Mood disorders like depression can devastate people’s lives and profoundly affect their loved ones as well. If you’re experiencing symptoms of depression, Michelle Holley, LCSW, can help. Michelle is the lead therapist at Starting Today Counseling in St. Marys, Georgia, and has considerable experience helping people who have depression and other mood disorders to get their lives back. Call Starting Today Counseling now to schedule a consultation, or book your appointment online.
Mood disorders are a collection of mental health conditions that have a negative effect on the way you feel. Your emotions become distorted, and you find you’re unable to lead a normal life due to the changes you experience because of your mood disorder.
The most common mood disorders are:
Depression is far more than just feeling blue now and again, which is perfectly normal. If you have depression, it causes persistent feelings of intense sadness, despair, and self-loathing. Depression can be a mild, moderate, or severe condition.
Some people experience an extremely low mood that pushes them to the point of considering whether it’s worth carrying on. This is a major depressive disorder, which needs urgent treatment.
Bipolar used to be known as manic depression because it involves extreme changes in mood from deep depression to periods of mania where patients feel almost superhuman.
The yo-yo effect can be devastating, and people who have bipolar often find they have little control when they’re experiencing a period of mania, leading to risk-taking behaviors.
SAD is a form of depression that’s related to low light levels and lack of exposure to daylight during the winter months.
Dysthymia is depression that’s become a chronic condition, often lasting for years.
Each type of mood disorder varies in the precise nature of the effects it has. Feeling down all the time, finding little joy or interest in life, crying jags, and sleeping problems are common symptoms of mood disorders.
You may find it hard to concentrate, have trouble remembering things, and overreact to small setbacks. If your mood is very low, you may become withdrawn to the point where you are almost catatonic, or find it impossible to get yourself out of bed. Or you may find you lose your temper and react violently or irrationally.
Individuals also experience different symptoms when they have the same disorder. For example, one person with depression might find it hard to sleep and lose their appetite, while another wants to sleep all the time and constantly feels hungry.
Getting to the source of your mood disorder can be an important first stage in your treatment, as it guides Michelle’s therapeutic techniques. If you have SAD, for instance, then lightbox therapy is an essential tool in your recovery.
Michelle takes time to listen to you and find out about your unique set of circumstances and challenges so she can design a treatment program that meets your needs. She may use approaches such as CBT (cognitive behavior therapy) or solution-focused brief therapy, which help you change unhealthy thought patterns.
If you’re struggling with feelings of depression or other mood problems, call Starting Today Counseling to schedule an appointment, or book using the online tool.