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Mood Disorders

Mood disorders such as anxiety and depression are characterised by significant and persistent changes in mood or emotional state.

Unfortunately we often tolerate mood changes until they really start impacting or disabling our daily function and/or relationships. 

It is important to recognise and understanding that the causes of mood disorders are complex and differ from person to person.   


Anxiety & Depression

Often clients present with either anxiety or depression however further enquiry often uncovers they experience both.

This is very common and whilst treating one the treatment often generalises and you ultimately get relief on both. 

Mood disorders can have a profound impact on a person's daily life, relationships, and overall well-being if left untreated. 

Some examples of mood disorders include:

•    Major depressive disorder — prolonged and persistent periods of extreme sadness

•    Bipolar disorder — also called manic depression or bipolar affective disorder, depression that includes alternating times of depression and mania

•    Seasonal affective disorder (SAD) — a form of depression most often associated with fewer hours of daylight in the far northern and southern latitudes from late autumn to early spring

•    Cyclothymic disorder — a disorder that causes emotional ups and downs that are less extreme than bipolar disorder

•    Premenstrual dysphoric disorder — mood changes and irritability that occur during the premenstrual phase of a woman's cycle and go away with the onset of menses

•    Persistent depressive disorder (dysthymia) — a long-term (chronic) form of depression

•    Disruptive mood dysregulation disorder — a disorder of chronic, severe and persistent irritability in children that often includes frequent temper outbursts that are inconsistent with the child's developmental age

•    Depression related to medical illness — a persistent depressed mood and a significant loss of pleasure in most or all activities that's directly related to the physical effects of another medical condition

•    Depression induced by substance use or medication — depression symptoms that develop during or soon after substance use or withdrawal or after exposure to a medication

•    Generalized Anxiety Disorder (GAD) — Characterized by excessive and persistent worry and anxiety about various aspects of life, such as work, health, relationships, and daily events, often without a specific trigger.

•    Panic Disorder — Involves recurrent and unexpected panic attacks, which are intense episodes of fear or discomfort accompanied by physical symptoms like chest pain, shortness of breath, dizziness, and a sense of impending doom.

•    Social Anxiety Disorder (SAD) — Marked by an intense fear of social situations, including public speaking, meeting new people, or being in crowded places, due to concerns about embarrassment, humiliation, or being negatively judged.

•    Specific Phobias — These are excessive and irrational fears of specific objects or situations, such as heights, spiders, flying, or enclosed spaces. The fear typically leads to avoidance behaviors.

•    Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder (OCD) — Involves recurrent unwanted thoughts (obsessions) and repetitive behaviors or mental rituals (compulsions) performed to alleviate anxiety.


Signs and Symptoms you are likely experiencing a mood disorder:

  • Feeling sad or anxious often or all the time

  • Not wanting to do activities that used to be fun

  • Feeling irritable‚ easily frustrated‚ or restless

  • Having trouble falling asleep or staying asleep

  • Waking up too early or sleeping too much

  • Eating more or less than usual or having no appetite

  • Experiencing aches, pains, headaches, or stomach problems that do not improve with treatment

  • Having trouble concentrating, remembering details, or making decisions

  • Feeling tired‚ even after sleeping well

  • Feeling guilty, worthless, or helpless

  • Thinking about suicide or hurting yourself 


Treatment for mood disorders depends on the specific diagnosis, severity of symptoms, and individual needs. 

In many cases, a combination of therapies, medication, and lifestyle modifications can provide the most effective treatment for mood disorders. 

Consulting with your GP and a psychologist is essential to determine the most appropriate treatment approach for your specific needs.

Relief and support is available if you acknowledge the problem and are willing and ready to work on regaining control of your mood. 

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