Mood disorders, including depression and bipolar disorder, are the most frequently occurring mental disorders. Factors that may contribute to the occurrence of a mood disorder include traumatic events during early development, life stressors, genetic predisposition, and biochemical changes.
Depression is an illness with symptoms including:
A person may be diagnosed with depression when these types of symptoms are present for at least two weeks.
Depression is often recurrent (multiple episodes) and can evolve into a chronic condition. This chronic condition, called dysthymia, is characterized by the constant presence of depressive symptoms of moderate severity for a period of several years with brief or no symptom-free periods.
Periods of depression may also be mixed with periods of greatly elevated and euphoric moods, most commonly referred to as manic episodes or mania. The combination of depression and manic episodes is called bipolar disorder.
For people with bipolar disorder, manic episodes are marked by:
It’s a common misconception that these periods of mania are “good times,” when in fact they often cause severe damage to one’s life and relationships.
Anxiety disorders are prevalent, serious, and persistent health problems affecting behaviour, thoughts, feelings, and physical sensations. An anxiety disorder is much more than the occasional stress that everyone experiences in their lives. An anxiety disorder should be regarded as seriously as any physical illness.
Characteristics of anxiety disorders include excessive anxiety, exaggerated fears known as phobias, worry, panic attacks, avoidance, obsessive thoughts, and compulsive actions. Anxiety disorders can affect anyone, and if untreated can affect one’s overall health, relationships, and ability to perform day-to-day functions.
Anxiety disorders treated at The Royal include: