Mood Disorder Treatment in Orange County, CA
Like the name implies, mood disorders cause a change in mood. However, mood disorders are mild versions of well known conditions, depression and bipolar disorder . Because mood disorders are relatively unknown compared to the likes of bipolar disorder and depression, they commonly go undiagnosed. Don’t let their “milder” symptoms fool you though, mood disorders are still serious.
What are Mood Disorders?
There are two main mood disorders, dysthymia and cyclothymic disorder, offshoots of depression and bipolar disorder respectively. While not acute (short term and severe) in their presentation, both dysthymia and cyclothymic disorder have chronic (long-lasting) symptoms which can cause significant emotional, occupational and social distress.
Dysthymia: Also known as persistent depressive disorder, the mood disorder dysthymia presents as a mild form of depression which typically occurs on-and-off for at least two years. Dysthymia is a pervasive and unresponsive sadness. It’s been established that the majority of people who suffer from dysthymia also experience an episode of major depressive disorder at some point in their lifetime. Dysthymia symptoms include:
- Feeling hopeless
- Insomnia and other sleep issues
- A feeling of low self-worth
- Difficulty concentrating
Cyclothymic disorder: Cyclothymic disorder is a nearly continuous mood disorder during which sufferers experience symptoms of hypomania and mild depression. Hypomania is a manic state characterized by a rapid flood of thoughts and ideas, forced and fast speech, ramped up energy, abnormally high stamina and hyperactivity . Eurythmic states (pauses in symptoms) may appear but cannot last beyond 2 months. Symptoms of cyclothymic disorder include:
- A pattern of cycling between periods of depression and hypomania for at least two years
- Continuous (or near continuous) cycling between episodes of depression and hypomania, there can be no more than 2 consecutive months free of symptoms.
Treatment for Dysthymia and Cyclothymic Disorder
For both conditions, a combination of therapy and medication have been shown to be most effective in managing symptoms and gradually eliminating the illness.
Therapy, including cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) and in some cases rational emotive behavioral therapy (REBT), are very effective in helping sufferers. The goal of talk therapy is to identify patterns in thinking which may perpetuate mood changes. In the case of dysthymia and depression, people typically exhibit forms of self-criticism and pessimism. Changing or reframing these underlying thoughts can help people actively combat negative emotions and moods that contribute to dysthymic states.
Medication is another option. Antidepressants are used for both dysthymia and cyclothymic disorder. It’s important to be aware of the fact that with chronic conditions such as dysthymia and cyclothymic disorder, medications will not work right away. It may take upwards of 2-weeks to see any improvement (in some cases symptoms may get worse before they get better). Mood stabilizers like lithium are also used to even out depression and hypomania in those with cyclothymic disorder.
Whichever mood disorder you have, there are trained professionals ready to help. Treatment can even begin today.
Request more information about mood disorder treatment today. Call (949) 202-5268 or contact Debra A Hill, MD online.
Debra A Hill, MD
Address24891 Sausalito St
Laguna Hills, CA 92653
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