When your general emotional state or mood conflicts with your current circumstances to the point where you can no longer function properly, you may have a mood disorder. Mood disorders range from clinical depression to bipolar disorder. At Highland Family Medicine, Dr. Helton, Dr. Housden, and Dr. Hardin will diagnose which type of disorder you have and provide the best treatment to help you focus and function normally again.
Mood disorders are a category of illnesses that describe a significant and often abrupt mood change. Though many subtypes are recognized today, there are three major states of mood disorders: depressive, manic, and bipolar.
Major depressive disorder (clinical depression) is characterized by an overall depressed mood.
Manic or elevated moods are characterized by great excitement and enthusiasm toward anything for no particular reason (mania or hypomania).
Bipolar is the cycling between both depressed and manic moods.
These disorders vary in intensity and severity. For example, dysthymic disorder is a lesser but chronic form of clinical depression. On the other hand, cyclothymic disorder is similar to bipolar disorder, but the symptoms are less pronounced.
Some examples of mood disorders include:
Depending on your age and type of mood disorder, you may have different symptoms. The following are the most common symptoms of a mood disorder:
In mood disorders, these feelings are more intense than what a person may usually feel from time to time. It’s also of concern if these feelings continue over time or interfere with one’s interest in family, friends, community, or work.
Any person who expresses thoughts of suicide should get medical help right away. And if you know someone who expresses thoughts of suicide, talk to them and advise them to seek medical help.
The symptoms of mood disorders may look like other conditions or mental health problems. Always talk with a healthcare provider for an accurate diagnosis.
Why do mood disorders occur? Researchers and medical professionals cannot provide a definitive response to this question, but they believe that biological and environmental factors are at play.
The amygdala and orbitofrontal cortex control your feelings and emotions. Brain imaging tests have revealed that individuals with mood disorders have a swollen amygdala.
If members of your family have been diagnosed with mood disorders, your likelihood of developing these conditions, while still low, is higher than that of a person with normal parents. This indicates that mood disorders are likely inherited.
Researchers and doctors also believe traumatic life events also contribute to the development of mood disorders. Medications and substance abuse can sometimes be the cause of a mood disorder too. Moreover, chronic conditions have also been linked with mood disorders; people with diabetes, cardiovascular disease, and others often have mood disorders.
Mood disorders are treated primarily through medications and psychotherapy. Even with treatment, it is not uncommon for mood disorders to persist throughout a lifetime or to come and go on occasion. Education about mood disorders helps individuals suffering from these conditions recognize patterns of behavior and thought indicative of a mood disorder resurfacing – and prompt them to seek additional treatment.
Antidepressants and anti-anxiety medications are prescribed to individuals coping with mood disorders to alleviate emotional distress.
Depression is typically treated with antidepressant medications. Antidepressants work to restore neurotransmitters that make 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).
You may also be prescribed serotonin and norepinephrine reuptake inhibitors. SNRIs include duloxetine (Cymbalta) and venlafaxine (Effexor). Another available antidepressant is bupropion (Wellbutrin), which manipulates dopamine.
Psychotherapy (Talk Therapy)
This treatment is focused on changing thought patterns and behaviors. Cognitive behavioral therapy is often considered the benchmark treatment for individuals with mood disorders. It has been found to have significant positive treatment effects, and in some cases, psychotherapy alone is enough to treat a mood disorder.
Some mood disorders, such as bipolar depression, are usually treated with lifelong medication of mood stabilizers combined with psychotherapy.
Your emotional state is part of your health. We understand how frustrating it can be to be happy this minute and sad the next, making it incredibly difficult to socialize and focus. However, you should not lose hope. Mood disorders are treatable, and we at Highland Family Medicine have been providing medication and treatment for mood disorders for years.
Our doctor’s office has helped thousands of residents in Murfreesboro, TN. We diagnose, prescribe medication, and arrange talk therapy (psychotherapy) with the best therapist in Murfreesboro to help you recover from depression or maintain a stable mood for extended periods (applies to people with bipolar disorder).
Highland Family Medicine and its doctors, Dr. Helton, Dr. Housden, and Dr. Hardin, have been serving and treating the community of Murfreesboro, TN, and surrounding areas for over two decades.
Collectively, they have treated more than 20,000 patients. Highland Family Medicine specializes in comprehensive health care for people of all ages, treating most ailments and non-emergencies.
Please don’t hesitate to call the Highland Family Medicine doctor’s office. Dr. Helton, Dr. Housden, and Dr. Hardin are professionals and ready to serve.