Two of the most common mental health problems among people are mood disorders and anxiety disorders. Mood and anxiety disorders mainly occur due to the complex interplay of various psychological, biological, genetic, social and economic factors. According to Statistics Canada, 2 out of 10 people suffer from one of the mental health problems at some point in their lives. Going by the reports of Centers for Disease Control, nearly 8 percent people suffer from mood disorders, while the National Institute on Mental Health states that 18 percent adults suffer from anxiety disorders.

There are a lot of similarities between the two disorders, which makes it difficult to distinguish between them. To understand the difference, it requires deep knowledge of how each disorder manifests. This article will help you understand the condition of the person suffering from such disorders. At The Family Enhancement Centre, we help you examine the difference between mood and anxiety disorders.

Mood Disorders Are Not Anxiety Disorders
Anxiety does affect the mood, but it cannot be considered as a mood disorder. The simple reason being, anxiety affects an individual’s mood, but is not directly related to mood.

Anxiety can lead to the development of feelings like hopelessness, fear and several other emotions. Mood disorders, on the other hand, refer to the conditions like major depression, mania, Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD), cyclothymia. However, studies have proved that people with mood disorders have a very high rate of developing anxiety disorders.

Mood Disorders
Mood disorders are psychological conditions that disrupt mood or bring about severe mood changes in an individual leading to inconsistent feelings and reactions towards situations. Mood disorders can be characterized by elation where individual experiences extreme happiness or sadness. This often involves loss of interest in the day to day life. People generally experience overwhelming anxiousness in such situations.

Types of Mood Disorders
There are several types of mood disorders. They are:

  • Depression
  • Bipolar disorders
  • Anxiety disorders
  • Seasonal affective disorder

People with any of the above-mentioned mood disorders are at a greater risk of developing an anxiety disorder.

Treatment of Mood Disorders
The type of treatment required for mood disorders varies depending on the person’s condition and circumstances. However, in most cases, a combination of medicine, counselling and various mental health therapies works the best for patients.

Anxiety Disorders
Anxiety disorder is a condition where an individual experiences excessive anxiety, worry or fear. People facing such issues are hyper-vigilant to negativity and experience unrealistic feelings that interfere with their day to day lives including aspects like relationships, work performance, school, etc.

Types of Anxiety Disorders
There are several types of anxiety disorders. They are:

  • General anxiety
  • Specific phobias
  • Agoraphobia
  • Post-traumatic stress disorder
  • Panic disorder
  • Social anxiety disorder
  • Anxiety disorder because of another medical condition
  • Substance or medication-induced anxiety disorder

Treatment of Anxiety Disorders
In most of the cases, antidepressants or anti-anxiety medications help to cure anxiety disorders. In addition to these, mental health therapies and counselling too help people learn to manage the symptoms of anxiety. Once you learn to recognize your symptoms and triggers, it is easy to recover from these mental health disorders.

Co-relation between Mood Disorders and Anxiety Disorders
Mood disorder is the main cause of anxiety. Major reasons like lack of sleep, depression, rough or stressful lifestyle, etc. largely contribute to anxiety disorders. Depression causes fear and stress, which further aggravates anxiety disorders. Similarly, the other way round, anxiety disorders may also lead to mood disorders. Studies prove that severe anxiety problems like panic attacks, post-traumatic stress disorder, and obsessive compulsive disorder lead to depression.

Mood disorders and anxiety disorders are challenging issues for a large number of people. However, with good medication and counselling these mental health disorders can be easily manageable. Both mood and anxiety disorders can be cured, but finding the right treatment for you and your loved ones is difficult as not every treatment works perfectly for each individual. Understanding the symptoms and addressing them requires deep subject knowledge and expert opinion.

We at The Family Enhancement Centre, provide end-to-end counselling services. Our counsellors and mental health therapists specialize in cognitive behavioural assessment and treatment of mood and anxiety disorders. We have a team of dedicated and experienced professionals who are experts in their field. So come and meet us at one of our offices in Brampton, Mississauga, Niagara Falls and Orangeville.