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Is Ptsd Considered A Mood Disorder

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What Are The Different Types Of Mood Disorders

What is the Difference Between Acute Stress Disorder and Posttraumatic Stress Disorder?

These are the most common types of mood disorders:

  • Major depression. Having less interest in usual activities, feeling sad or hopeless, and other symptoms for at least 2 weeks may indicate depression.

  • Dysthymia. This is a chronic, low-grade, depressed, or irritable mood that lasts for at least 2 years.

  • Bipolar disorder. This is a condition in which a person has periods of depression alternating with periods of mania or elevated mood.

  • Mood disorder related to another health condition. Many medical illnesses can trigger symptoms of depression.

  • Substance-induced mood disorder. Symptoms of depression that are due to the effects of medicine, drug abuse, alcoholism, exposure to toxins, or other forms of treatment.

What Are The Symptoms Of Mood Disorders

Depending on age and the type of mood disorder, a person may have different symptoms of depression. The following are the most common symptoms of a mood disorder:

  • Ongoing sad, anxious, or empty mood

  • Feeling hopeless or helpless

  • Feeling inadequate or worthless

  • Excessive guilt

  • Repeating thoughts of death or suicide, wishing to die, or attempting suicide

  • Loss of interest in usual activities or activities that were once enjoyed, including sex

  • Relationship problems

  • Trouble sleeping or sleeping too much

  • Changes in appetite and/or weight

  • Trouble concentrating

  • A decrease in the ability to make decisions

  • Frequent physical complaints that dont get better with treatment

  • Running away or threats of running away from home

  • Very sensitive to failure or rejection

  • Irritability, hostility, or aggression

In mood disorders, these feelings are more intense than what a person may normally feel from time to time. Its also of concern if these feelings continue over time, or interfere with one’s interest in family, friends, community, or work. Any person who expresses thoughts of suicide should get medical help right away.

The symptoms of mood disorders may look like other conditions or mental health problems. Always talk with a healthcare provider for a diagnosis.

How Is Depression Different From Ptsd

Depressive disorders are also similar to PTSD in the symptomology and often in etiology. For our blog on PTSD and depression click here. Depression is not just being moody or sad. Depression is a serious illness where the depressive state can last months or even years and only treatment like psychiatry and psychotherapy can help. A person cannot just snap out of it. Depressive disorders can be caused by the same traumatic events that cause PTSD, as well as difficult life circumstance, medical conditions, grief, and stress. Differentiating between depression and PTSD can be challenging but it can also be a bit more straightforward than trying to do so for anxiety and PTSD. This is because many of the symptoms PTSD and Anxiety share are not typically seen with depression such as vivid flashbacks and hyperawareness. Lets check out the most common depressive disorders and symptoms below.

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Obvious Vs Less Obvious Trauma

Researchers state that forms of trauma can be categorized into obvious and less obvious trauma. Obvious traumas include war, childhood abuse and neglect, sexual assault, rape, and natural disasters such as hurricanes. However, there are also less obvious forms of trauma that include:

  • Parental divorce, child abandonment, or betrayal
  • Toxic relationships with emotional and psychological violence
  • Narcissistic parent or caregivers with mental health issues

Traumas Impact On Bipolar Symptoms

Post Traumatic Stress Disorders

The interactions between these two conditions are complicated and impossible to fully understand. However, if you already have bipolar disorder and then go through sustained trauma and develop C-PTSD, the results are likely to be more severe bipolar symptoms.

C-PTSD causes symptoms that affect mood. These can worsen your bipolar moods and cycles, especially if left untreated. Many of the symptoms unique to C-PTSD as compared to PTSD are similar to those of bipolar disorder.

As one example, during manic episodes you may feel edgy, tense, keyed up, and even angry or irritable. C-PTSD causes similar feelings and reactions. During mania, these symptoms may become additive, making you feel even worse and leading you to act out in even more destructive ways.

Both conditions can also cause symptoms characteristic of psychosis, such as dissociation or delusions. If you have both mental illnesses, you may be more likely to experience these severe and distressing symptoms.

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Can You Be Diagnosed With Ptsd And Anxiety Together

While yes that is a possibility since a veteran with a history of anxiety before service could have been exposed to a traumatic experience in active duty, we still have to consider several factors. A common issue with differentiating between mental health conditions is that many of them have very similar symptoms . That makes it so challenging to determine, especially in one session, which diagnosis a veteran may have. Add the fact that most of us do not want to go into a room and talk to a stranger about our most traumatic life events, and then the diagnosis can get even more challenging to make. This is why we see veterans diagnosed with one condition, then later be diagnosed with a different one, or an additional one, or two. There are also theories that some chronic trauma disorders such as PTSD cause a person to create coping skills that mimic other disorders such as Borderline Personality disorder or Bipolar disorder. If someone has been coping with PTSD for several years, or even decades, often times they have created coping mechanisms that hide their symptoms so well they are misdiagnosed with other disorders they may not actually have originally had but developed as a protective measure.

The Biological Basis Of Mood Disorders

Mood disorders have been shown to have a strong genetic and biological basis. Relatives of those with major depressive disorder have double the risk of developing major depressive disorder, whereas relatives of patients with bipolar disorder have over nine times the risk . The rate of concordance for major depressive disorder is higher among identical twins than fraternal twins , as is that of bipolar disorder , suggesting that genetic factors play a stronger role in bipolar disorder than in major depressive disorder .

People with mood disorders often have imbalances in certain neurotransmitters, particularly norepinephrine and serotonin . These neurotransmitters are important regulators of the bodily functions that are disrupted in mood disorders, including appetite, sex drive, sleep, arousal, and mood. Medications that are used to treat major depressive disorder typically boost serotonin and norepinephrine activity, whereas lithiumused in the treatment of bipolar disorderblocks norepinephrine activity at the synapses .

A Diathesis-Stress Model and Major Depressive Disorders

Cognitive Theories of Depression

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Cognition And Mood Symptoms Include:

  • Trouble remembering key features of the traumatic event
  • Negative thoughts about oneself or the world
  • Distorted feelings like guilt or blame
  • Loss of interest in enjoyable activities

Cognition and mood symptoms can begin or worsen after the traumatic event, but are not due to injury or substance use. These symptoms can make the person feel alienated or detached from friends or family members.

It is natural to have some of these symptoms for a few weeks after a dangerous event. When the symptoms last more than a month, seriously affect ones ability to function, and are not due to substance use, medical illness, or anything except the event itself, they might be PTSD. Some people with PTSD dont show any symptoms for weeks or months. PTSD is often accompanied by depression, substance abuse, or one or more of the other anxiety disorders.

When To Get Medical Advice

Posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) – causes, symptoms, treatment & pathology

It’s normal to experience upsetting and confusing thoughts after a traumatic event, but most people improve naturally over a few weeks.

You should see a GP if you or your child are still having problems about 4 weeks after the traumatic experience, or if the symptoms are particularly troublesome.

If necessary, your GP can refer you to mental health specialists for further assessment and treatment.

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What Are The Symptoms Of Common Mood Disorders

Symptoms depend on the type of mood disorder that is present.

Symptoms of major depression may include:

  • Feeling sad most of the time or nearly every day
  • Lack of energy or feeling sluggish
  • Feeling worthless or hopeless
  • Loss of appetite or overeating
  • Gaining weight or losing weight
  • Loss of interest in activities that formerly brought enjoyment
  • Sleeping too much or not enough
  • Frequent thoughts about death or suicide
  • Difficulty concentrating or focusing

Symptoms of bipolar disorder may include both depression and mania. Symptoms of hypomanic or manic episodes include:

  • Feeling extremely energized or elated
  • Rapid speech or movement
  • Risk-taking behavior, such as spending too much money or driving recklessly
  • Unusual increase in activity or trying to do too many things at once
  • Racing thoughts
  • Feeling jumpy or on edge for no apparent reason

What Is Complex Post

The main symptoms of PTSD and complex PTSD are the same. But if you have complex PTSD you will have extra symptoms such as:

  • constant issues with keeping a relationship,
  • finding it difficult to feel connected to other people,
  • constant belief that you are worthless with deep feelings of shame and guilt. This will be related to the trauma, and
  • constant and severe emotional dysregulation. This means it is difficult to control your emotions

You are more likely to have complex PTSD if your trauma is linked to an event or series of events. The trauma will be very threatening or frightening. Most commonly from a trauma which you were not able to escape from such as:

  • torture
  • a long period of domestic abuse, or
  • a long period of sexual or physical abuse

What is the treatment for complex PTSD?

You may respond to trauma focussed therapies if you have complex PTSD. Please see the section below on therapies and additional needs for PTSD.

There is some overlap of symptoms for complex PTSD and borderline personality disorder . If you have complex PTSD you may benefit from certain treatments that help people with BPD.

You can find more information about ‘Borderline Personality Disorder’ by clicking here.

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What Are The Symptoms Of Ptsd

Some of the symptoms are PTSD and complex PTSD are:

  • reliving the experience through flashbacks, dreams or nightmares,
  • not being able to feel emotions,
  • dissociation. This could include disconnecting from yourself or other people,
  • negative alternations in mood,
  • negative self-perception such as feeling worthless or defeated,
  • hyperarousal such as anger, irritability or sleep issues,
  • hypervigilance such as feeling on constant alert. Or being overly sensory to stimulus such as smell and noise, and
  • avoidance. This could mean that you try to distract your thought from thinking about the trauma. Or you avoid situations that remind you of your trauma.

Is psychosis a symptom of PTSD?

There is a link between PTSD and psychosis. But it is not known if psychosis is a symptom of PTSD. Or a separate mental health condition.

You can find more information about psychosis by clicking here.

Diagnostic Classification Of Ptsd

Can someone with PTSD, anxiety disorder, and mood disorder ...

Perhaps the most substantial conceptual change in the DSM-5 for PTSD was the removal of the disorder from the anxiety disorders category. Considerable research has demonstrated that PTSD entails multiple emotions outside of the fear/anxiety spectrum , thus providing evidence inconsistent with inclusion of PTSD with the anxiety disorders. In the DSM-5, PTSD was placed in a new diagnostic category named Trauma and Stressor-related Disorders indicating a common focus of the disorders in it as relating to adverse events. This diagnostic category is distinctive among psychiatric disorders in the requirement of exposure to a stressful event as a precondition. Other disorders included in this diagnostic category are adjustment disorder, reactive attachment disorder, disinhibited social engagement disorder, and acute stress disorder. This is the only diagnostic category in the DSM-5 that is not grouped conceptually by the types of symptoms characteristic of the disorders in it.

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How Does Gad Relate To Ptsd

Approximately 1 in 6 individuals with PTSD symptoms will suffer from GAD, according to some research. Although we do not know exactly why they coexist, worrying is one of the most common PTSD symptoms.

In a hyperaroused emotional state, the worry may become exaggerated until it is caused to become insurmountable. Many people even turn to their worrying as a way to cope with stressful situations.

A person with PTSD symptoms will often say that being distracted by worry about other factors or troubles takes their attention away from events or memories that make them feel the most upset.

Worry can be used as a distraction for people to remain anonymous about their fears and worries. Another potential reason is that both conditions are induced by similar experiences. A past ordeal is an underlying reason why PTSD symptoms appear, but it is also a trigger for GAD.

Whats The Outlook For People With Mood Disorders

Mood disorders such as depression and bipolar disorder may recur or be ongoing and therefore may require long-term or lifetime treatment. It is important to take your medications as prescribed. After starting your medications, it may take two to six weeks before you begin to notice a change in your symptoms. Do not stop taking your medication, even if you begin to feel better.

Discuss any concerns you have about changing or stopping medications with your doctor or another health professional. Ask your doctor whether you might need to try a different medication or have the dosage adjusted, if the one you are taking is ineffective or causes unpleasant side effects such as headaches, nausea, vomiting, or diarrhea.

Psychotherapy has been shown to be helpful treatment approach and is often used together with medication or brain stimulation therapy. Minor forms of depression can be treated with psychotherapy alone. Brain stimulation therapies are usually tried when other treatment options have not been successful, in people with severe symptoms, and in those who cannot tolerate the side effects of drug therapy. Every therapy has its potential role, as each patient with a mood disorder is unique.

Seek help immediately if you feel suicidal or have thoughts of harming yourself or others.

Last reviewed by a Cleveland Clinic medical professional on 07/16/2018.


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What Are Treatment Options

A thorough assessment performed by a mental health specialist, like a psychiatrist or licensed therapist, determines the best treatment methods. Based on your results, you may find a combination of therapies is best.

Many people take anti-depressant and anti-anxiety medications to control overwhelming symptoms at the beginning of their treatment program. Medication combined with individual therapy or group counseling gives you the chance to learn coping skills to help you deal with symptoms appropriately. Peer support groups, family therapy, and alternative therapies like mindfulness and stress management are beneficial. Ketamine therapy should be considered for cases of depression, anxiety, and trauma that have not responded to traditional medication treatment.

If you feel like you have symptoms of either a mood or anxiety disorder, call us. We can help.

What Risks Are Associated With Ptsd

What is PTSD? (Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder)

Alcohol and drug use

You might use drugs or alcohol to help you to manage your symptoms.

Drugs or alcohol can make you more unwell and more likely to try and harm yourself or take your own life.

Mental health conditions

Symptoms of PTSD can be made worse by other disorders such as:

  • depression
  • substance abuse, and
  • memory problems

Most people with PTSD will have at least 1 other mental health condition. The most common disorders are:

  • depressive disorders,
  • substance use disorders, and
  • anxiety disorders.

Other mental health conditions have the some of the same symptoms as PTSD. This may be why PTSD is hard to diagnose.

Suicidal thoughts and behaviours

In severe cases PTSD can last long enough and have a large impact on day to day life. This can cause suicidal thoughts and behaviours.

Physical health issues

PTSD has been linked to physical symptoms such as dizziness, tinnitus and blurry vision.

It has also been linked to physical illnesses such as heart disease, high blood pressure and obesity.

You can find more information about:

Drugs, alcohol and mental health by clicking here.Depression by clicking here.Suicidal feelings How to cope by clicking here.

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Knowing The Basics Of General Anxiety Disorder

Theres much more to generalized anxiety disorder than just a little anxious thinking and fretting now and then. Its characterized by an out-of-control anxiousness that occurs over six months.

People typically spend a lot of their days worrying about things they cannot control, which makes their work and relationships suffer. Worrying so much about something that is beyond their control causes them to waste their time learning how to handle the situation.

International Classification Of Diseases

The International Classification of Diseases and Related Health Problems 10 classifies PTSD under “Reaction to severe stress, and adjustment disorders.” The ICD-10 criteria for PTSD include re-experiencing, avoidance, and either increased reactivity or inability to recall certain details related to the event.

The ICD-11 diagnostic description for PTSD contains three components or symptom groups re-experiencing, avoidance, and heightened sense of threat. ICD-11 no longer includes verbal thoughts about the traumatic event as a symptom. There is a predicted lower rate of diagnosed PTSD using ICD-11 compared to ICD10 or DSM-5. ICD-11 also proposes identifying a distinct group with complex post-traumatic stress disorder , who have more often experienced several or sustained traumas and have greater functional impairment than those with PTSD.

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Joint Features Of Multiple Conditions

The scientists searched for brain regions that were either more active or less active in the participants with mental health conditions than among the control group. As expected, the researchers found that certain features of brain activity were consistent across mood disorders, PTSD, and anxiety disorders.

Perhaps surprisingly, they found the most significant differences between the two groups of participants when they searched for hypoactive regions. The authors outline their primary findings:

detected statistically robust transdiagnostic clusters of hypoactivation in the inferior prefrontal cortex/insula, the inferior parietal lobule, and the putamen.

These regions are significant because they are all involved in emotional and cognitive control. Specifically, they play an important role in stopping cognitive and behavioral processes and switching to new ones.

Senior author Dr. Sophia Frangou explains: These brain imaging findings provide a science-based explanation as to why patients with mood and anxiety disorders seem to be locked in to negative mood states. They also corroborate the patients experience of being unable to stop and switch away from negative thoughts and feelings.

The authors also outline how these findings lend support to earlier studies in people with these disorders, which found deficits of large effect size in stopping and shifting responses in a range of tasks.

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