Mood Disorders

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Mood Disorder Treatment Center

We all have ups and downs in life. Good mental health means you’re able to experience a range of emotions, but sometimes they can be overwhelming or cycle between intense highs and extreme lows. When it starts to feel like you’re on a rollercoaster and your moods fluctuate wildly, it could signal that you’re suffering from a mood disorder.

Mood disorders are a mental health condition where emotional disturbances become common and begin to interfere with work, school and personal relationships. Coping with a mood disorder isn’t easy, but you can find balance with professional help that delivers the right combination of therapy or medication.

At Avalon Malibu, we can help you turn a mood disorder diagnosis into an opportunity for transformation at the Grand House, Southern California’s premier mental health treatment center. Our goal is to help each client achieve meaningful recovery with expertly crafted treatment plans tailored to their unique mental health needs.

What Are Mood Disorders?

Mood disorders, also called affective disorders, are a mental health condition involving changes in mood or emotion that are serious enough to interfere with daily life. Unlike normal mood swings that we all experience on occasion, emotional disturbances caused by a mood disorder are vastly different — they’re persistent, disruptive and severe, making it difficult to function normally or perform routine tasks. Mood disorders can affect anyone, including children and teenagers, but symptoms vary from person to person and range from mild to extreme. There are two main groups of mood disorders that are broadly recognized, and the effect a mood disorder has on your life will depend on the kind you are experiencing.

Types of Mood Disorders

The two most common types of mood disorders are depression and bipolar disorder, but related conditions, subtypes and variations are also included in this category.


Depression is a widely recognized mood disorder characterized by frequent and prolonged periods of sadness, fatigue, hopelessness, difficulty concentrating and a loss of interest in hobbies or other activities. Depression can also lead to suicidal thoughts or actions and may increase the risk of substance abuse. Although we all feel down from time to time, symptoms of depression don’t just go away on their own and can significantly impact the ability to go to work, school or even get out of bed in the morning. One of the most researched and familiar kinds of depression is major depressive disorder (MDD), also called clinical or major depression, but other forms of depression are also classified as a mood disorder.

Bipolar Disorder

Bipolar disorder, sometimes referred to as manic depression, is known for causing extreme mood swings that fluctuate between intense highs and deep lows. These are called manic and depressive states, which can come on suddenly and are closely intertwined. Full-blown manic episodes occur in those with type 1 bipolar disorder and are characterized by racing thoughts, increased energy and an intense feeling of euphoria, while those with type 2 bipolar disorder experience a less severe (but still distressing) form of mania known as hypomania. A deep depression that can last for weeks often follows a manic or hypomanic episode, known as the depressive phase. Both types of bipolar disorder are highly disruptive to normal functioning and can lead to impulsive or reckless behavior if not managed properly, making proper treatment essential to ensure the health and wellness of those affected.

Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD)

Seasonal affective disorder is a type of depression that occurs in some people during the winter months, when there is limited natural sunlight available to help regulate moods. It follows a pattern and occurs at the same time each year, typically subsiding in the spring or summer, but when symptoms emerge, they are similar to major depressive disorder. This type of depression is more common in those who live in northern climates with fewer daylight hours in the winter and often co-occurs with other mood disorders like bipolar disorder.


Also called persistent depressive disorder, dysrhythmia is a chronic type of depression with symptoms that are less severe than MDD but longer-lasting. Those with dysrhythmia experience a continuously depressed mood and often feel detached from life, with little interest in pursuing hobbies or interests. They may also have trouble sleeping or concentrating and experience problems at work or school as a result. Because dysrhythmia is so constant, those with the disorder may come to believe that being depressed is a part of who they are and delay seeking treatment — but professional help can alleviate the symptoms of persistent depressive disorder for an improved quality of life.


Cyclothymia is a mood disorder that causes emotional highs and lows. It is similar to bipolar disorder, but the symptoms aren’t as severe — mood swings tend to be milder and less intense, though they are still disruptive to daily life. Although those with cyclothymia experience relatively stable moods in between episodes of hypomania and minor depression, this condition can increase the risk of developing bipolar disorder without proper treatment.

Other Mood Disorders

Mood disorders also pertain to psychiatric symptoms related to other medical conditions, such as depression triggered by a chronic illness, and those that develop due to substance abuse, alcohol addiction or the side effects of certain medications.

Mood Disorder Treatment at Avalon Malibu

The Grand House at Avalon Malibu is a comfortable, beautifully designed residential treatment center where men and women struggling with mood disorders can regain their mental health. Featuring private, mostly single rooms furnished with all the latest amenities, the Grand House provides a safe space where clients can take a step back from the stressors of daily life and truly focus on their recovery. And with a prime location that overlooks the serene Pacific Ocean, Avalon is the only treatment center in Malibu with direct access to the beach. By combining the natural beauty of Southern California with the comfort of a home-like facility, we’ve created an ideal therapeutic environment that’s conducive to healing.

Furthermore, the physicians, therapists and practitioners at Avalon’s Grand House are experienced, licensed professionals who are familiar with the complexity of mood disorders. This allows our team to offer round-the-clock care that includes on-site nursing seven days a week and craft personalized treatment plans for each individual in our program. We also blend traditional and holistic techniques to ensure a deeply therapeutic experience, with proven techniques that include:

Avalon Malibu’s Grand House is licensed under strict rules set forth by the California Department of Social Services (CDSS) and certified by the Department of Mental Health (DMH) and the Department of Health Services (DHS) to work with mood disorder clients. We adhere to these high standards to ensure that each client receives the care they deserve, especially since mood disorders often co-occur with substance abuse and other mental health problems. By implementing a variety of holistic and research-based psychotherapies specifically prescribed for each client, our goal is to deliver comfort and healing in a safe, supportive and nurturing environment.

What Causes Mood Disorders?

Like other mental health conditions, a number of factors contribute to the development of mood disorders, including genetics, past trauma, family history and brain structure. But external factors like prolonged drug or alcohol use also play a role due to the damage that certain chemicals or toxic substances inflict on the brain. The intoxicating effects of stimulants such as methamphetamine or cocaine can even mimic the symptoms of mood disorders, causing manic or hypomanic highs followed by deep lows as the drug wears off. This can trigger the onset of a mood disorder in some people or exacerbate the symptoms of an underlying condition in others, often leading to a harmful cycle of increased substance abuse in an attempt to restore balance. Unfortunately, this kind of self-medication with illicit drugs never works, and the pattern of abuse makes addicts more prone to developing a mood disorder.

At Avalon Malibu, we understand that mood disorders are complex and know that real recovery means treating each person holistically with a range of proven techniques. That’s why we utilize a number of therapeutic and evidence-based modalities at the Grand House, our mental health treatment facility for those struggling with mood disorders and other psychiatric concerns. Our approach to wellness is designed to support clients through the recovery process and help them develop new ways of coping with their mental health symptoms, unlocking their potential for growth and healing.

Contact Avalon Malibu

At Avalon Malibu, we specialize in treating mood disorder conditions by offering therapeutic interventions founded on the evidence-based principles of mindfulness, awareness, acceptance, investigation and change. To learn more about our luxury residential treatment program at the Grand House and how it can help your journey of recovery, contact or call us today at 866-332-1068.

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