Depression and Mood Disorder Counseling Services

Mood disorders are categorized into major depressive disorders, bipolar disorder, dysthymia, cyclothymic disorder and substance induced mood disorders. Approximately 18.8 million or about 9.5 percent of the U.S. population 18 years of age and older deal some type of mood disorder. Twelve percent of American women are affected by a mood disorder compared to an estimated 6.6 percent of the male population.

If you or a loved one suffers from a mood disorder, you are all too aware of the far-reaching impacts such disorders can cause in a person’s life. From feelings about yourself to your career, relationships, parenting issues and future life plans, struggles from mood disorders alter your daily life in a very real way.


A diagnosis for a major depressive episode requires having a depressed mood or loss of interest or pleasure in activities that were previously enjoyed. In addition, four of the following symptoms must also be present nearly every day for at least two weeks:

Signs of Depression / Mood Disordersman sitting alone

  • Difficulty concentrating
  • Fatigue and decreased energy
  • Insomnia, early-morning wakefulness, or excessive sleeping
  • Irritability, restlessness
  • Feelings of guilt, worthlessness, and/or helplessness
  • Feelings of hopelessness and/or pessimism
  • Overeating or appetite loss
  • Significant weight gain or weight loss when not dieting
  • Persistent sad, anxious, or “empty” feelings
  • Thoughts of suicide, suicide attempts

Bipolar disorder

Approximately five million adults in America have Bipolar Disorder. With Bipolar Disorder, symptoms can include both depression (see symptoms above) and an exaggerated elevation of mood known as mania or hypomania (see below). These changes occur in cycles and are referred to as “episodes.” People with Bipolar I Disorder experience extreme mood swings that can take three different forms: manic, depressive, and mixed episodes.

Manic episode– some people with Bipolar Disorder in a manic episode may experience an elevated (extremely happy) mood, often described as feeling “on top of the world.” Others may feel very agitated and act uncooperatively and aggressively. A diagnosis for a manic episode includes either an elevated or an irritable mood lasting at least a week, plus three or more of the following symptoms:

  • Talking too fast or too much
  • Risky pleasure-seeking behavior (sexual indiscretions, spending sprees)
  • Needing little sleep, even awake for days at a time
  • Being easily distracted
  • Having an inflated feeling of power, greatness, or importance
  • Intense focus on goal-directed activity
  • Racing thoughts

Mixed episodes–A mixed episode includes symptoms that are both manic and depressive.

Bipolar II Disorder is similar to Bipolar I except the “up” moods never reach full-on mania. The less-intense elevated moods in bipolar II disorder are called hypomanic episodes, or hypomania. A person affected by bipolar II disorder has had at least one hypomanic episode in life. Most people with bipolar II disorder also suffer from episodes of depression.

For many people suffering from mood disorders, medication treatment can be very helpful. However such treatment is most effective when combined with psychotherapy. And for some, particularly those experiences mild forms of depression, medication may not be needed to desired mood levels and stability.

Grace Weyrauch, at McDowell Mountain Counseling in Scottsdale, AZ specializes in providing psychotherapy treatment for all types of mood disorders. With a strong emphasis on Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, along with other approaches, Grace has successfully helped children, teens and adults address their mood struggles. In doing so, clients are able to gain clarity and insight regarding their mood disorders, along with the ability to better regulate and respond to mood issues and a greater overall balance in life.

If you would like more information regarding counseling for victims of physical or sexual abuse, please contact Grace Weyrauch at McDowell Mountain Counseling.