This modern life can force moods to change in the blink of an eye. At its most simple, moods can be a study in opposites. Feeling up one day, down the next. Being excited about something, then retreating from that excitement. Elation followed by melancholy.
Each of these are examples of changing moods. It happens all the time. But what about mood disorders? For those who suffer from a mood disorder, maintaining an even keel can be difficult, even when the water is warm, and the sun is shining.
How do you know you have a mood disorder and are not just frustrated when things don’t go your way? What are the different types of mood disorders?
Mood Disorders are Not Mood Swings
Not getting enough sleep, disappointment after something goes awry, being anxious in new situations, changing our mind – all of these can appear as a mood disorder but really are more mood swings. Mood disorders, on the other hand, are a category of psychological illness that include serious changes in how we perceive our situation, surroundings, and selves.
The following are different types of mood disorders.
While very common, depression is a serious mood disorder that severely impacts the way you approach even the smallest daily activities. When you are depressed, your sleep may suffer, relationships can be stressed, and your professional prospects can be compromised. Symptoms of depression include chronic sadness, anxiety, feelings of worthlessness or helplessness, loss of enthusiasm or interest in things that once excited you, and a feeling of discontent. Depression can exist in many forms, including:
- Postpartum depression, affecting women who have recently given birth.
- Psychotic depression, a severe form of depression often accompanied by delusional behaviors and/or hallucinations.
- Seasonable affective disorder (SAD) is triggered by season- or climate-specific changes that are often made worse by lack of daylight, most often during the gloomy winter months.
Bipolar disorder can present with rollercoaster-like mood swings. The “lows” (depression) can last days, weeks, or months and often are interrupted by periods of so-called mania (“highs”). When in a manic state, those who are bipolar have excessive energy and don’t sleep much. For those with bipolar disorder type 2, depression alternates with an irritable state called hypomania. During manic episodes, patients may be super talkative or hyperactive, ultra-confident, or even reckless in their personal and/or financial matters. During the low periods, a person with bipolar disorder may be anxious, pessimistic, worried, or reclusive.
Treatment of Mood Disorders
Mood disorder manifest differently for different people. For the approximately 1 in 10 people, aged 18 and older, that suffer from mood disorders, navigating life from day to day can be a challenge. Some learn to manage their mood disorder with proper diet and exercise; others seek medical treatment combined with therapy. The last thing someone with a mood disorder should do is self-medicate with drugs and alcohol.
Everyone deserves to feel their best. An experienced mental health professional can help evaluate you or a loved one, make a diagnosis, recommend treatment, or perform further testing. To schedule a psychiatric evaluation, please call our Walpole, Massachusetts, office at (508) 660-1666 or request an appointment online.