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Mood Disorder Treatment for Teens and Young Adults

Therapy can significantly reduce mood disorder symptoms and provide valuable tools and coping strategies for managing the conditions. Fill out the short form below, or give us a call, to learn how we support people with mood disorders.

How are mood disorders diagnosed?

Mood disorders are usually diagnosed through a comprehensive assessment by a mental health professional using clinical questionnaires and interviews. This evaluation involves a thorough review of a patient’s medical history, symptoms, and their duration. The diagnostic criteria of each mood disorder are outlined in established diagnostic manuals, such as the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-5).

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What are the best therapy options for mood disorders treatment? 

CBT therapy

Cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) helps treat mood disorders by addressing negative thinking and behaviors that contribute to these conditions. In CBT, people work with a trained therapist to identify distorted or irrational thought patterns underlying their mood disorder and replace them with more rational ones, leading to improved well-being. CBT also teaches people coping strategies and behavioral changes that promote healthier emotional responses. Over time, this process can reduce mood disorder symptoms. 

Psychodynamic therapy

Psychodynamic therapy explores the underlying factors contributing to a person’s mood disorder, often connected to early life experiences. By raising these unconscious factors to conscious awareness, people can work through unresolved issues and gain a better understanding of their emotions, which can improve mood disorder symptoms. Psychodynamic therapy also helps people with mood disorders develop healthier coping mechanisms and more adaptive ways of relating to others.

Mindfulness-based CBT

Mindfulness-based cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) integrates traditional CBT techniques with mindfulness practices to help people with mood disorders manage their reactions to negative thoughts and emotions. It also teaches meditation and deep breathing as emotion-regulation tactics, which can be particularly helpful in the treatment of mood disorders. Mindfulness-based CBT empowers those with mood disorders to accept their experiences and develop healthier responses to the symptoms of their condition.

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In their words

Client & family testimonials

Young Adult

“Charlie Health saved my life.”

Before Charlie Health, I was really struggling with my anxiety. Going to work, doing daily chores and activities, getting out of bed, and even taking care of my basic needs was too much and too difficult for me. My anxiety led to bouts of depression and mania that cycled rapidly and left me exhausted. My medication management was very poor, and my therapist told me, “Your problems are beyond my capabilities.” So, she suggested Charlie Health. I’m really glad I chose to call Charlie Health and participate in the program. I haven’t felt this good in months. I have a new lease on life and feel so happy and understood. My anxiety is at an all-time low, and my depression, while still fluctuating, is manageable. I can go to work now without feeling crippling anxiety, and I can function day-to-day in ways I never thought possible three months ago. Charlie Health saved my life. I’m so happy.

—Jessica

Young Adult

“Charlie Health is intense but well worth it.”

I joined Charlie Health because I needed therapy after going through a divorce. I was struggling with depression, anxiety, and insomnia. I knew it was time to do something about it. Because of Charlie Health, I’ve been able to network with others and remain in contact with some of the people from my cohort who went through treatment with me. Charlie Health is intense but well worth it.

—Brian

Young Adult

“I can’t thank Charlie Health enough, I don’t wan’t to know where i’d be right now if I hadn’t taken that leap of faith.”

When I stared Charlie Health 3 months ago, I couldn’t leave my house. I couldn’t get my own groceries, or drive a car, I wasn’t able to bathe or take basic care of myself. My anxiety and depression left me feeling completely alone and hopeless.When I reached out to Charlie Health and was greeted by staff that showed me they cared, I saw a glimmer of hope that I’ve been clinging to ever since. It was difficult finding my footing in groups, but once I was sure it was a safe space and started becoming more vulnerable, that’s when the real breakthroughs started happening. Being able to talk to my peers in a judgment free environment allowed me to process the really heavy stuff I’ve bottled up for so many years. I’ve learned so much about myself in so little time, and the connections I’ve made are truly genuine. I can’t thank Charlie Health enough, I don’t wan’t to know where i’d be right now if I hadn’t taken that leap of faith.

—Haley T.

How does Charlie Health treat mood disorders?

Teens and young adults with mood disorders are given a renewed sense of connection during treatment at Charlie Health. Using a comprehensive combination of individual, group, and family sessions multiple times per week, we take a personalized approach to mood disorder treatment.

Group sessions in particular allow teen and young adult clients with mood disorders recognize that they are not alone in their struggles. In these sessions, our clinicians and Care Team help clients with mood disorders identify their underlying issues and triggers to help them move from struggling to thriving. This is when healing truly starts.

What are the challenges of treating mood disorders?

Treating mood disorders presents several challenges, including the complexity of diagnosis and individual variation in symptoms and responses to treatment. Stigma, misconceptions surrounding mental health, and access to mental healthcare can hinder people from seeking help. Also, the trial-and-error nature of finding the most effective treatment, whether through therapy, medication, or a combination of both, can be time-consuming and frustrating. Compliance with treatment plans, particularly with medication regimens, can also be a challenge, and since many mood disorders are chronic, care needs to be long-term. 

How effective is therapy for treating mood disorders?

Studies have demonstrated that therapy can significantly reduce mood disorder symptoms and provide people with mood disorders with valuable tools and coping strategies to manage their conditions. The effectiveness of therapy may vary depending on factors like the type of therapy used, a person’s engagement in treatment, disorder severity, and co-occurring conditions. However, in many cases, therapy is a crucial part of comprehensive mood disorder treatment. 

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FAQs on mood disorders

What are the main types of mood disorders?

What are the main symptoms of mood disorders?

  • Prolonged feelings of sadness, hopelessness, or irritability (in depressive disorders)
  • Alternating between extreme energy and deep lows (in bipolar disorders)
  • Changes in sleep patterns, appetite, energy levels, concentration, and decision-making
  • Aches and pains and often interfere with daily activities and relationships

Can teens be diagnosed with mood disorders?

Yes, teenagers can be diagnosed with mood disorders. The diagnostic criteria for these disorders apply to teenagers just as they do to adults, with adjustments for age-related factors. It’s essential for mental health professionals to be especially attuned to the signs and symptoms of mood disorders in adolescents, as they may present differently in this age group. Early diagnosis and intervention are crucial in order to provide appropriate treatment and support to help teenagers effectively manage their mood disorders and prevent potential long-term issues.

Can you grow out of mood disorders?

Not usually, as mood disorders typically don’t improve without treatment. While the severity and duration of symptoms may vary over time, many people continue to experience recurring episodes or chronic symptoms if left untreated. However, with appropriate treatment from a mental health professional, many people can effectively manage their mood disorders, experience long periods of remission, and lead fulfilling lives.

How common are mood disorders?

Mood disorders are a relatively common mental health condition. Major depressive disorder, in particular, is one of the most prevalent mental health disorders, affecting over 17 million people nationally (or 7% of the United States population). Bipolar disorder is less common, affecting about 2.8% of adults in the United States at some point in their lives.

What causes mood disorders?

  • Genetic factors: A family history of mood disorders can increase the risk of developing one.
  • Brain chemistry: Imbalances in neurotransmitters, which are brain chemicals that regulate mood, can contribute to mood disorders. For instance, low levels of serotonin are associated with depression.
  • Environmental factors: Stressful life events, trauma, and chronic stress can trigger or exacerbate mood disorders. Early life experiences, such as childhood abuse or neglect, can also contribute.
  • Medical conditions: Some medical conditions, like chronic illness, hormonal imbalances, or neurological disorders, can lead to mood disturbances.

Mood disorder treatment at Charlie Health

If you or a loved one are struggling with a mood disorder, Charlie Health is here to help. Our virtual Intensive Outpatient Program (IOP) offers more than once-weekly therapy for young people with complex mental health needs and their families—including those with mood disorders. Charlie Health’s expert clinicians use evidence-based therapies in group sessions, individual therapy, and family therapy to ensure holistic, long-term healing. Coping with mood disorders can be challenging, but remember: you are not alone, help is available. Fill out our short form to get started today.

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