Understanding mood disorders is crucial in recognizing their impact on our lives and the lives of those around us. At Palm Springs Behavioral Health, we believe in spreading awareness about these common and misunderstood mental health conditions. Mood disorders go beyond mere emotional fluctuations – they can be debilitating, disrupting your relationships and overall ability to function. Let’s explore the three most common mood disorders.
1. Major Depressive Disorder
Major depressive disorder, or clinical depression, is more than “the blues” – it’s a profound, lingering despair that is a leading worldwide cause of disability. Symptoms may include a loss of interest in previously enjoyable activities, changes in appetite or weight, sleep disturbances, fatigue, feelings of worthlessness or excessive guilt, and difficulty concentrating.
2. Bipolar Disorder
Bipolar disorder, previously known as manic depression, involves extreme fluctuations in mood, energy, and activity levels that can affect your ability to carry out day-to-day tasks. During a manic phase, you may experience heightened enthusiasm, reduced need for sleep, grandiosity, increased talkativeness, racing thoughts, and often impulsive or risky behavior. The depressive episodes in bipolar disorder resemble those of clinical depression.
3. Seasonal Affective Disorder
Seasonal affective disorder is a temporary form of depression related to changing seasons. SAD most commonly begins in late fall or early winter and subsides during the spring and summer. Researchers believe it relates to reduced exposure to sunlight during the shorter days of the year. Symptoms of SAD often include low energy, overeating, weight gain, craving carbohydrates, and social withdrawal.
Understanding the Causes and Risks
Mood disorders are complex and likely result from a combination of genetic, biological, environmental, and psychological factors. An imbalance in brain chemicals plays a significant role, and life events or stressful changes can trigger or exacerbate these conditions. They also tend to be hereditary, so you have a higher risk of developing them if you have a family history of mental illness.
Mood disorders can affect anyone. However, women are nearly twice as likely to experience depression as men. It’s essential to understand that mood disorders are more intense and challenging to manage than typical feelings of sadness and are not a sign of personal weakness or a condition you can “snap out of.”
Seeking Help and Management
If you or someone you know is struggling with a mood disorder, professional help is available. Your custom treatment plan can involve medication, psychotherapy, lifestyle changes, or a combination of these.
At Palm Springs Behavioral Health, we commit to providing compassionate care and comprehensive treatment plans to help manage and overcome these challenges. Remember, acknowledging and seeking help for a mood disorder is a sign of strength, not weakness. Our trained admissions counselors are standing by to take your call and start you on the path to healing.