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Mood Disorders


  • Mood disorders are also called affective disorders. A mood is an emotion or feeling that lasts a long time. Moods range from feeling sad to feeling happy. Moods affect how we act (our personality). Your mood also affects how you feel about yourself and life in general. You have a mood disorder when your mood or emotions are out of control. When your mood is out of control, you may feel overly happy or overly sad. A mood disorder may have many different causes.
  • Counseling may be needed to give you advice about how to handle stress and other issues. Medicine may also be used to treat your mood disorder and its mood swings. You may be treated in your caregiver's office or a clinic. If your disorder is out of control, you may need to be treated in the hospital.


You have the right to help plan your care. Learn about your health condition and how it may be treated. Discuss treatment options with your caregivers to decide what care you want to receive. You always have the right to refuse treatment.


Your mood disorder could get worse if it is not treated. It could also make it hard for you to work and to get along with others. A mood disorder may also affect the way you eat and sleep which may cause you to feel sick. Call your caregiver if you are worried or have questions about your medicine or care.


  • Psychiatric assessment: Caregivers will ask if you have a history of psychological trauma, such as physical, sexual, or mental abuse. They will ask if you were given the care that you needed. Caregivers will ask you if you have been a victim of a crime or natural disaster, or if you have a serious injury or disease. They will ask you if you have seen other people being harmed, such as in combat. You will be asked if you drink alcohol or use drugs at present or in the past. Caregivers will ask you if you want to hurt or kill yourself or others. How you answer these questions can help caregivers decide on treatment. To help during treatment, caregivers will ask you about such things as how you feel about it and your hobbies and goals. Caregivers will also ask you about the people in your life who support you.
  • 72 Hour Hold: This is when you are put in the hospital for 72 hours without your permission (OK). The police or a caregiver may decide to put you in the hospital. This may only be done if others are concerned that you may hurt yourself or someone else. It may also be done if caregivers or police do not think you can safely care for yourself.
  • Clothes: You may wear your own clothes while you are in the hospital.
  • Electroconvulsive Therapy: This is also called "ECT." It may be used for patients who have not been helped with medicine or other therapy. With ECT, a small amount of electric shock is sent through the brain. Before ECT you may get medicine to help you relax. After ECT you may have trouble remembering things. Your memory usually gets better 2 weeks after ECT is done. You may also have nausea (upset stomach) or vomiting (throwing up) after ECT.
  • Family Meetings: During family meetings caregivers meet with you and your family. Together you will talk about how to cope with your illness when you go home.
  • Group Therapy: These are meetings that you will attend with other patients and staff. During these meetings patients and staff talk about ways to cope with illness.
  • Individual Therapy: This is a time for you to meet alone with your therapist. During this time you and your therapist may talk about things you can do to cope with your illness.
  • Inpatient Unit: This is the name of the unit where you will stay while in the hospital. It has bedrooms and a living area. Sometimes the door of this unit is locked.
  • Intensive Outpatient Program: This is when you come to the unit for 3 hours of group treatment usually 3 times a week.
  • Meals: You will eat your meals on the unit or in the cafeteria with other patients.
  • Partial Care Program: This is when you come to the unit during the day or evening to be treated. After you are treated you can return home.
  • Personal Belongings: When you are admitted to the unit the staff will search your belongings for anything that may be harmful to you or others. This search is done to keep you and the staff safe. Any belongings brought to you during your stay will also be searched. You should not keep more than 5 with you.
  • Psychiatrist: This is a medical doctor who works in the area of mental health. The psychiatrist is in charge of ordering your medicine. You may work closely with this doctor or another caregiver.
  • Quiet Room: This is an empty room used for patients who need to have time out in a safe place. You may be put here if caregivers are concerned you may hurt yourself or others.
  • Release of Information Form: This is a legal paper that lets caregivers share information with those listed on this form. You will need to sign this form before any information will be released to persons outside the hospital.
  • Restraints: These are leather bands that may be placed on your wrists or ankles. They are attached to something (chair or bed) so you cannot hurt yourself or others. Restraints are used only if you are out of control.
  • Right to Privacy: Information that you share with your caregivers will be kept in confidence among hospital caregivers. They will not share information with others without your permission.
  • Seclusion: This is when you need to be locked in the quiet room because you are out of control. The door is locked because you will not stay in the room. Caregivers will closely watch you while you are in seclusion. You may come out of seclusion when caregivers feel you will not hurt yourself or others.
  • Sharps: You will not be allowed to keep any sharp items with you. Sharp items may include scissors, nail files, razors, or glass. Ask a caregiver if you need to use one of these items. They will be kept in the staff office.
  • Therapist/Staff: This is a caregiver who works closely with you while you are being treated. This person may be a psychiatrist, psychologist, nurse, mental health counselor, or social worker.
  • Time Out: This is time spent away from other people. This is usually needed when you are not able to control your behavior. You may be put in time out if your behavior is affecting others. Time out may be in your room or another room.
  • Treatment Planning Meeting: These are times when caregivers meet to plan your care. You and your family may be asked to come to this meeting.

Further information

Always consult your healthcare provider to ensure the information displayed on this page applies to your personal circumstances.

Learn more about Mood Disorders (Inpatient Care)

Associated drugs

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