The Mood and Anxiety Disorders Program at Baylor Medicine is committed to caring for those with mood and anxiety disorders and to discovering new, innovative, therapies for patients suffering from treatment-resistant mood disorders in order to improve the quality of life for these individuals and their families. The program pursues excellence in patient-oriented research, clinical care and education, and strives to share knowledge with community partners.
About Anxiety and Mood Disorders
Anxiety is a normal reaction to stress. Difficult situations can cause you to have symptoms such as sweaty palms and a nervous feeling.
In an anxiety disorder, a type of mental illness, the symptoms are far more severe. Anxiety is an uncomfortable feeling of fear, uneasiness, or concern that something bad is about to happen.Constant worry, muscle tension, trouble sleeping, nausea and diarrhea, and other symptoms can make normal daily activities difficult or impossible. These symptoms may occur for no reason, and they can affect your work, school, or social life.
Anxiety disorders include:
- Generalized anxiety disorder. You feel worried and stressed about many everyday events and activities. You have a hard time stopping your worrying. This goes on for several months and disrupts your life, relationships and work on most days.
- Panic disorders. Panic disorder is a pattern of repeated, unexpected panic attacks. Panic attacks are sudden, strong feelings of fear or anxiety along with symptoms like shortness of breath, dizziness, or a pounding heart.
- Social anxiety disorder. You feel very anxious about what you will say or do in front of people. For example, you may be scared to talk or eat in public. This problem affects your daily life.
- Phobias. You are very scared of a specific object, situation, or activity. For example, you may fear spiders, high places, or small spaces.
Mood disorders are medical problems that affect how you feel. They can impact your moods, thoughts, and actions. Mood disorders include:
- Depression. This causes you to feel sad or hopeless for much of the time.
- Bipolar disorder. This causes extreme mood changes from manic episodes of very high energy to extreme lows of depression.
- Seasonal affective disorder (SAD). This is a type of depression that affects you during the same season each year. Most often people experience SAD during the fall and winter months when days are shorter and there is less light.
Generally mood disorders and anxiety can be treated with medicines or psychotherapy, or a combination of both. Our clinic now includes repetitive transcranial stimulation (rTMS), an FDA-approved therapy for the treatment of medication resistant major depressive disorder. Furthermore, through our close collaboration with neurosurgical department, we are the first center in the South Central United States to use DBS in the treatment of obsessive compulsive disorder and medication resistant depression.
- Outpatient Evaluation and Assessment
- Medication Management
- Brain Stimulation Therapies
- Clinical Trials
- Telepsych Services
The type of psychotherapy (aka therapy or counseling) employed depends on continuing evaluation and feedback, the issue the patient wishes to address and the patient-therapist dynamic. A blended approach may be used to best suit the patient. The goal is always to help individuals understand their illness and teach them strategies and tools to help manage unhealthy thoughts and behaviors.
Our team uses evidence-based therapies, including cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) and dialectical behavioral therapy (DBT).
Brain Stimulation Therapies
Repetitive transcranial magnetic stimulation or rTMS is an extremely safe and effective medical treatment for certain psychiatric disorders. The patient is awake and the procedure takes place in the doctor's office. rTMS may work when other treatments are unsuccessful.
rTMS works by producing changes in neuronal activity in regions of the brain implicated in mood regulation, such as the prefrontal cortex.
The rTMS protocol involves the application of magnetic pulses to target specific brain areas, with the aim of restoring optimal brain function. rTMS treatment is administered over a period of 5-6 weeks, in 20-minute sessions, Monday through Friday. The rTMS treatment is covered by most insurance plans.