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Mood Disorders

Mood Disorders is a broad category of mental illnesses which includes bipolar disorder and major depression, two of the disorders which can cause severe distress, psychosis, behavioral changes, impairments to cognition, and impairment in everyday functioning. The Lieber Clinic offers a broad array of group-based and individual services to treat bipolar disorder and major depression.

Bipolar Disorder

Bipolar disorder, formerly called manic depression, is a mental health condition that causes extreme mood swings that include emotional highs (mania or hypomania) and lows (depression).


When you become depressed, you may feel sad or hopeless and lose interest or pleasure in most activities. When your mood shifts to mania or hypomania (less extreme than mania), you may feel euphoric, full of energy or unusually irritable. These mood swings can affect sleep, energy, activity, judgment, behavior and the ability to think clearly.


Episodes of mood swings may occur rarely or multiple times a year. While most people will experience some emotional symptoms between episodes, some may not experience any.


Although bipolar disorder is a lifelong condition, you can manage your mood swings and other symptoms by following a treatment plan. In most cases, bipolar disorder is treated with medications and psychosocial treatments.


There are several types of bipolar and related disorders. They may include mania or hypomania and depression. Symptoms can cause unpredictable changes in mood and behavior, resulting in significant distress and difficulty in life. Although bipolar disorder can occur at any age, typically it's diagnosed in the teenage years or early 20s. Symptoms can vary from person to person, and symptoms may vary over time.

Mania and Hypomania

Mania and hypomania are two distinct types of episodes, but they have the same symptoms. Mania is more severe than hypomania and causes more noticeable problems at work, school and social activities, as well as relationship difficulties. Mania may also trigger a break from reality (psychosis).

Both a manic and a hypomanic episode include three or more of these symptoms:

  • Abnormally upbeat, jumpy or wired

  • Increased activity, energy or agitation

  • Exaggerated sense of well-being and self-confidence (euphoria)

  • Decreased need for sleep

  • Unusual talkativeness

  • Racing thoughts

  • Distractibility and other impairments in cognition

  • Poor decision-making — for example, going on buying sprees, taking sexual risks or making foolish investment

Depression/Major Depressive Disorder

  • Sad or irritable most of the day, nearly every day.

  • Decreased interested in most activities you once enjoyed.

  • Sudden changes in weight or  appetite.

  • Difficulty falling asleep or wanting to sleep more than usual.

  • Feelings of restlessness.

  • Feeling unusually tired and have a lack of energy.

  • Feel worthless or guilty, often about things that wouldn’t normally make you feel that way.

  • Difficulty concentrating, thinking, or making decisions.

  • Thoughts about self-harm or committing suicide.


Treatments for Mood Disorders

Persons coming for treatment at the Lieber Clinic will first have an intake evaluation consisting of a clinical interview, discussions with family members, and a consultation with the patient's psychiatrist to determine an appropriate treatment plan. The plan can include:



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