Mood Disorders in Washington State

Some people who have a drug or alcohol addiction may also suffer from mood disorders. Mood disorders can be a major hindrance to treatment efforts designed to help people overcome addiction. Major depressive disorder and generalized anxiety disorder are two types of mood disorders that can negatively impact addiction recovery efforts.

When a person is in these emotional states, they often self-medicate using drugs or alcohol. Ironically, abusing these substances only makes the mood disorder worse. But, Free by the Sea strives to help individuals to identify and deal with the mood disorders that co-occur with substance abuse. Located in the State of Washington, our treatment center is dedicated to helping those suffering from addiction as they pursue sobriety and freedom.

Dual Diagnosis: Addiction and Mental Health Disorders

Substance abuse problems and psychological disorders are connected. The interrelatedness of the two problems is often referred to as a dual diagnosis. As there is no shortage of substances that a person can abuse, there are also numerous psychological and emotional disorders. In many situations, both play a significant role in getting a dual diagnosis.

Treatment begins after a team of professionals has determined the diagnosis. It can take some time to design the appropriate treatment plan and is a multi-step process. Because of this, many treatment facilities will put their efforts into identifying a primary disorder. All other illnesses that exist get ignored.

However, here at Free by the Sea, we do not take this approach. We are aware of the benefits a dual diagnosis treatment program can have on a person. A dual diagnosis program is a necessary part of successful recovery journeys for those who suffer from co-occurring disorders. Individuals who seek total healing and freedom from addiction should seek help from a professional rehab center that offers treatment for dual diagnoses.

This is mainly due to the fact that co-occurring disorders should be treated simultaneously. If one disorder remains untreated, there is a strong chance that the person will relapse. Focusing only on treating the primary diagnosis allows the emotional issues to hide behind the drug or alcohol abuse. Treating the diagnoses at the same time is of the utmost importance. Using this approach will help ensure recovery and prevent relapse.

There are three psychological or emotional illnesses that are commonly found in people with substance abuse issues. These include mood disorders, anxiety disorders, and trauma.

An Overview of Mood Disorders

Mood disorders are disorders that impact an individual’s emotions and feelings every day. Those who suffer from mood disorders tend to frequently experience changes in their moods and emotional states.

Before learning about the different types of mood disorders, it is important to focus on the meaning and definition of a mood disorder and how it affects people. Simply put, a mood is the way an individual feels, thinks, and ultimately behaves.

Mood disorders affect the way people think about themselves and others. They also impact an individual’s general thoughts and feelings about life. There are several types of mood disorders, including depression, dysthymic disorder, and bipolar disorder.


Those who suffer from depression often experience low moods. Depression is characterized by intense, severe, and even debilitating feelings of sadness. Individuals who struggle with depression frequently feel irritable. Feelings of hopelessness, helplessness, and guilt are also common symptoms of depression.

Depression can also cause people to lose interest in and even avoid the things they once enjoyed. This mood disorder can also have negative mental and cognitive effects. Sometimes, those who suffer from depression have memory problems or experience difficulty focusing and concentrating.

Individuals may also have issues sleeping properly or getting enough rest. Or, they may sleep much more than they usually do. Similarly, people with depression might eat more or less than usual. Chronic tiredness also frequently occurs with depression.

Bipolar Disorder

Those who suffer from bipolar disorder encounter 3 different types of moods. These include one’s normal or regular emotional state, manic episodes, and depressive periods. In other words, individuals who have bipolar disorder may feel normal at times. But, then periods of mania or depression will occur.

While experiencing a period of depression, an individual will feel sad, helpless, hopeless, guilty, and irritable. These depressive moods can be very difficult to work through. Individuals may have a lack of motivation, losing interest in the things that usually matter to them.

Manic periods can be very extreme for those who experience them. Mania is characterized by intense rushes of energy. Sometimes, mania can cause people to feel more powerful and have a sense of grandiose. They may take risks and engage in dangerous behaviors, including risky sexual activity, or spending money excessively.

During manic episodes, people may go without a healthy amount of sleep for lack of tiredness. Some may feel extremely and perhaps unnaturally happy while others may feel severely irritable. Racing, fast-moving thoughts often occur during periods of mania.


This mood disorder is very similar to depression. It affects people in many of the same ways in which depression impacts people. However, those who suffer from dysthymia will likely experience these symptoms in a much milder form. But, the symptoms may persist for longer lengths of time.

Anxiety Disorders

Anxiety can co-occur with other mood disorders. Many individuals suffer from anxiety and its symptoms while also struggling with the effects of other mental or emotional health challenges.

Some people constantly live in a constant state of panic. People with anxiety disorder often appear to be restless and have difficulty sleeping. When they do get to sleep, they experience nightmares. People with anxiety disorders often have headaches and an upset stomach.

 Some of the most common anxiety disorders include the following:

  • Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder (OCD): People with this often engage in intrusive, ritualistic behavior. For example, a person with a fear of germs will repeatedly wash their hands in an attempt to remove germs that may or may not exist.
  • Panic Disorders: People with this disorder will experience a sudden feeling of terror even with no real threat present. The fear can manifest itself physically when sufferers experience an increased heart rate, dizziness, and tightness in their chest.
  • Phobia: One in ten people have some type of phobia. Phobias are irrational fears associated with certain situations or objects. If the sufferer is in the presence of a trigger, they will feel a strong sense of anxiety.


Trauma can also impact the lives of those who also suffer from mood disorders. A traumatic life event can cause a person to have psychological and substance abuse issues. Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) is caused by traumatic situations and affects how a sufferer reacts to normal situations.

Substance Abuse Complicates and Mood Disorders

Individuals living with bipolar disorder, depression, or other types of mood disorders often try to alleviate the pain by self-medicating using drugs and alcohol. Also, some individuals may use alcohol or drugs during manic episodes.

People with mood disorders often feel alone and without solutions. A significant number of people will use alcohol or drugs as a coping mechanism. Even though self-medication never yields positive results, people will try to use this method as a solution to their problems. However, when the underlying psychological issues are not treated, self-medication will become abuse.

But at Free by the Sea, we understand how a person’s social, physical, mental, and spiritual health is adversely impacted by the combination of psychological disorders and the abuse of drugs and alcohol. To adequately treat addiction, we must also treat a person’s mind and spirit. Even though circumstances may be different from one person to the next, there is something that will never change.

A Multi-Therapy Approach to Treatment

Our treatment process does not only involve medical treatment and therapy; it emphasizes the use of expressive therapies. This approach allows our clients to set positive goals that will prevent relapse. Free by the Sea does not force our clients through the recovery process.

The connection between substance abuse and psychological disorders produces damaging results. However, our treatment approach can help people in the recovery process by helping them turn away from behaviors that facilitate addictive conditions. We deal with each component of dual diagnoses simultaneously to achieve the best recovery results.

We allow our clients to move gradually toward recovery. Our clients learn more about themselves and addiction in a manner that does not make them feel anxious. We offer one of the best treatment programs, and our staff has knowledge and experience dealing with dual diagnoses. It is our goal to help individuals through their recovery process to find their inner strength.

Is Free by the Sea the Right Place for You?

Our facility, located in the state of Washington, is both beautiful and inviting. We strive to provide a safe and comfortable environment for those who need help overcoming their struggles with addiction. Our team believes that creating a warm and welcoming atmosphere where people can feel at home is the first step to helping individuals prepare for their recovery journeys.

Here at Free by the Sea, you will find that we are truly committed to your overall wellbeing. We work to not only encourage freedom and healing from addiction, but we also work to help bring healing to the other areas of your life.

So, if you are suffering from co-occurring mental health disorders or mood disorders, we are here to help you! Our compassionate and knowledgeable team of therapists and counseling specialists will work tirelessly to help you gain control of your life.

Whether you are suffering from alcoholism, heroin abuse, cocaine misuse, or any other type of addiction in addition to a mood disorder, please know that we are absolutely dedicated to walking beside you.

You have many reasons to enter a rehab program and put an end to your addiction. Addiction is a vicious cycle that will destroy every aspect of your life. If you allow the addiction to continue, you will eventually become consumed by it. But this doesn’t have to be your story!

Please contact us today to get more information on how Free by the Sea can help you regain your life. Free by the Sea is a nationally recognized rehab facility located in the State of Washington. We provide drug and alcohol rehabilitation to women and men who require help in treating their mood disorders.

Please do not hesitate to contact us if you need assistance in treating your mood disorder. We look forward to supporting and guiding you as you progress toward a healthy life!