Everyone feels sad from time to time. And it’s normal for our moods to fluctuate based on daily happenings or life events. A mood disorder is much different from normal mood fluctuations. A mood disorder affects a person’s everyday emotional state.
Symptoms of mood disorders can vary greatly depending on age and the type of mood disorder. But typically, people with mood disorders will experience extended periods of extreme happiness, extreme sadness, or both.
Types of Mood Disorders
The two most common types of mood disorders include depression and bipolar disorder. Each of these disorders also includes multiple subtypes. Here is a little bit more about them.
Depression is a mood disorder that is characterized by a persistent feeling of profound sadness and a loss of interest in daily activities. Depression is difficult to live with and often causes a significant impact on daily life. It negatively affects how you feel, how you think, and even how you act. In order to be diagnosed with depression, symptoms must be present for at least two weeks.
Symptoms of depression can vary based on the type of depression an individual is diagnosed with. The different types of depression include:
- Major depressive disorder - A mental health disorder that is characterized by a persistent depressed mood. Major depressive disorder can cause significant impairment in daily life.
- Persistent depressive disorder - A form of depression that is mild but long-term.
- Postpartum depression - Depression that occurs after giving birth.
- Manic-depressive disorder - An outdated term for bipolar disorder, which we discuss further below.
- Atypical depression - Depression that often goes away temporarily in response to positive events. With this type of depression, you may not always feel or seem depressed.
- Situational depression - Depression that occurs after a specific life event or traumatic situation such as the death of a loved one, divorce, or financial difficulties.
- Seasonal depression - Depression that occurs during winter or times of the year when the days are shorter.
Bipolar disorder is a mood disorder that is defined by extreme swings in mood from periods of depression to periods of mania. When an individual is experiencing a low mood, their symptoms often resemble those of major depressive disorder. When they are experiencing a high mood, it is often referred to as a manic episode. During this time they may feel elated or extremely high energy.
The different types of bipolar disorder include:
- Bipolar I disorder - This is considered the most severe form of bipolar disorder. With bipolar I, manic episodes last at least 7 days or are severe enough that they require hospitalization. Depressive episodes often last at least 2 weeks.
- Bipolar II disorder - This disorder also causes cycles of mania and depression. However, an individual with bipolar II disorder also experiences hypomania, which is essentially a less severe form of mania. Usually, their hypomanic periods are not as disruptive or intense as manic episodes.
- Cyclothymia disorder - This type of mood disorder is often considered a mild form of bipolar disorder. People with cyclothymia often experience irregular, but continuous, mood swings. For extended periods of time, a person will experience mild to moderate “highs” and mild to moderate “lows.”
Symptoms of Mood Disorders in Children, Teens, and Adults
Symptoms of mood disorders vary depending on which type is present. Symptoms of depression often include:
- Persistent feelings of sadness
- Lack of energy
- Loss of interest in daily activities that once brought enjoyment
- Feelings of hopelessness
- Lacking self-worth
- Loss of appetite
- Poor sleep; sleeping too much or not enough
- Thoughts of suicide or death
- Difficulting focusing
Symptoms of bipolar disorder often include symptoms associated with mania and depression. These may include:
- Feeling extremely energized or invincible
- Rapid speech and movement
- Irritability, restlessness, or agitation
- Increased risk-taking behavior
- Racing thoughts
- Insomnia or feeling no need for sleep
- Feeling on edge or jumpy
Natural Treatment for Mood Disorders
Mood disorders can be difficult to manage—even with medication, talk therapy, and mindfulness training. At Braincode Centers, we believe the key to effectively treating mood disorders, not just managing the symptoms, is to go straight to the source: your brain.
People with mood disorders often have different brainwave patterns than those who do not share their struggles. Neurofeedback can be used to read those irregular brainwaves and retrain your brain to function more optimally. Through a positive reward system, individuals with mood disorders can learn to better regulate their brian function so their brainwaves stay within normal frequencies.
Neurofeedback for mood disorders is a popular option because it is a natural, drug-free treatment that is free from side effects and effective long-term.
Neurofeedback for Mood Disorders at Braincode Centers
If you’re struggling to manage your mood disorder or seeking a natural treatment option, reach out to us at Braincode Centers. We’re here to help you address the source of the problem head-on (no pun intended).
Schedule your free consultation today to start living a happier, healthier life.