Mood Disorders

1 What are Mood Disorders?

Your general emotional state or mood is distorted or inconsistent with your circumstances if you have mood disorder.

Some of the examples are:

  • major depressive disorder when it is prolonged and at the same time persistent of extreme sadness,
  • bipolar disorder or manic depression or bipolar affective disorder that occurs when you are extremely sad (depression) and extremely happy (mania),
  • seasonal affective disorder or SAD that occurs when there is a fewer hours of daylight in the far northern and southern latitudes from late fall to early spring,
  • Cyclothymic disorder that causes emotional ups and downs but less extreme than the bipolar disorder,
  • premenstrual dysphoric disorder occurs during the premenstrual phase of a woman’s cycle with mood changes and irritability and will go away with an onset menses,
  • persistent depressive disorder or dysthymia is a form of depression that is long term or chronic,
  • disruptive mood dysregulation disorder which is severe, persistent and chronic in children that make them outbursts their temper depending on the child’s age,
  • depression related to medical illness is persistent and loss of pleasure in most activities that is related to physical effects.

Psychotherapy is used for these disorders as well as medications.

2 Symptoms

The signs and symptoms of mood disorder may vary depending on what type of mood disorder do you have and the severity of it.

Some of the symptoms are:

  • hopelessness,
  • feeling of sadness,
  • inadequacy that doesn't go away,
  • suicidal thoughts,
  • guilt,
  • changes in appetite,
  • fatigue,
  • difficulty concentrating,
  • irritability,
  • trouble engaging in physical tasks and relationships.

This can also cause an elevated mood that is accompanied by feelings of extreme energy, grandiosity, heightened arousal.

3 Causes

the cause of mood disorder is not fully understood but an imbalance in the brain chemicals known as neurotransmitters may likely play a role. Mood disorder can occur in anyone even in children.

Also mood disorders may be related to substance abuse, life events and other medical conditions.

4 Making a Diagnosis

If you suspect that you have a mood disorder or that your child may have a mood disorder, visit your doctor right away to receive a diagnosis. Ask a family member or a friend to go with you. Bring a notebook to list down the important details that you and the doctor will discuss. Write down the medications, supplements and vitamins that you are taking. Some of the questions that you might ask are:

  • What kind of mood disorder do I have based on my symptoms?
  • What’s likely causing my symptoms?
  • Is this long term?
  • Are there any treatments?
  • Are there any medications that you will recommend?
  • Will this affect my lifestyle?
  • How will I respond to this?
  • Is this hereditary?

Your doctor will ask you questions such as:

  • What are your symptoms?
  • When did you first notice it?
  • Are they triggered by anything or anyone?
  • Is it occasional or consistent?
  • Do you have a family history of mood disorder?

After talking with your doctor, he may do some tests such as: physical exam to identify any medical problem; psychological evaluation in which you will talk to your doctor about your feelings, thought and behavior patterns; mood charting, your doctor may keep a record of your sleep pattern, moods and other factors.

5 Treatment

Mood disorders may be treated by:

  • antidepressant and mood stabilizing medications that may work well especially in the treatment of depression,
  • family therapy to nurture change and development,
  • psychotherapy that focuses on changing the person’s distorted view of himself and his environment, it can also helps in identifying stressors in the environment or how to avoid them and it helps in improving interpersonal relationship skills,
  • transcranial stimulation to stimulate nerve cells in the brain to improve the symptoms of mood disorder,
  • electroconvulsive therapy that can quickly reverse the symptoms.

6 Prevention

There is no known way to prevent mood disorders. But improving or reversing the symptoms of mood disorder, early diagnosis and treatment can also reduce the severity of the symptoms:

  • pay attention to warning signs to prevent episodes from getting worse,
  • avoid alcohol and drugs so that the symptoms will not worsen,
  • take your medication on time.

7 Alternative and Homeopathic Remedies

There are several remedies that are available that can be selected because of the cause and symptoms of the mood disorder. Ask a qualified homeopathic doctor first before taking any.

Some of the remedies that are helpful in the treatment of disorder may include:

  • Anacardium,
  • Stramonium,
  • Belladonna,
  • Hyoscyamus,
  • Arsenic album.

8 Lifestyle and Coping

Lifestyle modifications are necessary in order to cope with mood disorders.

There are things that you need to do so that your behavior will not become worse.

This may include:

  • get regular physical activities and exercises, these can help you sleep and steady your mood,
  • avoid alcohol or drugs because this will have negative effects on your mood and behavior,
  • have enough sleep to manage your mood,
  • quit unhealthy relationships, surround yourself with good people who will not encourage you to do bad things.

9 Risks and Complications

Some of the risks that can act as a trigger for mood disorder are:

  • high stress,
  • alcohol or drug abuse,
  • if you have a family that’s been diagnosed in the past,
  • major life changes like death and traumatic experiences.
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