Mood and Personality Disorder Treatment

Sometimes it is difficult to tell the difference between mental health conditions—especially with a mood disorder and personality disorder. To tell the difference between the two, we need to identify the pattern of symptoms they cause. Mood & Personality Disorder treatments are most effective with a combination of therapy and medication. However, the specific types of treatment that work best will depend on the individual. Talking with a mental health professional about your condition is the first step of getting the appropriate mood and personality disorder treatment.

In 2017, 24.1% of people with a personality disorder also had a mood disorder. [1] This happens because the instability of self-image or relationships—which is common for people with personality disorders—can trigger depression. In fact, this can also increase the risk of substance addiction, which is another depression trigger.

Mood and Personality Disorder Treatment
We Level Up NJ is an accredited treatment center.

What are Mood Disorders?

Mood disorders cause emotional highs or lows that last for days, weeks, or for a longer period. Your emotions are more intense than normal when you have this mental illness. Many factors contribute to mood disorders. They are likely caused by an imbalance of brain chemicals. Life events (such as stressful life changes) may also contribute to a depressed mood. Moreover, mood disorders also tend to run in families.

Types of Mood Disorders for Mood and Personality Disorder Treatment

  • Depression: Depression is the most common mood disorder. It is characterized by feelings of hopelessness and worthlessness over at least two weeks. Depression can be triggered by life events such as losing a job or a loved one.
  • Bipolar Disorder: Individuals experience periods of depression and mania with this disorder. Manic episodes may include symptoms like having high energy, reduced need for sleep, and loss of touch with reality. During the depressive episodes, you may have low energy, loss of interest in daily activities, and low motivation. Mood episodes last days to months and may also be associated with suicidal thoughts.
  • Dysthymia: This is a chronic, low-grade, depressed, or irritable mood that lasts for at least 2 years.
  • Mood Disorder related to another health condition: Many medical illnesses (including cancer, injuries, infections, and chronic illnesses) can trigger symptoms of depression.
  • Substance-Induced Mood Disorder: Symptoms of depression that are because of medicine, drug abuse, alcoholism, exposure to toxins, or other forms of treatment. [2]

Symptoms of Mood Disorder Mood and Personality Disorder Treatment:

According to The Johns Hopkins University, the following are the most common symptoms of a mood disorder:

  • Ongoing sad, anxious, or “empty” mood
  • Feeling hopeless or helpless
  • Having low self-esteem
  • Feeling inadequate or worthless
  • Excessive guilt
  • Repeating thoughts of death or suicide, wishing to die, or attempting suicide (Note: People with this symptom should get treatment right away!)
  • Loss of interest in usual activities or activities that were once enjoyed, including sex
  • Relationship problems
  • Trouble sleeping or sleeping too much
  • Changes in appetite and/or weight
  • Decreased energy
  • Trouble concentrating
  • A decrease in the ability to make decisions
  • Frequent physical complaints (for example, headache, stomachache, or tiredness) that do not get better with treatment
  • Running away or threats of running away from home
  • Extremely sensitive to failure or rejection
  • Irritability, hostility, or aggression

What are Personality Disorders?

It is generally thought that personality disorders are caused by events that occurred during childhood. These impactful events may include neglect, abuse, or abandonment. People with a personality disorder display more rigid thinking and reacting behaviors that make it hard for them to adapt to a situation. These behaviors often disrupt their personal, professional, and social lives. [3]

Common Types of Personality Disorders for Mood and Personality Disorder Treatment

According to Johns Hopkins Medicines, personality disorders are divided into 3 subtypes (or clusters), and include the following:

  • For odd/eccentric: Cluster
  • For dramatic/erratic: Cluster B
  • And, for anxious/inhibited: Cluster C

Examples of odd/eccentric (Cluster A) personality disorders

  • Paranoid personality disorder – If you are diagnosed with this disorder, you may also suffer from paranoia. Paranoia is an unrelenting mistrust and suspicion of others, even when there is no reason to be suspicious.
  • Schizoid personality disorder – It is an uncommon condition in which people avoid social activities and consistently shy away from interaction with others. You may also have a limited range of emotional expression with this disorder.
  • Schizotypal personality disorder – It can cause you to have disordered thinking, perception, and ineffective communication skills. Many symptoms of schizotypal personality disorder look like schizophrenia but are less intense and intrusive.

Examples of dramatic/erratic (Cluster B) personality disorders

  • Borderline personality disorder – This disorder impacts the way you think and feel about yourself and other. It includes self-image issues, difficulty managing emotions and behavior, and a pattern of unstable relationships.
  • Antisocial personality disorder – Those with antisocial personality disorder tend to lie, break laws, act impulsively and lack regard for their own safety or the safety of others.
  • Narcissistic personality disorder – People with this disorder present severely overly-inflated feelings of self-worth, grandness, and superiority over others. They are overly sensitive to criticism, judgment, and defeat.
  • Histrionic personality disorder – It is defined by the American Psychiatric Association as a personality disorder characterized by a pattern of excessive attention-seeking behaviors.

Examples of anxious/inhibited (Cluster C) personality disorders

  • Dependent personality disorder – You rely heavily on others for validation and fulfillment of basic needs. You cannot properly care for yourself. People with dependent personality disorder lack self-confidence and security.
  • Avoidant personality disorder – You are overly sensitive to rejection. Because of this, you avoid situations with any possible conflict. This reaction is fear-driven. With this disorder, you become disturbed by your own social isolation, withdrawal, and inability to form close, interpersonal relationships.
  • Obsessive-compulsive personality disorder – It is a mental illness that causes repeated unwanted thoughts or sensations (obsessions) or the urge to do something repeatedly (compulsions).

Mood Disorders vs. Personality Disorders

The most frequently confused disorders are bipolar disorder and borderline personality disorder/BDP. The reason is that both disorders lead to erratic and impulsive behavior. A bipolar person’s behavior can look a lot like the behavior of someone with BPD during a manic episode. And then, BPD also has a high risk of depression, which can look very much like the depressive episodes of someone with bipolar disorder.

Having a personality disorder can trigger a mood disorder, but the reverse situation does not happen. The foundation for a personality disorder is laid during childhood as it is during these years that a person’s personality is formed. On the other hand, the main feature of mood disorders is periods of emotional highs and/or lows.

Personality disorders can cause mood swings, but this is not the main symptom of personality disorders.
Individuals are often diagnosed with depression, but their doctor does not realize that their depression was a symptom of an underlying personality disorder. For this reason, a patient cannot receive sufficient treatment without a complete diagnosis.

Mood & Personality Disorder Treatments

The first step to treatment is an accurate diagnosis. And, whether it is a mood disorder or a personality disorder, getting the proper and complete diagnosis is extremely important.

Treatment for Mood Disorders

Mood disorders treatment may include:
  • Antidepressant and mood-stabilizing medicines – Medications have shown to work very well in the treatment of depression when combined with psychotherapy.
  • Psychotherapy – Most often cognitive-behavioral and/or interpersonal therapy. During psychotherapy, you learn about your condition and your moods, feelings, thoughts, and behaviors. It also helps to improve interpersonal relationship skills and identifying stressors in the environment and how to avoid them
  • Family Therapy – Families play a vital supportive role in any treatment process.
  • And, other therapies, such as Electroconvulsive Therapy and Transcranial Stimulation.

Treatment for Personality Disorders

Psychological and medical treatment is often helpful to keep the symptoms of personality disorders at bay. Your healthcare provider will determine the treatment for your specific personality disorder based on:

  • Your age
  • Overall health
  • Medical history

Treatment may include:

  • Medicine – Medicine works most effectively in combination with psychotherapy. You also need to be incredibly careful when taking medicines, to never take them incorrectly.
  • Psychological treatment – Including family involvement for a more successful treatment.

Dual Diagnosis for Mood and Personality Disorder Treatment

Comorbidity of personality disorders and substance use disorders is common in clinical practice. The review of the National Institute of Mental Health suggests that the overall prevalence of personality disorder ranges from 10% to 14.8% in the normal population and from 34.8% to 73.0% in patients treated for addictions. Even though the types of personality disorder seen in patients with drug and alcohol use disorder are similar, the prevalence of any personality disorder is higher among patients with drug use disorder than alcohol use disorder. [4]

40-60% of adults with a severe and persistent mental health disorder experienced drug & alcohol addiction. For this reason, We Level Up NJ Dual Diagnosis treatment center has developed a dual therapy program track. Providing a runway for more successful evidence-based modalities for clients suffering from co-existing disorders. Our treatment center is an accredited mood and personality disorder treatment center. Each component of these integrated programs is distinct, with diverse capabilities, and accommodates patients with various conditions from all over the USA.


[1] – National Institute of Mental Health
[2] Mood Disorders – Johns Hopkins Medicine
[3] Personality Disorders – Johns Hopkins Medicine
[4] – National Center for Biotechnology Information