Treatment & Medicine for Mood Disorders in Murfreesboro, TN

Helton Family Medicine, a Murfreesboro family doctor’s office helps individuals who are struggling with mood disorder find long-term recovery. Located in Murfreesboro, TN, Helton Family is a local leader in mental health care.

Mood disorders are a category of illnesses that describe a serious change in mood. 

Some examples of mood disorders include:

  • Major depressive disorder — prolonged and persistent periods of extreme sadness
  • Bipolar disorder — also called manic depression or bipolar affective disorder, depression that includes alternating times of depression and mania
  • Seasonal affective disorder (SAD) — a form of depression most often associated with fewer hours of daylight in the far northern and southern latitudes from late fall to early spring
  • Cyclothymic disorder — a disorder that causes emotional ups and downs that are less extreme than bipolar disorder
  • Premenstrual dysphoric disorder — mood changes and irritability that occur during the premenstrual phase of a woman’s cycle and go away with the onset of menses
  • Persistent depressive disorder (dysthymia) — a long-term (chronic) form of depression
  • Disruptive mood dysregulation disorder — a disorder of chronic, severe and persistent irritability in children that often includes frequent temper outbursts that are inconsistent with the child’s developmental age
  • Depression related to medical illness — a persistent depressed mood and a significant loss of pleasure in most or all activities that’s directly related to the physical effects of another medical condition
  • Depression induced by substance use or medication ― depression symptoms that develop during or soon after substance use or withdrawal or after exposure to a medication

Emotional symptoms of depression include:

  • Suicide thoughts and attempts
  • Loss of interest in activities that were pleasurable in the past
  • Unrelenting anxiety, sadness or feelings of emptiness
  • Feelings of worthlessness, helplessness or guilt
  • Feelings of hopelessness or pessimism

Physical symptoms of depression include:

As with emotional symptoms, physical symptoms of mood disorder may differ from one person to the next. Physical symptoms of depression include:

  • Decreased energy or fatigue
  • Headaches, body aches, pains, cramps or digestive problems
  • Difficulty remembering details, making decisions or concentrating
  • Loss of appetite or overeating
  • Excessive sleeping or insomnia

What causes mood imbalances is difficult to point out. Depression is said to be caused by a combination of environmental, psychological, biological and genetic factors. The most enduring theories involve neurotransmitters, which are chemicals in the brain, causing an imbalance that leads to depression. So far, this theory has been difficult to verify and is still being debated.

Scientists are still studying the causes of bipolar disorder, but the consensus is that bipolar disorder is caused by several factors working together. As bipolar disorder tends to be genetic, researchers are currently trying to find a gene that may increase the risk of developing the disorder. Brain imaging studies show that the brains of people with bipolar disorder and depression differ from those of healthy brains, which suggests that brain structure and functioning could play a role in the development of mood disorders.

Mood Medication: Mood-Stabilizing Drug Options
Depression is typically treated with antidepressant medications. Antidepressants work to restore neurotransmitters that makes the brain function normally. The specifically targeted neurotransmitters are serotonin, norepinephrine and dopamine. The most commonly prescribed antidepressants for depression are fluoxetine (Prozac), citalopram (Celexa), sertraline (Zoloft), paroxetine (Paxil) and escitalopram (Lexapro). These drugs are selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors.

Bipolar disorder is first treated with mood-stabilizing medications. The mood stabilizers most commonly prescribed for the illness are lithium, valproic acid (Depakote), carbamazepine (Tegretol), lamotrigine (Lamictal) and oxcarbazepine (Trileptal).

Mood Drugs: Possible Options
Mood drug options include different types of antidepressants. You may be prescribed serotonin and norepinephrine reuptake inhibitors. SNRIs include duloxetine (Cymbalta) and venlafaxine (Effexor). Another available antidepressant is bupropion (Wellbutrin), which manipulates dopamine.

Some people with bipolar disorder require medications other than or in conjunction with mood-stabilizing medications. Antipsychotics and/or antidepressants are used in such cases. Atypical antipsychotics include aripiprazole (Abilify), olanzapine (Zyprexa), risperidone (Risperdal), ziprasidone (Geodon) and clozapine (Clorazil).

I’m Dr. Helton.

I started practicing medicine in the year 2000, and over the past 18 years have treated and served over 15,000 patients. I’m the current president of the Middle Tennessee chapter of Family Physicians, an Executive board member of the Tennessee Academy of Family Physicians and Chairman of St. Thomas Rutherford Hospital Family Medicine Department.

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