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Treatment for mood disorders: Here’s what you need to know

Man in Black Jacket Lying on Bed

Our lives are brimming with pleasant and unpleasant emotions of our day-to-day experiences, traumatic memories, stressors, and anxieties. Getting a bonus or a promotion at work makes us elated and ecstatic, making us feel on top of the world. In contrast, a broken garage door or a flat tire can seem worse than a volcano eruption on a busy day. It’s interesting how our mood swings from happy and pleasant to frustrated, stressed, and angry throughout the day. 

These mood fluctuations are normal and healthy until your mood starts controlling your behavior. A mood disorder occurs when people struggle to regulate their emotions and feelings. Life is like a mind-numbing rollercoaster of emotions for someone with a mood disorder, and they can’t seem to get off the ride. 

However, mood disorders are not untreatable. In fact, many medicinal and therapy-based treatments ensure significant success. Keep reading to explore treatments for mood disorders in detail. 

Pharmaceutical Interventions 

Mood disorders have numerous subtypes, and major classifications include bipolar, depressive, and manic disorders. Each mood disorder is characterized by distinct and overlapping symptoms, demanding different medications and therapy. Most mood disorders are treated with pharmaceutical interventions, depending on the condition and its symptoms. 

For instance, people with a depressive disorder are treated with ketamine therapy to promote synaptic connections across nerve cells within the brain. Ketamine therapy is emerging as a promising treatment for major depressive disorders, with fewer side effects than other medications. 

Suppose you’re looking for a reputable mental health facility that treats depressive disorder with ketamine infusions. In that case, a location-based search can help you explore telehealth databases to find facilities within your area. For instance, Chicago residents should make a search query using the keywords “Chicago ketamine clinic” to locate facilities in the nearby location. 

Research and clinical trials suggest that ketamine is a promising long-term treatment for depression. Ketamine infusions are highly successful at promoting marked mood improvements, high self-esteem, and energy levels within the first two treatments. However, it’s crucial to connect with a licensed psychiatric care practitioner with considerable experience administering ketamine infusions. 

It doesn’t have many side effects associated with antidepressants and drug-based depression therapies. Moreover, ketamine is also effective at treating depression complications in patients who have become resistant to medications. Can ketamine help patients diagnosed with other mood disorders, such as bipolar disorder? It depends entirely on the symptoms and the individual. 

It’s crucial to note that two people diagnosed with the same disorder may not experience positive effects with the same drug. Psychiatrists have to try different medications to examine their reactions and effectiveness in some cases. Some common medications prescribed for mood disorders include antipsychotics, antidepressants, and mood stabilizers. 

Patients with mood disorders try different medications to identify drugs with the most favorable effects in most cases. Lithium is a common mood stabilizer prescribed to treat bipolar disorder or manic depressive patients. It stimulates the central nervous system and strengthens nerve cell connections to regulate mood, cognition, and behavior. 

Psychotherapy & Counseling 

Patients diagnosed with mood disorders like depression or bipolar disorder benefit immensely from counseling and psychotherapy. Patients can explore various therapy approaches to find treatments and practitioners to help them recover. Some common forms of psychotherapy include cognitive-behavioral therapy, problem-solving therapy, light therapy, art therapy, and interpersonal therapy. 

Cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) is highly effective at helping patients with major depressive disorders. It involves encouraging patients to rationalize their behaviors and mood fluctuations with logic and evidence. With problem-solving approaches, patients are encouraged to rationalize and curb sudden mood swings by assessing their environments and eliminating stressors. 

Most mental health facilities treat mood disorders with multidisciplinary teams comprising psychiatrists, psychologists, and counselors. It’s crucial to combine psychotherapy with pharmaceutical interventions to treat the underlying culprit behind the disorder. 

Patients need wide-ranging care and therapeutic interventions, and each case is unique, demanding an individualized approach. Psychotherapy helps equip patients with strategies to overcome negative emotions, maintain life quality, and eliminate disruptions. 

Brain Stimulation Treatments 

Brain stimulation therapies are highly effective at treating the symptoms of bipolar and major depressive disorders. As the name implies, these therapies are designed to stimulate or activate the brain using electricity. In some cases, stimulation therapy activates the brain, and in other cases, it inhibits excess brain activity. 

Brain stimulation’s underlying goal is to use electricity to change brain chemicals and neurotransmitters responsible for the symptoms. But how do practitioners expose the brain to electricity? Before visualizing horrifying scenes of patients getting electric shocks, rest assured these aren’t invasive treatments. Practitioners implant electrodes within the brain or use non-invasive strategies by placing electrodes across the scalp. 

Electroconvulsive therapy (ECT) is one of the longest-standing and most effective brain stimulation therapies to treat severe symptoms of major depressive disorders. ECT is considered the last resort for patients who don’t respond well to pharmaceutical interventions and psychotherapy. ECT is administered under highly controlled environments, with multiple practitioners supervising the session. 

Patients are generally given anesthesia and muscle relaxants before the procedure. Then, electrodes are attached to the forehead or scalp, and a mild electric current is passed. This current induces a seizure, and the entire session doesn’t last longer than 10 minutes. Patients typically undergo six to twelve ECT sessions to enjoy favorable results. These sessions are scheduled weekly or biweekly, depending on the patient’s symptoms and the practitioner’s assessment. 

Repetitive transcranial magnetic stimulation (rTMS) is another popular brain stimulation therapy making waves in treating mood disorders. RTMS therapy involves a magnetic coil to administer mild electromagnetic pulses. This therapy is a non-invasive treatment that enjoys more popularity than electric shocks, which many consider controversial. 

Instead of stimulating the entire brain, these electromagnetic pulses target specific nerve cells responsible for the symptoms. The magnet is attached to the patient’s forehead, and the vibrations radiate through the skull. This therapy is highly effective for patients with major depressive disorders who are resistant to antidepressants. 

Final Thoughts 

It’s crucial to note that mental health disorders don’t have a one-fits-all treatment, unlike physical illnesses and conditions. Each individual is unique, and even with the same diagnoses, two patients will have different symptoms and experiences. Therefore, practitioners and psychologists must design individualized treatments based on the patient’s needs and symptoms. 

In most cases, patients don’t respond to medications that have caused effective recovery in other patients with the same diagnosis. It’s common for some depression patients to become unresponsive to antidepressants and mood stabilizers. In such cases, psychiatrists explore brain stimulation therapies to stimulate nerve cells and neurotransmitters using electricity.