Mood disorders are a host of emotional disorders in which your mood doesn’t align with your present circumstances. Some examples of mood disorders include depression (in all its forms), bipolar disorder, seasonal affective disorder (SAD), cyclothymic disorder, premenstrual dysphoric disorder, and disruptive mood dysregulation disorder. Mood disorders may range in severity from mild to debilitating.
Mood disorders are usually diagnosed by a mental health professional, most often a psychiatrist. When making a diagnosis, a psychiatrist may want to know a patient’s full medical history and perform a psychiatric evaluation. In some cases, psychiatrists may want additional information before providing a precise diagnosis. If they do, they’ll let the patient know.
Because there are many different types of mood disorders, they are treated in a variety of ways. Depending on the kind and severity of a patient’s mood disorder, psychotherapy, counseling, and medications may be used to help them. Psychotherapy can include interpersonal therapy, cognitive-behavioral therapy, or another form of therapy. Some of the medications used include monoamine oxidase inhibitors (MAOIs), tricyclic antidepressants (TCAs), selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs), and serotonin and norepinephrine reuptake inhibitors (SNRIs).
When choosing a doctor to see about potential mood disorders, there are two primary factors that patients should consider. First, they should look for a psychiatrist who is certified by the American Board of Psychiatry and Neurology, as this is a sign that the doctor has gone through extensive training in the field of psychiatry. Second, patients should look for a doctor who has a practice that they can get to easily. If therapy is recommended, multiple sessions may be needed. Seeing someone with a conveniently located office will make it easier to fit these sessions around other obligations.