Mood Disorders

What is a Mood Disorder?

A mood disorder – also classified as an affective disorder – is a disturbance in a person’s mood, which may reflect several different diagnoses.

If you suffer from any form of depression-related disorder, you are not alone.  About 20% of the US population is reported to have suffered from one depressive symptom in at least one month in the year, and 12% are reported to show symptoms twice per year.

Types of Mood Disorders

The two widely recognized groups of mood disorders include: major depressive disorder (MDD), also known as major depression or clinical depression; and bipolar disorder (BD).  To differentiate between the two groups, it must be determined whether manic episodes are present in addition to the depressive state.  Bipolar disorder has also been referred to as manic-depression.


Depression is a term that generally refers to sadness which is overly prolonged or sadness which is excessive in magnitude.  Depressive disorders include: Atypical Depression (AD), Melancholic Depression, Psychotic Major Depression (PMD), Catatonic Depression, Port Partum Depression (PPD), Seasonal Affective Disorder, Dysthymia, Depressive Disorder Not Otherwise Specified (DD-NOS), Recurrent Brief Depression (RBD), and Minor Depressive Disorder.


Bipolar disorder is characterized by phases of depression alternating with phases of mania, often with normal mood periods in-between.  Bipolar disorders include: Bipolar I, Bipolar II, Cyclothymia, and Bipolar Disorder Not Otherwise Specified (BD-NOS).

Grief Depression

A third group of mood disorders is associated with loss (usually that of a loved one), known as grief disorder.  The term “bereavement” may be used to describe the state of loss, while the term “grief” is used to refer to the reaction to loss.  Some use the two terms interchangeably.

What Causes Mood Disorders?

Depression of any origin or nature is one of the most common features associated with many psychological disorders.

A correlation between alcoholism and drug dependency has been linked with depression and certain mood disorders.  Dual diagnosis is a concern when substance abuse is present concurrently with depression.  In such cases, it is often difficult to make a determination as to which disorder has caused the other, of the two.

Traumatic experiences can cause mood disorders, which can result in a condition known as Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD).  This can be the result of war, rape, physical abuse, death of a loved one, assault, childhood neglect, kidnapping, sexual abuse, car crashes, plane crashes, terrorist attacks, or countless other painful, emotionally disturbing, or life-threatening experiences.

Depression may be associated with an Anxiety Disorder.  Anxiety, also known as worry or angst, is a physiological and/or psychological state that is characterized by emotional, behavioral, mental, and physical disturbances.

Sometimes mood disorders – especially Anxiety Disorder – are simply unexplained.  This can happen when the patient has experienced memory loss or does not know what is causing them to feel depressed.  These types of mood disorders may manifest themselves seemingly at random, without warning, and without any discernible cause.  A residential treatment center can be of particular assistance in such cases, as identifying the cause can enable restorative care that might not be possible otherwise.

What are the Symptoms of Mood Disorders?

The symptoms of depression, anxiety and bipolar disorders vary from one individual to the next, and can include one or more of the following:

  • Sad or Unhappy Feelings
  • Frustration or Irritability
  • Restlessness and Agitation
  • Excessive Sleep or Insomnia
  • Loss of Energy and Fatigue
  • Concentration Difficulties (Distractibility, Indecisiveness)
  • Extreme Appetite Changes
  • Slower speaking, Body Movements and Thinking
  • Trouble with Memory
  • Reduced Pleasure or Interest in Daily Activities
  • Decreased Sex Drive
  • Feelings of Guilt, Failure, Self-Blame, or Worthlessness
  • Crying for No Apparent Reason
  • Repeated Thoughts of Suicide, Dying or Death

FAQ about Mood Disorder Residential Treatment Centers

a.  How long is residential treatment for a mood disorder?

The length of a typical stay in a residential treatment center may vary from 30 days to six months, depending on the severity of the mood disorder, among other factors.

It may take more than one visit or one group of visits to contain a psychological problem.  Some individuals may require years, or even up to a lifetime of care – provided the mood disorders are severe or persistent.  However, a continuous process of working through the various issues causing the condition, in conjunction with any necessary medications, can make life more bearable for those who suffer with any type of mood disorder.

b.  How does a residential treatment center treat a mood disorder?

Many treatment centers take a holistic approach, which means that the “whole person” is treated.  All aspects of an individual are cared for.  Consideration and attention are dedicated to the medical, physical, emotional, social, dietary, and spiritual needs of each patient.

Patients are treated through a combination of several types of therapeutic care, including psycho-education, behavior modification, individual therapy, family therapy, psychological analysis, neurophysiological treatment, health exams, sociological treatment, medical stabilization, substance abuse treatment (detox), inner child therapy, music therapy and art therapy.

c.  How to select the right residential treatment center for a mood disorder

When selecting the ideal residential treatment center for yourself or a loved one, a wide range of factors can be considered.  Firstly, the facility chosen should have a strong reputation or be recommended by a reliable source.  Does the center have a strong track record in treating the particular problem that needs addressing? Has someone you know visited this treatment center and had positive effects occur as a result of their stay? Valid testimonials from prior patients a facilty has helped is also an important factor in selected a treatment clinic.

A holistic approach is also important. Issues causing a mood disorder can be rooted in other areas of an individual’s life, or could be interacting with a physical ailment or some form of trauma.

Cleanliness and organization is also important.  If the facility is well-kept, this is a sign of a healthy environment for the patient.  It is also an indication of good management and shows that there is ample staff to maintain everything needed to uphold a sense of order.  The communications between the family or Client and the center are also important.  How easy is it to get a hold of the right person or find the appropriate information from a center? Friendliness may seem to go without saying, but this is a feature that should not be overlooked.  The center you visit should be filled with a staff of positive, compassionate, easygoing and caring people – and with smiling faces.

d.  What are the costs of a residential treatment center for a mood disorder?

The costs associated with therapeutic care for a mood disorder will vary, based on the  type of treatment selected, the condition of the client, medications needed, and the length of the stay.  To determine the cost for a person suffering from a mood disorder, contact the treatment centers you are considering and ask about pricing.  Remember that pricing is not as important as the value the facility offers, with respect to quality of care and effectiveness of results.

Some centers are considered private pay. They only accept payment up front, but they may be able to assist with billing your insurance company after treatment is completed.  Other centers accept insurance that is in network or out of network. Financing and payment assistance may be available, as well.  It is imperative to find the right treatment option that is financially feasible and the best option for recovery.

e.  How can a residential treatment center for a mood disorder help?

Many positive effects occur after therapy is administered for a mood disorder.  Clients of residential treatment centers have cited a wide range of improvements in their quality of life as a result of therapy.  Those include: increased ability to sleep, sharpened concentration, productivity at work and school, healthier and more enjoyable social interactions, and a renewed sense of self-worth and well-being.

Sometimes just being around professionals who can identify and help explain the condition, and being in the presence of others who suffer in a similar way, can be enough to change your life.  Mood disorders can cause an individual to feel isolated and alone, even abnormal.  Visiting a resident treatment center can help alleviate such feelings.  This may result in profound healing, as well as making the client feel understood for the first time.