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Mood Disorders

Washington DC Psychiatry Services

The Mood Disorders Program at The GW Medical Faculty Associates specializes in treating patients for whom depression or bipolar disorder significantly affects daily function or personal safety. Staffed by an experienced team of psychiatrists and rehabilitation professionals, the Program's treatment approach is designed to help patients diminish the symptoms of their mood disorder, become more confident, and once again be able to function.

Treatment options include cognitive behavioral therapy, exploratory therapy, interpersonal therapy, effected alternative therapies, and pharmacologic interventions. A team of medical experts trained in mood disorders directs treatment, with partners and family members actively encouraged to participate. The Program offers education, family support, occupational therapy, guidance in goal development and, when needed, help planning for life after treatment.

Diagnosing Mood Disorders

Each patient undergoes a comprehensive evaluation addressing medical, emotional, behavioral, social, recreational, vocational and nutritional needs. The medical faculty then prescribes an individualized care plan designed to addresses all aspects of the patient's life, including physical health, emotional functioning, roles played within the family, the quality of relationships, and the ability to work at full potential. The plan serves as a motivator, providing hope on what often is a difficult journey.

Mood disorders may seem to appear out of nowhere, or be triggered by traumatic events or significant changes, such as the loss of a loved one, moving, the birth of a child, or a job change. And, though high and low moods may seem appropriate reactions to many of these situations, prolonged difficulty and distress may require professional help. Common symptoms of depression include:

  • Sadness
  • Lack of motivation
  • Sleep problems
  • Appetite or weight changes
  • Difficulty concentrating
  • Uncontrollable tearfulness
  • Feelings of guilt or low self esteem
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