Affective Disorders


Affective disorders, also known as mood disorders, are a classification of psychiatric disorders that can be quite disruptive if not properly managed. The symptoms associated with these disorders range from mild to severe. The most well-known types of affective disorders are bipolar disorder and depression. Here at Mental Health Haven, we support those suffering from these conditions in a welcoming and non-judgmental environment. 

Understanding Affective Disorders And How They’re Treated

There are two primary classifications of affective disorder, as mentioned above. Within these types, there are subtypes that represent distinct manifestations of these conditions. Depression is among the most well-known of these disorders and is characterized by persistent feelings of hopelessness and sadness. Everyone experiences periods of sadness. Depression is classified by periods that last weeks or even months. Over 260 million people are estimated to struggle with depression worldwide.

The most frequently encountered forms of depression include:

  • MDD (Major Depressive Disorder) – This condition was formerly known as clinical depression. It is defined as long periods of persistent fatigue, low mood, hopelessness, and related symptoms.
  • PDD (Persistent Depressive Disorder) – PDD is also called dysthymia and is defined as periods of less severe symptoms of depression persisting for periods of greater than 2 years.
  • SAD (Seasonal Affective Disorder) – This is a cyclic form of depression that is most prevalent during the winter months.

Bipolar disorder is the other well-known form of affective disorder. This condition is identified as shifts in mood that are extreme. These mood shifts often include periods of both mania, depression, and hypomania. As with depression, there are several types of bipolar disorder, including:

  • Bipolar I – The most common symptom is periods of mania persisting longer than seven days. While depressive periods longer than two weeks may occur, depression is not always present with bipolar I.
  • Bipolar II – This symptom is typified by periods of depression in excess of two weeks and milder periods of mania, known as hypomania.
  • Cyclothymia – This is a milder form of bipolar that includes both depression and hypomania, which occur with no definite timeline. It is identified as periods of depression and hypomania lasting in excess of 2 years.

There are two primary approaches to the treatment of affective disorders. Therapy and medication have proven to be effective, with a combination often yielding the best results. There are numerous medications available for managing depression. Each patient will need to discover which is most effective for them with the help of our team. Psychotherapy is essential to managing these disorders and teaches ways of potentially changing related behaviors. 

Treating Affective Disorders At Mental Health Haven

If you’re struggling with depression or bipolar disorder and are ready to seek help, reach out to our practice  in Stuart, Florida. Kristen Chambers has been board-certified as a psychiatric nurse practitioner with a specialty in adult, adolescent, and child psychiatric care. The team at Mental Health Haven strives to ensure our patients know they’re more than just a patient file. We use the latest techniques, therapies, and medications to ensure we’re able to provide effective treatment. Contact our office today to schedule your first visit!