Mood Disorders

Understanding And Diagnosing Mood Disorders

Mood disorders are psychological or biological conditions in which the main symptom and characteristic of the condition is the patient’s mood. Most people are at least somewhat familiar with a few of the major types of mood disorders, even if they’ve never thought of these conditions as mood disorders. Some common examples are:

  • Clinical depression
  • Seasonal affective disorder (sometimes abbreviated SAD)
  • Bipolar disorder (also known as manic depressive disorder)

People with mood disorders often go through periods which can be described as manic, depressive or both in the case of bipolar disorder, and these episodes can cause unusual or socially unacceptable behavior in the patient. In addition, many people with mood disorders experience a lower quality of life, particularly those with depression.

If you have a mood disorder or if you believe that a family member has one of these disorders, it’s very important to seek help right away. There has been a tremendous amount of modern psychiatric research into the mechanisms of mood disorders, and as such, there are a lot of new and effective ways to treat these conditions.

Signs Of Depression And Other Mood Disorders

There are a number of symptoms that can indicate the need for psychological counseling due to the existence of a mood disorder. It’s important to always keep the definition of a mood disorder in mind: it’s a condition that affects the mood of a patient. Persons with depressive conditions will often have periods in which they’re unresponsive, withdrawn, sad, or angry. Manic persons may be extremely irritable or energetic.

Some mood disorders are very dangerous in that they can cause a person develop suicidal tendencies. For that reason, mood disorders and especially depression need to be diagnosed by a physician, but recognizing the symptoms of these conditions is an important responsibility for family members and persons with mood disorders.

Mood Conditions: Getting Treatment

The treatment options for patients with mood disorders largely depends on the exact type of disorder that the person has and its cause. Mood disorders caused by a recent life event will usually be treated completely therapeutically, while biological mood disorders usually require some combination of medication and therapy.

Medications for mood disorders work by inhibiting or enabling the release of certain chemicals, which can cause or cease manic and depressive episodes. Antidepressants and other medications can affect the severity and length of episodes and can help to stabilize patients who have had serious issues with their mood disorders.

Therapists work to confront the issues of depression, mania, and hypermania and can give a patient the necessary tools to confront the condition in a healthy way. Regular therapy and group therapy sessions may be used. Therapists may use several methods, and treatment can take anywhere from a few months to many years. In some cases, therapy is recommended for the patient’s entire life, as therapy and counseling has proven to be a very effective method for dealing with mood disorders. The costs of therapy are manageable depending on the psychiatrist or psychologist. Many free or income-based programs are available.

If you or someone you know struggles with a mood disorder, seek treatment from a psychologist, psychiatrist, or another registered therapist. Look for a person with a graduate or postgraduate degree and a history of work in mental health. Mood disorders can be managed with the help of modern medicine and psychology, so there’s no reason to live with the potentially dangerous aspects of these conditions.


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