People who experience recurring and intense emotional highs or lows may have an untreated mood disorder. According to Neuropsychiatric Disease and Treatment, “Mood disorders are common mental health problems, afflicting 154 million people around the world.” Mental health treatment programs at Exclusive Hawaii Rehab provide clients with the skills and resources they need to manage mood disorders and co-occurring conditions.

What Are Mood Disorders?

People diagnosed with mood disorders have difficulty regulating emotions. Studies have shown that “mood disorders or affective disorders are described by marked disruptions in emotions (severe lows called depression or highs called hypomania or mania).”

Some common risk factors for mood disorders include:

  • Family history of mood disorders or other mental health disorders
  • Chronic stress
  • Trauma
  • Adverse childhood experiences (ACEs)
  • Significant life changes, including the death of a loved one
  • Genetics
  • Environmental factors

Anyone can experience mood disorders at any point in their lives. However, individuals with substance use disorder (SUD) have a higher risk of developing mood disorders. According to Addiction Science and Clinical Practice, “Mood disorders, including depression and bipolar disorders, are the most common psychiatric comorbidities among patients with substance use disorders.”

Common Symptoms of Mood Disorders

Every mood disorder has a distinct set of symptoms. However, most mood disorders feature some or all of the following symptoms and side effects:

  • Loss of interest in previously enjoyed activities
  • Extreme mood swings
  • Noticeable and unexplained changes in energy levels
  • Sleep disturbances, including oversleeping or insomnia
  • Overwhelming feelings of sadness, helplessness, or dread
  • Changes to appetite
  • Suicidal or self-harming thoughts and ideation
  • Risk-taking behaviors
  • Impulsivity
  • Intrusive thoughts

The symptoms vary significantly depending on a person’s age, gender, and general health.

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Different Types of Mood Disorders

Below are brief descriptions of some common mood disorders.

Bipolar Disorder

Individuals diagnosed with bipolar disorder may struggle to function and complete daily tasks. According to the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH), “Bipolar disorder (formerly called manic-depressive illness or manic depression) is a mental illness that causes unusual shifts in a person’s mood, energy, activity levels, and concentration.” Bipolar disorder involves frequent cycles of depressive and manic symptoms. 

Some of the different types of bipolar disorder include:

  • Bipolar I: Most people experience depressive symptoms for several weeks and manic episodes for at least a week or a manic episode severe enough to result in hospitalization
  • Bipolar II: Individuals experience less severe depressive symptoms lasting at least two weeks and manic episodes lasting at least four days
  • Cyclothymia: The depressive and manic episodes are much less severe than other forms of bipolar disorder, and people are generally able to function day-to-day

Major Depressive Disorder

Millions of people struggle with major depressive disorder (MDD) each year. MDD is one of the most common mental health disorders worldwide. Studies have shown MDD “is diagnosed when an individual has a persistently low or depressed mood, anhedonia or decreased interest in pleasurable activities, feelings of guilt or worthlessness, lack of energy, poor concentration, appetite changes, psychomotor retardation or agitation, sleep disturbances, or suicidal thoughts.” People must have depressive symptoms lasting at least two consecutive weeks to be diagnosed with MDD. 

Persistent Depressive Disorder

Individuals with persistent depressive disorder (PDD) experience mild symptoms of depression for at least half of all days for two or more years. According to NIMH, “Persistent depressive disorder (formerly dysthymic disorder) is characterized by chronic low-level depression that is not as severe, but may be longer lasting than, major depressive disorder.”

Premenstrual Dysphoric Disorder

Women with premenstrual dysphoric disorder (PMDD) experience severe symptoms of premenstrual syndrome (PMS) lasting until the start of menstruation. The symptoms cause changes in behavior and mood, including: 

  • Extreme sadness
  • Unusual irritability 
  • Extreme mood swings
  • Difficulty focusing
  • Physical symptoms of PMS

Postpartum Depression

Women with postpartum depression (PPD) experience mild to severe depressive symptoms after giving birth. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), “Feelings of postpartum depression are more intense and last longer than those of ‘baby blues,’ a term used to describe the worry, sadness, and tiredness many women experience after having a baby.”

The most common symptoms of PPD include:

  • Self-isolating from friends and family
  • Feelings of extreme sadness
  • Uncharacteristic anger
  • Feeling distant from your child
  • Thoughts of self-harming or harming your child

Substance-Induced Mood Disorder

Some substances may cause changes in the body, resulting in mood disorders. Substance-induced mood disorders often occur alongside other conditions requiring treatment. Exclusive Hawaii Rehab offers primary and secondary treatment for substance use disorder (SUD).

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Treatment Options at Exclusive Hawaii Rehab

Chronic stress and trauma are two of the most common causes of mood disorders. Exclusive Hawaii Rehab uses trauma-informed care to help clients heal and identify the root cause of their disorder.

Clinicians provide the following treatments for individuals diagnosed with mood disorders and co-occurring conditions:

  • Adventure therapy
  • Activity therapy
  • Cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT)
  • Dialectical behavior therapy (DBT)
  • Behavior modification
  • Accelerated resolution therapy (ART)
  • Creative healing
  • Eye-movement desensitization and reprocessing (EMDR)
  • Experiential therapy
  • Mindfulness-based stress reduction (MBSR)
  • Music and art therapy
  • Play therapy
  • Psychotherapy

Individuals with co-occurring SUD also benefit from relapse prevention and psychoeducation. After completing treatment, the clinical team ensures clients have the skills and resources they need to manage their condition.