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Mood Disorders & Bipolar Disorder

Mood Disorders & Bipolar Disorder

Mood disorders, including bipolar disorder, are complex mental health conditions that can affect individuals of all ages, from children to teens and adults. These disorders are characterized by significant and persistent changes in mood, ranging from episodes of depression to periods of elevated or irritable mood. Understanding the causes and available treatment strategies for mood disorders is crucial for accurate diagnosis and effective management.

The exact causes of mood disorders, including bipolar disorder, are not fully understood, but research suggests a combination of genetic, environmental, and neurobiological factors may contribute to their development. Some possible causes include:


Family history of mood disorders can increase the risk of developing mood disorders in children, teens, and adults.

Neurochemical imbalances:

Alterations in neurotransmitters such as serotonin, norepinephrine, and dopamine can impact mood regulation and contribute to the development of mood disorders.

Environmental factors:

Traumatic events, chronic stress, substance abuse, and significant life changes can trigger or exacerbate mood disorders.

Neurobiological factors:

Structural and functional abnormalities in certain brain regions involved in mood regulation and emotional processing may play a role in mood disorders.

Treatment strategies for mood disorders, including bipolar disorder, typically involve a combination of psychotherapy and medication management. Here are some common treatment approaches:


Different forms of therapy, such as cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT), dialectical behavior therapy (DBT), and interpersonal therapy (IPT), can help individuals with mood disorders identify and change negative thought patterns, develop healthy coping strategies, and improve interpersonal relationships.


Mood stabilizers, antidepressants, and antipsychotic medications may be prescribed to manage symptoms and stabilize mood in individuals with mood disorders. It's important to work closely with a healthcare professional to find the most suitable medication and monitor for any potential side effects.

Lifestyle modifications:

Regular exercise, a balanced diet, adequate sleep, and stress management techniques can contribute to overall well-being and help stabilize mood.

Support network:

Building a strong support system that includes family, friends, and support groups can provide valuable emotional support and help individuals navigate their mood disorder.

Frequently Asked Questions


Everyone goes through challenging situations in life, and while you may have successfully navigated through other difficulties you’ve faced, there’s nothing wrong with seeking out extra support when you need it. In fact, therapy is for people who have enough self-awareness to realize they need a helping hand, and that is something to be admired. You are taking responsibility by accepting where you’re at in life and making a commitment to change the situation by seeking therapy. Therapy provides long-lasting benefits and support, giving you the tools you need to avoid triggers, re-direct damaging patterns, and overcome whatever challenges you face.

A number of benefits are available from participating in therapy. Therapists can provide support, problem-solving skills, and enhanced coping strategies for issues such as depression, anxiety, relationship troubles, unresolved childhood issues, grief, stress management, body image issues and creative blocks. Many people also find that counselors can be a tremendous asset to managing personal growth, interpersonal relationships, family concerns, marriage issues, and the hassles of daily life. Therapists can provide a fresh perspective on a difficult problem or point you in the direction of a solution. The benefits you obtain from therapy depend on how well you use the process and put into practice what you learn. Some of the benefits available from therapy include:

  • Attaining a better understanding of yourself, your goals and values
  • Developing skills for improving your relationships
  • Finding resolution to the issues or concerns that led you to seek therapy
  • Learning new ways to cope with stress and anxiety
  • Managing anger, grief, depression, and other emotional pressures
  • Improving communications and listening skills
  • Changing old behavior patterns and developing new ones
  • Discovering new ways to solve problems in your family or marriage
  • Improving your self-esteem and boosting self-confidence

People have many different motivations for coming to psychotherapy. Some may be going through a major life transition (unemployment, divorce, new job, etc.), or are not handling stressful circumstances well. Some people need assistance managing a range of other issues such as low self-esteem, depression, anxiety, addictions, relationship problems, spiritual conflicts and creative blocks. Therapy can help provide some much needed encouragement and help with skills to get them through these periods. Others may be at a point where they are ready to learn more about themselves or want to be more effective with their goals in life. In short, people seeking psychotherapy are ready to meet the challenges in their lives and ready to make changes in their lives.

Because each person has different issues and goals for therapy, therapy will be different depending on the individual. In general, you can expect to discuss the current events happening in your life, your personal history relevant to your issue, and report progress (or any new insights gained) from the previous therapy session. Depending on your specific needs, therapy can be short-term, for a specific issue, or longer-term, to deal with more difficult patterns or your desire for more personal development. Either way, it is most common to schedule regular sessions with your therapist (usually weekly).

It is important to understand that you will get more results from therapy if you actively participate in the process. The ultimate purpose of therapy is to help you bring what you learn in session back into your life. Therefore, beyond the work you do in therapy sessions, your therapist may suggest some things you can do outside of therapy to support your process – such as reading a pertinent book, journaling on specific topics, noting particular behaviors or taking action on your goals. People seeking psychotherapy are ready to make positive changes in their lives, are open to new perspectives and take responsibility for their lives.