Depression and Mood Disorders
A mood disorder is a general term that refers to different types of mental health challenges that severely impact mood and its related functioning. If you have symptoms of a mood disorder, you may notice that your moods range from being very high (manic) to very low (depressed).
Types of Mood Disorders
According to the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-5), published in 2013, mood disorders are separated into two groups: bipolar and related disorders, and depressive disorders. Some types of mood disorders are:
- Major depressive disorder (MDD): This primarily consists of periods of extreme sadness, hopelessness, or emptiness, with a variety of physical, cognitive, and emotional symptoms.
- Bipolar I disorder: This is when a person experiences symptoms of depression alternating with symptoms of mania and elevated mood. Mania is characterized by euphoric and/or irritable moods, and increased energy, and risk-taking.
- Bipolar II disorder: This is when a person alternates between periods of depression and periods of hypomania, which is a less severe form of mania.
- Dysthymia: This is a chronic, and low-grade form of depression and irritability that lasts for at least 2 years.
- Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD): This consists of recurring episodes of major depressive disorder during the same season each year (e.g., winter, summer). SAD may be related to changes in the amount of daylight a person receives.
- Bipolar and related disorder due to another medical condition: This is when a direct physiological result of a medical condition leads to the development of symptoms of bipolar disorder.
- Depressive disorder due to another medical condition: This is when an underlying medical condition leads to the development of symptoms of depression.
Symptoms of Mood Disorders
There are various types of mood disorders, which means they can impact a person’s functioning and quality of life in different ways. In general, symptoms may include:
- Loss of interest in activities once enjoyed
- Eating challenges (e.g., eating more or less than usual)
- Sleep problems (e.g., sleep too little or too much)
- Feeling “empty”
- Feeling isolated, sad, hopeless, worthless, guilt, irritability
- Concentration difficulty
- Decision-making challenges Problems making decisions
- Thoughts of ending one’s life
Mood Disorders often improve well with treatment that combines Naturopathic Medicine and Psychotherapy. At Greystones Health we combine the tools of Psychotherapy and Naturopathic Medicine to truly take on a Mind-Body approach. As Psychotherapy explores the individual’s thoughts, emotions and past events, we add in the Naturopathic tools to look for inflammation, food intolerances, gut-brain concerns, blood sugar problems that don’t show up on standard blood work, hormone balance (testosterone, estrogen, and progesterone need to have a healthy balance for both females and males), and consider stress hormones like cortisol levels. There are natural products to help balance serotonin and Gaba to help keep the nervous system calm and better able to engage in the psychotherapy process. This combination of Psychotherapy along with Naturopathic support has been very powerful and has been very successful.
As the individuals, biochemistry improves and their emotional coping skills develop, we additionally improve energy and health behaviours like diet and exercise that the person had often found too challenging to start or maintain.