There are times when a person experiences certain highs and lows in his life. This is normal. Many of us experience such times. However, there are a few people who experience them in long periods of time and in greater intensity that their physical, mental and social states are already gravely affected. These then become mental disorders commonly called mood disorders. It is said that mood disorders affect 1 out of 8 persons from ages 18 and above. Mood disorders are often the cause of suicides in many countries across the globe.
Mood disorders are real and must not be mistaken simply as a normal mood swing. To be able to know the difference, learning mood disorder symptoms as well as causes of mood disorders is an integral factor. It could save a life.
Causes Of Mood Disorders
There are various causes for mood disorders while there are cases in which the cause cannot be determined. The most common causes of mood disorders are:
• An imbalance of the chemical in the brain called neurotransmitters. These chemicals are known to influence moods.
• A medical condition inherited from a parent. If your parents have mood disorders, you have a higher risk of getting them too.
• Abuse and trauma can cause mood disorders when not managed
• Life changes like a loss of a loved one can trigger mood disorders among people.
• Substance abuse can also affect the brain chemicals which can cause mood disorders. This is called substance induced mood disorder.
• Hormonal imbalances could also lead to mood disorders
Types Of Mood Disorders And Their Symptoms
Many causes of mood disorders cannot be avoided thus it makes any of us susceptible to this condition. The best thing to do is observe and know the symptoms so we can find early treatment for mood disorders; the earlier the diagnosis the better. So look out for the following symptoms and check with the doctor as early as possible. There are also various types of mood disorders. Each one has a set of symptoms that one must look out for.
1. Bipolar Disorder
This type of mood disorder is commonly caused by genetics. Also called manic-depressive disorder, bipolar disorder is characterized by extreme depression and heightened mania. It is a common cause for suicides. It can also result to broken relationships, poor job and school performances. Other symptoms include: For the manic phase or heightened excitement.
• Euphoria or extreme happiness that is unjustified
• Periodic psychosis or detachment from reality
• Aggressiveness to the point that the person doesn’t acknowledge danger
• Hyperactivity and heightened sexual desires
• Rapid speech, shopping sprees and sudden increase in physical activity
For the depressive state
• Lack of concentration
• Easily irritated and agitated
• Suicidal tendencies
• Crying without any apparent reason
• Loneliness and grave feeling of guilt
• Lack of sleep and fatigue
• Inactivity and lack of desire to live
2. Major Depression Also Known As Clinical Depression
This is another type of mood disorder that is caused by a major change in one’s life. For instance, loss of a loved one can cause extreme grief that could lead to clinical depression. Abuse, sexual assault as well as neglect can also cause major depression in teens and adults of both sexes. Symptoms of clinical depression are as follows:
• Long periods of grief
• Worthlessness and the lack of drive to live
• Loss of appetite
• Fatigue and lack of sleep
• Long periods of depression that could last 2 weeks
• Loss of interest on almost anything
• Noticeable weight loss
• Suicidal thoughts
3. Dysthymic Disorder
Dysthymic disorder is another type of a mood disorder that affects almost 5% of the entire population. Though this type of disorder is characterized by a mild depression, it could still greatly affect the patient as well as the people around him. It is known that Dysthymic disorder is more common in women than in men. It can also occur with other types of mood disorders or other forms of mental illness. People who have poor coping abilities as well as those who have isolated themselves from the rest have high tendencies to get this kind of mood disorder. Chronic fatigue or stress was also cited as one of the major causes of dysthymic disorder. Let us examine the symptoms of this type of mood disorder.
• Either has a poor appetite or eats too much
• Has low self-esteem and tend to self-pity
• Sleeping at night is a struggle and often sleeps during the day which leads to unproductivity
• Feeling hopeless and helpless
• Always tired and doesn’t have zest about life
Treatment For Mood Disorders
Mood disorders, no matter how mild or severe needs to be treated. A lot of lives have already been claimed by mood disorders and most of the time these deaths are caused by suicides. The following are seen as common treatments to thwart mood disorders:
• Social Therapies – These are commonly used toward patients who have high tendencies to isolate themselves from the crowd. Social therapies help the victim get in touch with other people. Social therapies aim to lessen the mental burden and social insecurities of a victim.
• Medications – There are drugs and medicines used to treat mood disorders. These medications calm the nerves or make the patient sleep. They also help stabilize the hormones that may cause these mood disorders.
• Psychotherapy – This is also known as “talk therapy” wherein the patient talks with a therapist. Through this treatment, the therapist will understand the patient and be able to recommend other forms of treatment if needed.