Recognizing and getting treatment for your mood disorder
Mood disorders – characterized by irritability, empty moods, shifts in appetite or sleep and/or periods of heightened happiness or sadness – can easily take a toll on the body and the mind. While it’s very normal for someone’s mood to change throughout the day, mood disorders are verified mental health issues that present more extreme reactions, with or without triggering life events.
Perhaps you’ve noticed a change in your productivity, or sense of self-worth or self-confidence. Perhaps you’ve identified a palpable shift in your mood that has lasted for weeks or longer. If you’ve found that one or more of the above symptoms has compromised your daily routine for more than two weeks, it’s likely time to seek the help from medical professionals ready to help.
What is a mood disorder?
Before we dive into the best treatment types for mood disorders, let’s establish what they are (and what they are not).
Mood disorders are verified mental health issues – not passing emotions. In order to qualify as a mood disorder, your set of symptoms must be experienced consistently for at least two weeks. In addition, symptoms must be severe enough to warrant medical help.
There are many types of mood disorders, each with similar yet distinct symptoms, unique treatments and outlooks. We’ve outlined 3 of the most popular mood disorders below:
Depression – a mental disorder where moods are consistently depressed; individuals with depression report loss of passion for their favorite activities and foods, trouble sleeping, heightened anxiety and increased feelings of worthlessness or shame
Bipolar disorders – this disorder alternates the individual between heights of happiness and depressive depths, with wild shifts in energy levels, self-confidence, self-worth and mental capacity
Dysthymia – a more mild form of consistent depression, only diagnosed after the patient experiences depressed interest in favorite activities, low energy and appetite, and changes in sleep patterns for more than two years
Caused by a multitude of different factors, likely including genetic elements and imbalances in pivotal brain chemicals, mood disorders can affect anyone. Typically, adolescents and adults with mood disorders are at heightened risk to develop their own mood disorders, though life’s normal challenges can also contribute to a mood disorder’s development.
Am I experiencing a mood disorder?
It’s a question that only a licensed health professional can help you diagnose; if you’re wondering if you have a mood disorder, make sure you consult the appropriate help from licensed therapists qualified to deal with exactly what you’re experiencing.
Some symptoms are shared by most common mood disorders, and could help you better understand the scope of what you’re going through. In general, all of the following symptoms are shared by most mood disorders, with few exceptions:
Extended periods of sadness or empty moods
Sustained low sense of self-worth
Feelings of guilt or shame, especially feelings of worthlessness without reason
Shifts in appetite or weight control
Muted energy or excitement levels about your favorite activities
Anyone experiencing a combination of these symptoms for 14 days or more, especially if those symptoms are compounded with thoughts of suicide, should get the help they need immediately. Don’t be afraid to speak with your healthcare provider about mood disorders, to get the help that you know you need.
How can I treat my mood disorder?
Mood disorders cannot be cured, but many individuals have found personal freedom through effective treatment modalities. Successful treatment methods, prescribed under the watch of your medical professional, typically include:
Individual, group or family therapy
Online or in-person counseling
Monitored, FDA-approved medications
Through behavioral therapy methods like psychotherapy, often applied in tandem with medication, psychiatrists and therapists have successfully helped thousands of individuals take back their lives. While researchers still cannot determine the source of mood disorders, they can agree that getting appropriate help can help to minimize their effects on your day-to-day life.
Start treating your mood disorder today
Today is a great day to reinforce your fight against mood disorders with the appropriate medical help that can help you take back a healthy, happy lifestyle. Pyramid Online Counseling provides virtual counseling services that can help you receive the treatment you need in the comfort of your own home. Through an encrypted online platform, you can connect with the right therapist after browsing profiles to find the right advocate in your struggles.