The term “mood disorders” encompasses a relatively wide array of conditions, ranging from mild depression to bipolar disorders. While the severity levels, symptoms and characteristics may differ between the many ailments that reside within the mood disorders category, most of these conditions can be successfully treated with psychotherapy, medications and often a combination of both.
As varied as mood disorders are, the therapeutic methods used to treat these illnesses are equally as diverse. Once a patient is evaluated and a mental health professional determines a mood disorder exists, a very specific approach will be designed to address their particular circumstances.
Effective Therapies for Mood Disorders
Of the variety of psychotherapeutic methods used to treat mood disorders, these two have proven to be especially effective:
Interpersonal Therapy (IPT): This approach examines the patient’s personal relationships, how they respond to issues, communications and actions within those relationships and how their moods can be associated with those experiences. The origins of feelings and emotions triggered within the patient from interactions with the people in their lives are analyzed, helping the patient gain a better understanding of why they react the way they do. This leads them to develop the ability to process their experiences and exchanges with others in a healthier way.
Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT): CBT consists of several different therapeutic approaches, such as Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT) and Rational Behavior Therapy (RBT). Generally, CBT is based on the philosophy that our thoughts determine our outlook, feelings and how we behave. When a patient is able to readjust their beliefs and thinking patterns, they will eventually develop the ability to process stimuli in a more logical, objective way and not perceive and judge situations according to past negative or misguided rationale.
In addition to these and other types of therapy, including group and family-focused therapies, various antidepressant medications are prescribed to help stabilize the moods of depressed or bipolar patients. Different dosages or combinations of medications may be tried before a patient responds positively and begins to show improvement. But once this is accomplished and an appropriate therapeutic method is decided upon, there is a good chance the patient will eventually emerge from their former state with a more favorable outlook and a new lease on life.
This blog is written and published by Lindner Center of HOPE.