Mood Disorder Treatment at La Jolla Recovery
Have you ever felt so hyperactive that others thought you were not your usual self?
Have you been so irritable that you yelled at people or started fights? Have you gotten less sleep than usual and found you didn’t miss it? Do you often feel much more talkative or speak faster than expected, with your thoughts racing through your head, unable to slow your mind down? Do you get so easily distracted by things around you that you have trouble concentrating or staying on track? Do you often telephone friends and partners in the middle of the night? Have you been craving sex more than usual? Do other people think you do excessive, risky, or foolish things? Overspending money got you or your family in trouble?
Suppose you have several of these happenings during the same period and causing you problems like being unable to work, having family, financial, or legal troubles, getting into arguments, and any of your blood relatives have had manic-depressive illness or bipolar disorder. In that case, you may have a mood disorder.
There are four primary groups of mood disorders:
- cyclothymia (a mild form of bipolar/affective disorder), and
- seasonal affective disorder and mania
People with mood disorders have mood fluctuations. Major depression is the most common mood disorder, a debilitating illness that causes mental anguish and physical ailments. It hinders normal daily function.
There are several psychological disorders subtypes characterized by abnormalities of emotional state, which include:
- Unipolar depression and its variants (Postpartum depression, atypical depression)
- Generalized anxiety disorder
- Panic disorder
- Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder (OCD)
- Post-traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)
- Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD)
- Bipolar Disorder, and
- Eating disorders
Symptoms of affective disorders
Symptoms of major depression include:
- feelings of sadness
- loss of interest in normally pleasurable activities (anhedonia)
- changes in appetite and sleep
- loss of energy, and
- problems with concentration and decision-making
- increased use of substances, including opiates and alcohol
Episodes of dysthymia resemble depression but are milder and last longer. Bipolar disorder is characterized by alternating cycles of depression and mania. Symptoms of mania include elevated or expansive mood, inflated sense of self-importance, decreased need for sleep, racing thoughts, and impulsive behavior. Episodes of hypomania are typically shorter in length and less severe than mania. Cyclothymia is marked by cycles of low-level depression and hypomania. While bipolar disorder occurs equally in women and men, females are twice as likely as males to experience significant depression. Although the onset of these disorders can occur at any age, many individuals experience their first episode between their mid-20’s and early 40’s.
Depressive disorders usually feature low mood or anhedonia (loss of pleasure). These are often accompanied by somatic symptoms such as changes to weight, psychomotor disturbance, exhaustion and sleep disturbances such as oversleeping or insomnia, cognitive symptoms, such as diminished concentration and negative cognitions (low self-evaluation/negative self-esteem), excessive guilt, feelings of hopelessness and helplessness, and ambivalence about living or morbid thoughts. Thus functionally, individuals with mood disorders are usually limited in their ability to perform their regular day-to-day duties.
The issue of cognitive impairment in mood disorders has been recognized for many years, particularly in the elderly, in whom the phenomenon has been described as “pseudodementia.”
Diagnosis and Treatments for Mood Disorders
Human beings are complex biological systems. For this reason, there are inherent challenges regarding diagnostic formulation and optimal care.
However, once the disorder is diagnosed, the adequate treatment found at La Jolla Recovery improves these disorders’ symptoms and gives our patients a better quality of life.
The general aims of treatment of any mood disorder are to relieve symptoms, reduce the morbidity associated with the mood disorder and limit the disability and self-harm risk or potential risk of fatality. The end goal is achieving recovery to a premorbid level of functioning with improved health awareness and quality of life.
Mood disorders are, in many cases, chronic illnesses with a waxing and waning course. Therefore, they are best managed using a regular illness model, which elevates their active engagement in managing their condition. Unlike acute conditions, where the doctors’ expert tools are the primary lever for change, chronic illness management focuses on the patient. The client’s perception of the quality of the therapeutic alliance is a strong predictor of adherence, leading some authorities like La Jolla Recovery to pursue collaborative treatment plans involving shared decision-making. Some guidelines argue that evidence-based practice in affective disorders should integrate patient preferences with clinical expertise and practical information. The patient-centric perspective is at the core of the recovery paradigm that dominates today’s mental health service.
At La Jolla Recovery, we believe that the optimal treatment of people with moderate to severe mood disorders requires the involvement of several healthcare professionals and the active partnership of family and support groups as part of an integrated care team.
In instances where effective engagement or adherence with therapy in outpatient settings has failed and ongoing symptoms confer significant disability, inpatient treatment is required. At La Jolla Recovery, we have succeeded at providing this kind of treatment for over a decade. Our inpatient treatment includes medication-assisted treatment, including suboxone and ketamine, among other science-based practices.
Healthy Lifestyles and Overlapping of Mood disorders
There are documented associations between higher diet quality and a reduced likelihood of depression.
Similarly, another research reported that high adherence to a Mediterranean diet, a very healthful dietary pattern, is associated with a 30% reduced risk for depression.
Finally, it is essential to note that there are no definitive mood disorders; even major depression can eventually manifest as bipolar disorder over time. However, some features of mood disorders do appear to co-occur and form characteristic syndromes.