In treating drug and alcohol use, co-occurring disorders are the norm, not the exception. Frequently, people beginning substance use disorder treatment will present with a mood disorder and need specialized treatment to simultaneously heal from their mental illness and substance use disorder.
The team with Foothills at Red Oak Recovery is equipped to help adolescent boys with different mood disorders. We can help get your child on track for a healthy life in recovery. Call 866.300.5275 to speak to one of our substance use and mental health specialists.
What Is a Mood Disorder?
Mood disorders are a category of mental illness that affects people’s moods and dispositions. For example, a person with a mood disorder may struggle to feel happy, be constantly irritable, or experience a general malaise that doesn’t resolve over time.
While everyone feels down from time to time, a mood disorder is persistent and disruptive, and it can stand in the way of building a better life for yourself.
3 Different Types of Mood Disorders
There are several different types of mood disorders, all of which can be tremendously difficult to cope with. Fortunately, mood disorders typically respond well to therapy and psychiatric intervention, and living with a mood disorder doesn’t have to be permanent. The three most common types of mood disorders include:
Major depressive disorder (MDD) is a mental illness characterized by intense feelings of hopelessness, a loss of interest in hobbies or activities, and a lack of motivation or energy. To meet the criteria for a formal diagnosis, a depressive episode must persist for at least two weeks. Feeling depressed for this long is challenging, but several evidence-based treatments are available to help.
Bipolar disorder can present in several ways but typically includes large shifts in moods over time. There are two primary forms of bipolar disorder, called bipolar I disorder and bipolar II disorder. In bipolar I disorder, people experience intense highs, manic, and depressive episodes.
During a manic phase, people can feel elated, full of energy, and have an exaggerated sense of confidence and well-being. Manic episodes last roughly 13 weeks on average, followed by a swing into a severe depression for about the same amount of time. These two “poles” are the primary characteristic of bipolar disorder.
Bipolar II disorder presents somewhat differently. People with this disorder still have severe depressive episodes but don’t experience full manic episodes. Instead, they might experience “hypomania,” or a slight mood elevation, during their cycle. People with Bipolar II disorder often have worse depressive episodes than those with bipolar I disorder.
Dysthymia, also called a persistent depressive disorder, is a mood disorder that isn’t as severe as major depression but can last indefinitely if not treated. The symptoms of dysthymia include:
- Low self-esteem
- Poor concentration
- Low energy
- Loss of interest in normal activities
To be diagnosed with dysthymia, these symptoms must be present for longer than two years. Dysthymia is a relatively common disorder affecting more than 3 million people in the United States each year, but it is often left untreated.
Getting professional mental health treatment can improve the symptoms of dysthymia and help you feel better.
Get Help for Co-Occurring Disorders with Foothills at Red Oak Recovery
If your teen boy is struggling with the symptoms of mental illness alongside a substance use disorder, professional treatment for co-occurring disorders can help him recover from both disorders simultaneously.
The expert treatment team at Foothills at Red Oak Recovery has the knowledge, experience, and compassion to help your child feel better, learn healthy coping mechanisms, and break free from the cycle of depression and substance use.
When you’re ready to explore treatment options, call 866.300.5275 to speak to one of our admissions professionals and learn more about our available programs.