
Symptoms of a manic episode may include:
- Extremely elevated mood
- Excessive energy
- Increased activity levels
- Feeling “jumpy” or “wired”
- Feel like thoughts are racing
- Engage in risky or reckless behavior
Symptoms of a depressive episode may include
- Feelings of extreme sadness or hopelessness
- Severely decreased energy
- Decreased activity levels
- Severely altered sleeping patterns
- The feeling of being unable to enjoy anything
- Forgetfulness or trouble concentrating
- Significant change in eating habits
If you believe you may be suffering from bipolar disorder, please contact us today to schedule an assessment.
Anger is a basic, healthy, human emotion and an unavoidable part of life. To exhibit and direct occasional anger is normal and necessary; however, when that anger negatively impacts a person’s relationships and drives them toward destructive and dangerous behavior, it’s time to seek professional help. The people who are most often affected by an individual’s chronic anger are their friends and loved ones. Targets of chronic anger often ignore or hide the pain that their loved one is causing in an effort to keep some semblance of harmonious function within the relationship. This could be a parent and child, a husband and wife, or just two friends.
Anger is often referred to as a secondary emotion, meaning that underneath there is a primary emotion (shame, fear, etc.) that drives the anger, usually outside of the conscious awareness of the person. It is key to understand this relationship, and identify the primary emotions, if one is to successfully learn how to experience and express anger in a healthy way.
Uncontrolled anger can be one of the greatest threats to an individual’s overall mental health. It can lead to a host of other issues, such as severe depression, anxiety, and addiction. We are ready to help patients explore the roots of their anger disorders and teach them rational, constructive, and tangible ways to channel their emotions without letting them take complete control.
If you would like help with an anger issue please contact us today for an evaluation.