Mood and Anxiety Disorders 

Mental health disorders can be debilitating and severely interfere with a person’s overall quality of life. Not only can they leave someone feeling psychologically drained, but they may also negatively impact other aspects of the person’s life such as personal relationships or physical health. 

Fortunately, there is hope for a better tomorrow. At Banyan Mental Health, we offer comprehensive anxiety and mood disorder treatment programs that help people learn to manage their symptoms and lead happier and healthier lives. 

What is a Mood Disorder? 

According to the National Institute of Mental Health, a mood disorder is characterized as a mental illness impacting an individual's persistent emotional state. It's estimated that 21.4% of U.S. adults experience a mood disorder at some point in their lives. Mood disorders, also known as affective disorders, involve irregularities or distortions in mood or emotional states, which can be exacerbated by substance use disorders. Major depressive disorder and bipolar disorder are common examples, affecting approximately 7% and 2.8% of adults in the United States, respectively. Symptoms can range from mild to severe, often impairing daily functioning, but effective mood disorder treatment can help manage these challenges. 

The mental health treatment experts at Banyan Mental Health explain how mood disorders affect people and how to treat and manage the common symptoms.  

Symptoms of Mood Disorders: 

  • Ongoing feelings of sadness, anxiety or emptiness 
  • Feeling hopeless or worthless 
  • Loss of interest in previously enjoyed activities 
  • Changes in appetite and weight 
  • Decreased energy 
  • Increased irritability 
  • Trouble concentrating 
  • Thoughts of suicide or self-harm 
  • Increased or decreased sleep 
  • Impulsive behaviors  
  • Racing thoughts  
  • Increased feelings of guilt 

Common Mood Disorders

  • Major Depressive Disorder: Characterized by persistent feelings of sadness, hopelessness, and loss of interest in previously enjoyed activities. It affects about 7% of adults in the United States. 
  • Bipolar Disorder: Involves alternating periods of elevated mood (mania or hypomania) and depression. It affects approximately 2.8% of adults and can cause significant disruptions in life. 
  • Persistent Depressive Disorder: Formerly known as dysthymia, this disorder involves chronic depressive symptoms that last for at least two years. 
  • Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD): Occurs with the change of seasons, typically in winter, and is characterized by depressive symptoms related to decreased sunlight exposure. 
  • Substance-Induced Mood Disorder: Resulting from the effects of substances such as drugs or alcohol on mood regulation. 
  • Postpartum Depression and Premenstrual Dysphoric Disorder (PMDD): Mood disorders specific to women, occurring after childbirth and during certain phases of the menstrual cycle, respectively. 

Along with mood disorders, many people struggle with anxiety disorders. While feelings of anxiety are normal, when they become extreme and interfere with a person’s everyday life there is a problem. With anxiety treatment, the severity of their symptoms can be decreased, and people can learn to manage the remaining symptoms. 

What Causes Mood Disorders? 

Biological factors significantly influence mood disorders, as evidenced by brain imaging studies revealing enlarged amygdala in affected individuals, with critical brain areas like the amygdala and orbitofrontal cortex playing pivotal roles in emotional regulation. Genetic predisposition also plays a role, as those with a familial history of mood disorders are more vulnerable, suggesting a hereditary component. Environmental factors, such as stressful life events (like loss, chronic stress, trauma, and childhood abuse), further increase the risk, particularly for depression. Additionally, depression has links to chronic illnesses such as diabetes, Parkinson’s disease, and heart disease, underscoring the intricate relationship between mental and physical health. 

Life's challenges, including daily stress and sleep deprivation, can profoundly impact mood. While common mood fluctuations are normal, depression signifies an inability to function due to persistent mood disturbances. Various factors contribute to mood disorders, including brain chemistry imbalances and triggering life events. Family history often predisposes individuals to bipolar disorder and depression. This complex interplay highlights the need for comprehensive understanding and personalized approaches in managing mood disorders effectively. 

How to Treat Mood Disorders & Anxiety 

Not only are we all unique, but anxiety and mood disorders fall on a wide spectrum. An effective anxiety or mood disorder treatment plan should consider the individual’s needs and be altered as necessary as the patient’s needs change. 

Affective disorder treatment will depend largely on the specific mood disorder but will also be influenced by other factors such as occurring disorders or past trauma. Similarly, the specific anxiety disorder will help determine what treatment will be most effective, but individual differences should also be addressed. 

Treatment for mood disorders and anxiety typically involves a multifaceted approach combining therapy and medications such as SSRIs, antidepressants, mood stabilizers, and antipsychotics. Therapy options include individual and group psychotherapy modalities such as cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT), dialectical behavior therapy (DBT), and reality therapy, which empower patients to gain insights into their conditions and develop effective coping strategies. These therapeutic interventions are complemented by specific medications aimed at alleviating symptoms and promoting stability in daily life. 

Because some people with anxiety or mood disorders will turn to drugs or alcohol to self-medicate, it is not uncommon for these people to also develop a substance use disorder. In this case, a co-occurring disorder treatment plan should be created to address both problems during treatment. 

Personalized Mood Disorder Treatment for Lasting Wellness 

Mood and anxiety disorders are complex conditions that require personalized treatment approaches addressing biological, psychological, and social factors. With the right support and treatment, individuals can effectively manage their symptoms, regain control over their lives, and experience lasting relief. At Banyan Mental Health, we are committed to helping individuals navigate their journey towards mental wellness with compassion, expertise, and comprehensive care. 

Get Help Today 

You do not have to live with one of these disorders and just get by. Our residential and PHP anxiety and mood disorder treatment center has years of experience in helping people with these disorders. With customized treatment plans we help patients learn to manage their symptoms on their own and find lasting relief. Call us today at (877) 360-1639 to get started.