About Mood Disorders
Mood disorders are also known as affective disorders. Feelings of happiness and sadness can be more exaggerated or pronounced than normal. These conditions include a wider range of disorders such as bipolar disorder, depression and more. Statistically speaking, mood disorders account for about seven percent of the nationwide population. Many could either experience a mood disorder or know someone in his or her circle who does, making the need for treatment and awareness as important as ever.
Experiencing depression, especially for great lengths of time, can increase the odds of suicide attempts or related behavior. Yet it is important to not stereotype those who do attempt suicide as having a mental disorder. Different life circumstances can cause a wide number of reasons for person to feel driven to such extremes. Empathy and compassion will be important at this time. Certain statements should never be made to a person who states he or she is suicidal. For instance, attempting to make a suicidal person feel guilty for not more readily accepting how others feel could often make matters worse.
Clinical depression (i.e. anhedonia, the bloom is off the rose, the glass is half empty)
Those with clinical depression will experience a number of emotions and thoughts that can lead to undesirable circumstances as a result. Some will not seek treatment for this disorder, as he or she could fear they will be stigmatized as a result. Of course, many health professionals will already be sensitive to these specialized needs, yet the fear could be members of the public becoming aware of mental illness. Others could believe treatment is not necessary because he or she is in denial that it is not serious enough a matter. Still others suffering from clinical depression will turn to substance abuse as a means of coping with such mental health complications. This can in turn lead to cases of dual diagnosis, in which co-occurring disorders and addictions will need to be treated.
There is also cyclothymic disorder, which is somewhat less severe than some other mood disorders. Mood swings will take place between hypomania and depression. The onset is often difficult to spot in many cases. Symptoms often begin in person’s teens or twenties, when adult maturity is being reached. The pattern of mood elevation will not necessarily be easy to predict. However, elevated mood will not seem intense enough to be categorized as mania. Some who have more subtle forms of the illness could still be quite functional and successful in their lives. Others could be less willing to commit to treatment, perhaps because they especially enjoy periods of mood elevation. However, relationships with others will often be weakened due to the instability and unpredictability.
The importance of psychotherapy
In many different cases of mood disorders, psychotherapy is often seen as a highly effective form of treatment. This talk therapy can allow patients an opportunity to express their experiences to the best of their ability. Clearly, one role of the mental health professional will be to help the patient better understand how and why he or she acts as he or she does. There can be the real possibility of having a thorough and enlightening form of understanding about the disorder and how to best cope. Such insight can prove valuable for a wide range of patients, whether the symptoms are depression or mania.
The significance of proper medication
Of course, finding the right balance of medications will also be quite important. Perhaps the patient will have been using controlled substances as a form of self-medication for a disorder. Yet this will obviously not be a real and lasting solution. Those facing substance abuse troubles will first undergo a detox period in which physical dependence will be dealt with professionally. Eventually, the client can instead be prescribed anti-anxiety or antidepressant medication.
In some cases, the dosage will need to increase gradually so that a patient is not thrown off by any unwanted side effects for instance. There could also be great risks if a patient decides to stop taking medication without first notifying his or her doctor. Oftentimes, weaning off of such medications will be the preferred option to better guarantee the continued stability of a patient.
Group and family therapy
Those with mood disorders can also benefit from group therapy, in which he or she can have the opportunity to learn from others about forms of treatment that could also benefit their case. Family therapy can also help by allowing for better facilitating communication between relatives on such matters. Though it’s not hard to see how mental illness can contribute to family dysfunction, mental disorder can be better dealt with by keeping the lines of communication healthy and open.