Psychological disorders have been prevalent throughout time and have been recorded since the time of the ancient Greeks. Once thought to be the expression of the devil on earth, psychologists have discovered that there are many causes to why people may develop psychological disorders. While there are biological, psychoanalytic, cognitive, and behavioral methods to explain these disorders, it is more likely that a combination of many leads to psychological disorders.
Mood disorders are often characterized by disturbances in one's actual mood (or prolonged emotional state), and are sometimes referred to as "affect" disorders. Mood disorders incorporate such disorders as depression, (both major depressive disorder and dysthemia), psychoticism, mania, and bipolar disorders.
One method that attempts to address the causes of mood disorders is the biological approach. First, there is overwhelming evidence that genetic factors play an important role in the development of depression, particularly bipolar disorder. This has been discovered primarily through the use of twin studies, as there is evidence that if one twin is depressed, there is a strong predisposition for the other twin to be so as well. In addition, mood disorders have also been linked to certain chemical imbalances in the brain, primarily to both high and low levels of neurotransmitters (serotonin and norepinephrine). However, there is really no firm evidence linking high or low levels of neurotransmitters to an increased risk for mood disorders: this imbalance could actually be caused by stressful life events. Nevertheless, the biological research for mood disorders is promising and has been helpful in leading to a discovery for medications to treat these disorders.
Another approach to the cause of mood disorders is the cognitive approach. Research has focused on the contribution of maladaptive "cognitive distortion" in recent years. According to Aaron Beck, some... [continues]
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