Mood Disorders

Mood Disorders

Mood disorders can profoundly impact one’s ability to manage emotions, thoughts and behaviors. Left untreated, mood disorders can negatively impact functioning at work or school, satisfaction in relationships, and the ability to meet personal goals. Therapists at Affective Counseling understand the enormous effect mood plays in the perception of self and others, and how it can interfere with daily life. Our therapists have spent years working with individuals suffering from mood disorders, researching the most current and effective treatments, and developing strategies and interventions that allow clients to regain control of their lives. Some of these interventions include:

  • Improving mindfulness of mood states
  • Identifying triggers for mood changes
  • Challenging negative or irrational thoughts and behaviors through Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT)
  • Improving sleep hygiene (regulation of sleep-wake cycle)
  • Minimizing symptom severity through Social Rhythm Therapy (maintaining an effective daily routine)
  • Developing effective coping skills
  • Establishing and maintaining a healthy social support network
  • Managing medications (with a collaborative psychiatrist)

Bipolar Disorder

“Normal” mood change can be viewed as a pendulum that swings back and forth between “happy” and “sad.” Most people recognize these patterns and can usually adjust accordingly. In bipolar disorder, however, the pendulum swings abruptly from one mood to another so that sadness becomes depression and happiness becomes mania leading to emotional extremes that can feel unmanageable. The pendulum can cycle so rapidly or unpredictably that an individual never has a chance to achieve a resting point where emotions are under control (euthymic state). Shifts in mood can be triggered by external stimuli or can seem to shift for no apparent reason. The following are symptoms that can be indicative of Bipolar Disorder:

  • Severe mood swings
  • Irritability or anger
  • Increased or decreased need for sleep
  • Racing and tangential thoughts
  • Hyperverbal speech (talking too much/too fast)
  • Impulsivity/risky behavior
  • Depression
  • Psychosis

Bipolar Disorder Articles

Major Depressive Disorder

Most people understand feelings of depression or profound sadness that result from negative life events, such as the death of a loved one, loss of a job, or the emotional pain following the end of a close relationship. A person struggling with Major Depressive Disorder may feel depressed for no apparent reason or unable to recover from a negative life event. Feelings of hopelessness, lack of self-worth, and even self-hatred can lead to a sense of entrapment where reaching life goals or escaping from a bad situation seems impossible. The following symptoms can be indicative of Major Depressive Disorder:

  • Depressed mood most of the day for most days
  • Increased need for sleep or insomnia
  • Fatigue and loss of motivation
  • Difficulty with focus and decision-making
  • Feelings of worthlessness or guilt
  • Significant and unintentional weight loss or weight gain
  • Hopelessness
  • Recurrent thoughts of death or suicidal ideation

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