Mood Disorders

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SpringBoard Recovery is an alcohol and drug rehab center that treats co-occuring disorders including mood disorders.

Mood disorders are a class of mental health disorders affecting millions of Americans every year. A mood disorder is a mental health issue that primarily affects a person’s emotions and feelings.

It is estimated that up to 20% of people will experience a mood disorder in their lifetime, with 1 in 10 struggling at any given time. Females are at a slightly higher risk compared to males.

Mood disorders can occur with other disorders like substance abuse.

Types of Mood Disorders

Having mood changes is a normal phenomenon. No person should be in one single emotional state all of the time.

A mood disorder occurs when emotions are irregular, long-lasting, and interfere with a person’s everyday life.

There are several types of mood disorders.


This is the single most common type of mood disorder in the United States, affecting almost 5% of adults in the country.

Depression is characterized by prolonged feelings of sadness or hopelessness that last longer than two weeks.

Depression can be further classified into different types:

  • Postpartum depression – This type of depression occurs during pregnancy and following delivery.
  • Persistent depressive disorder (dysthymia) – Chronic depression lasting several years
  • Seasonal affective disorder – Occurs during months when there is less sunlight, typically in the fall and winter.
  • Psychotic depression – This type of depression can present with hallucinations or delusions.
  • Medication or substance-induced depression – This onset of depression is associated with the usage of a drug.

Bipolar Disorder

Bipolar disorder is another common mood disorder that occurs when a person alternates between states of depression and mania. During the manic state, the person may feel a higher mood, have increased activity levels, or be more irritable.

Bipolar disorder is less common than depression, with approximately 2.8% of adults experiencing these types of symptoms. The prevalence rate between males and females is similar.

Other Mood Disorders

Though bipolar disorder and depression are the two most common, other mood disorders affect a large number of people.

Premenstrual dysphoric disorder typically occurs in females 7-10 days before the onset of menstruation. It is characterized by irritability, anger, and occasionally sleep disruptions.

Intermittent explosive disorder is a less common mood disorder characterized by outbursts of anger that are not proportional to the current event.

Mental health professionals are able to diagnose mood disorders based on individual symptoms and presentation.

Symptoms of Mood Disorders

Mood disorders can present in a variety of ways but some symptoms are common in many people.

The most common symptoms include:

  • Losing interest in activities that were once enjoyable
  • Having continued feelings of sadness or hopelessness
  • Changes in eating or sleeping habits
  • Having trouble focusing during work or school
  • Being irritable or hostile
  • Having feelings of low self-worth

Feelings can vary from day to day but in mood disorders, these feelings continue over time. If a person is experiencing any thoughts of self-harm or suicide, it should be treated as an emergency and medical help should be sought immediately.

Symptoms of mood disorders can resemble other conditions so it is important to have a professional evaluate the person.

Diagnosing Mood Disorders

Mood disorders are serious mental health conditions that if left untreated can worsen over time. A psychiatrist or other trained mental health provider should be used to evaluate a person experiencing symptoms that resemble mood disorders.

A physical examination may also be performed to rule out other conditions like a thyroid issue or vitamin deficiency.

A mental health professional will evaluate the patient to gather information about the frequency of symptoms, daily eating and sleeping habits, and other relevant histories.

If a mood disorder is diagnosed, treatments are available to help.

Mood Disorder Treatments

Treating a mood disorder can involve a multifaceted approach. Depending on the type and severity of the disorder, a combination of medications and psychotherapy can be used to treat mood disorders.


There are many medications available to address the symptoms associated with mood disorders.

Antidepressants can be used to treat depression and depressive episodes of bipolar disorder.

Mood stabilizers are another type of medication that help to regulate emotions. These work to stabilize activity in the brain and are used often in treating bipolar disorder.

Medications need to be consistently taken as prescribed for some time before improvements will be seen. Medications should be administered under the care of a mental health professional and monitored over time for adjustment as needed.


Individuals with mood disorders benefit from participating in various types of therapy sessions.

The most common type of therapy is cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) which seeks to examine the relationship between thoughts and feelings. CBT works to establish more positive patterns of thinking.

Patients can learn skills to use in the real world that will lead to more positive behavior.

CBT can occur in an individual or group setting. Family therapy is also important to repair any damaged relationships.

Risk Factors for Mood Disorders

Children, teens, and adults are all able to experience mood disorders. Some underlying factors may make a person more susceptible to developing a mood disorder.

Having a family history of mood disorders can make a person more likely to develop one themselves.

Experiencing a traumatic, stressful, or major life change can lead to developing a mood disorder.

Using certain drugs or alcohol regularly can result in a person experiencing significant mood changes.

These genetic and environmental factors influence each person uniquely.

SpringBoard Recovery Offers Treatment for Mood Disorders

If you or a loved one is experiencing symptoms of a mood disorder that may be related to substance abuse, SpringBoard Recovery can help.

We are experienced in treating patients with co-occurring mental health disorders related to substance abuse. Our team of mental health professionals evaluates each patient and creates a custom treatment program to be able to address multiple issues simultaneously.

Contact us today and we can help get you on the path to recovery.



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