Mood Disorders

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As many as 19 million Americans million are affected by mood disorders ( The two main types of mood disorders are bipolar disorder and major depressive disorder which are described as disturbances in mood, behavior and emotion.“ Bipolar disorder is a complex disorder in which the core feature is pathological disturbance in mood ranging from extreme elation, or mania, to severe depression usually accompanied by disturbances in thinking and behavior, which may include psychotic symptoms, such as delusions and hallucinations” (Craddock, Jones 1999). Major depressive disorder or unipolar depression is characterized by a consistent low mood and lack of interest in things typically enjoyed .A second classification of major depressive disorder, is dysthymic disorder which is a chronic but less severe form of major depression (John W. Santrock 2007). Also major depression has many subgroups including seasonal affect disorder and postpartum depression. While there are many treatment options for the symptoms of mood disorders and promising scientific research, much is still unknown about a disorder that affects so many lives. According to Dinsmoor, R. S. &ump; Odle, T. G. (2009), bipolar depression refers to a condition in which people experience two extremes in mood. The bipolar spectrum includes; bipolar I, bipolar 2, bipolar NOS (not otherwise specified) and cyclothymia and all are related to disturbances in mood but differ in severity of symptoms. They are differentiated by the “impact the symptoms have on the person’s social or occupational function” (Duckworth &ump; Sachs 2011). Typically bipolar I is more severe than bipolar II and bipolar II is more severe than Cyclothymia, which is a more chronic unstable mood state in which the “highs” are not as high and the “lows” are not as low.(Duckworth &ump; Sachs 2011) Mood swings associated with bipolar disorder are identified as depression, mania and hypomania (a less severe form of mania). In bipolar depression patients alternate between mania (and hypo-mania) as well as depression. These patients switch from a low mood to a frenzied abnormal elevation in mood .A manic episode is, “a period of excessive euphoria, inflated self-esteem, wild optimism and hyperactivity, often accompanied by delusions of grandeur and hostility if activity is blocked” (Dinsmoor, R. S. &ump; Odle, T. G. 2009). According Samuel E. Wood (2011), while manic, “they may waste large sums of money on get-rich-quick schemes and if family members or friends try to stop them they are likely to become hostile, enraged, or even dangerous; they might even harm themselves, so quite often they must be hospitalized during manic episodes to protect them and others from the disastrous consequences of their poor judgment”. Depressed bipolar patients show low self-esteem and prolonged feelings of sadness. They may withdraw from friends and family, as well as activities they use to enjoy. Loss of energy and excessive anxiety are also common. They may experience changes in eating or sleeping habits as well as a more serious symptom, thoughts of suicide. (Duckworth,K &ump; Sachs,G 2011). Every individual with bipolar experience is different, and they may have all of the symptoms or just select symptoms. Whichever symptoms bipolar people are experiencing they can often interfere with personality, work, school and social functioning. The causes of and triggers for a person with bipolar disorder are not completely known. Individual experiences vary and there are significant differences in severity, many hypothesized causes, and very few concrete answers. On set of bipolar disorder typically appears in late adolescence or early adulthood ( S.E.Wood et al 2011). According to Craddock and Jones (1999), the mean age of onset for both men and women is at 21 years of age. Research indicates that the disorder is caused by a combination of factors including;...
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