Mood Disorder Diagnosis & Treatment

How to Diagnose Mood Disorders

Symptoms of mood disorders are treatable, and our behavioral health specialists are here to help you find the right diagnosis and treatment. They can develop a personalized treatment plan that gets you back to living your best life. To diagnose mood disorders, your Mercy provider or behavioral health professional may: 

  • Perform a physical exam
  • Review your medical history and symptoms
  • Order lab work or other tests

Treatment Approaches for Mood Disorders 

Mood disorders can be treated through a combination of treatments such as counseling, therapy and medication. At Mercy, we’ll work with you to develop a treatment plan specific to your needs.

Psychotherapy for Mood Disorders

A Mercy therapist works with you in counseling sessions to discuss ways to manage your symptoms. Types of psychotherapy for mood disorders include:

  • Cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) – CBT teaches you skills to manage negative thinking patterns & can be highly effective for affective disorders. CBT therapy is often used to treat anxiety and can be done individually or in a group of people with similar issues.
  • Interpersonal therapyIPT for mood disorders focuses on changing your relationship patterns, rather than the associated symptoms. It's based on the idea that personal relationships are often at the center of psychological problems.
  • Light therapy – This type of therapy treats major depressive disorder with seasonal patterns (previously known as seasonal affective disorder or SAD).  The treatment involves exposure to artificial light sources to stimulate brain chemicals.

Medication for Mood Disorders

Medications can be used to treat mood disorders and are often used in combination with psychotherapy. Typical medications include antidepressants, mood stabilizers and antipsychotics. Your Mercy doctor or behavioral health professional will discuss your options, including the benefits and risks. 

Brain Stimulation Therapy for Mood Disorders

Electroconvulsive Therapy (ECT) is considered highly effective for the treatment of major depression and bipolar disorder. This treatment involves a brief electrical stimulation of the brain while the patient is under anesthesia.

ECT is typically given by a team of medical professionals including a psychiatrist, an anesthesiologist, and a nurse or physician assistant. It’s normally done as an outpatient procedure.

Complementary Approaches to Overcoming Mood Disorders

Some people with depression also benefit from healing therapies used along with regular medical care. These additional therapies are known as complementary or integrative therapies. Mercy Integrative Medicine focuses on your emotional and spiritual well-being through a variety of techniques like meditation, massage, acupuncture and yoga.

Not all treatments are available in all areas, but Mercy offers a variety of services across our locations. Your mental health provider can connect you to the services available in your area.