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Diseases and Conditions
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Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences

Diseases and Conditions

The Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences at Montefiore Medical Center treats a number of diseases and conditions, including:

Mood Disorders

There mood disorders include disorders that have a disturbance in mood as the predominant feature. These include:

  • Major Depressive Disorder
    Nearly 19 million American adults suffer from Major Depressive Disorder, (commonly referred to as simply Depression), a mood disorder characterized by feelings of sadness, helplessness, hopelessness and irritability. Major Depressive Disorder can also affect how people eat and sleep, their level of attention and concentration, and how they feel about themselves and perceive the world around them. Treatment for depression varies, but often includes medication and some form of psychotherapy (e.g., cognitive behavioral therapy, interpersonal psychotherapy, psychodynamic psychotherapy), or a combination of the two.
  • Dysthymic Disorder
    Characterized by at least 2 years of depressed mood for more days than not and accompanied by additional depressive symptoms that do not meet criteria for a Major Depressive Disorder (see above). People with this disorder often describe their mood as sad or "down in the dumps" and having "low self-esteem."
  • Bipolar Disorder
    Bipolar disorder, also known as manic depression, is a mood disorder characterized by periodic episodes of extreme elation, elevated mood, or irritability (also called mania) that may alternate with periods of sadness and other classic depressive symptoms.

Anxiety Disorders

There are several different types of anxiety disorders that professional treatment can ease. These include:

  • Panic Disorder (with or without Agoraphobia)-Characterized by recurrent, unexpected panic attacks, about which there is persistent concern. Agoraphobia is anxiety about, or avoidance of, places or situations from which escape might be difficult (or embarrassing) or in which help may not be available in the event of having a panic attack or panic-like symptoms.
  • Social Anxiety Disorder-Characterized by significant anxiety that is provoked by exposure to certain types of social or performance situations, often leading to avoidance behavior.
  • Generalized Anxiety Disorder—Characterized by chronic and exaggerated worry, seemingly without a specific cause or source.
  • Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD)—Patients with OCD have unreasonable fears or worries that they try to control or dispel through ritualized activity or obsessive thoughts.
  • Post-Traumatic Stress (PTSD) – This debilitating condition that generally follows a terrifying physical or emotional event. Patients with PTSD often have persistent, frightening thoughts or flashbacks of the original trauma.
  • Phobias – A phobia is an uncontrollable, irrational, and persistent fear of a specific object, situation, or activity.

Schizophrenia and Other Psychotic Disorders

Schizophrenia is a complex mental health disorder and brain disease characterized by psychotic symptoms and behaviors that last for at least 6 months. The exact cause of schizophrenia, but some people may be genetically susceptible. Symptoms vary from person to person, but commonly include delusions, hallucinations, disorganized speech and/or behavior, and emotional unresponsiveness,.

Substance-Related Disorders

Dependence on alcohol or drugs is considered to be a serious disorder that can take over aspects of a person's life unless treatment is sought. Dependence is characterized by an inability to stop using alcohol or other substance despite the use causing significant substance-related problems. Being dependent on a substance can interfere with many aspects of peoples' lives and can ruin personal relationships and careers.