What is a mood disorder?

A mood disorder is much more than just the experience of sadness, or the normal ups and downs of everyday life. Those suffering from mood disorders find that their emotional state is out of sync with their circumstances. They may feel sad or down for no particular reason, or feel empty or irritable without any specific trigger. Conversely, they may find that their mood is suddenly elevated for no particular reason. These mood states can often be accompanied by difficulty functioning in one or more areas of life and can be really debilitating.

Mood disorders are responsive to a variety of treatment methods.

The clinical team at the Ross Center is trained to diagnose and treat mood disorders in patients of all ages. We are able to offer you the optimal mix of therapy and/or medication that will stabilize your moods and help you regain your capacity for living.

You Can’t Just Snap Out of It

Depression is a mood state in which a person, often for no particular reason, can feel sad, down, empty or hopeless. This feeling may also be accompanied by irritability, withdrawal from activities, and even thoughts of wanting to no longer be alive. Those with depression will often have difficulty functioning due to low energy, difficulty with concentration, and lack of motivation. Depression takes many forms, and can be characterized as being seasonally related, precipitated by stressors and life transitions, or caused by certain medical conditions such as thyroid abnormalities.

Depression Takes Many Forms

Your symptoms of depression will determine the most effective treatment plan. Depending on how depressive symptoms present, depression can be diagnosed as one of several conditions. Diagnoses include Persistent Depressive Disorder, Seasonal Affective Disorder, Premenstrual Dysphoric Disorder, and others. The symptoms are often similar but may have different intensities, patterns, or responses to treatments.

Extreme Mood Changes – Bipolar Disorder

Bipolar Disorder is diagnosed when a person experiences extreme changes in mood, accompanied by significant changes in thoughts, energy activity levels and behavior. These “highs and lows” or “mood swings” can be extremely disruptive to personal and professional life and are hard to predict. They are drastically different than the person’s usual mood ups and downs that go along with normal life stress. Because people are more likely to come for treatment when depressed, a careful medical history must be undertaken in order to identify the pattern as bipolar, as the treatments for the different mood disorders can differ.

Many Faces of Bipolar Disorder

There are multiple types of bipolar disorder, including Bipolar I, Bipolar II and Cyclothymia. They all include episodes of depression, and are differentiated based on the level of intensity of symptoms of the manic phase primarily. Bipolar I includes a history of a manic episode, Bipolar II includes a hypomanic episode, and cyclothymia includes no discrete episodes but significant mood cycling that can be disruptive to functioning. Additionally, some people can experience episodes of bipolar disorder that include both depressive and manic symptoms, known as a “mixed” episode.

How We Help

Our talented team of psychiatrists and therapists use a collaborative approach for patients with depression and bipolar disorder that results in successful treatment and positive outcomes. Your clinician will conduct a thorough assessment of your symptoms and health history before designing a treatment plan structured to get you feeling better as quickly as possible. We use a combination of state-of-the-art treatment protocols, which can include medication, to attack your symptoms and teach you strategies to change your negative thought patterns to help you recover and maintain a stable, productive life.