MOOD DISORDERS

Mood fluctuations are completely normal. As we progress through the ups and downs of life, we’re bound to experience a myriad of emotions. It’s part of being human. However, debilitating sadness or sudden changes in mood are red flags. Compound this with a sense of inability to discuss such symptoms with family members or seek help, and you have the makings of a mental monster that can only grow more dangerous.

Described below are brief descriptions of two major mood disorders, depression and bipolar disorder. For your benefit, we have added links at the bottom of this page that contain more detailed information and/or relevant articles. As we’ve stressed consistently throughout the site, if you think you or someone you know is experiencing a mood disorder or any mental illness, seek help immediately.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Depression

 

Causes

Although an incredible amount of research has been conducted on depression, the precise mechanisms behind the illness are unknown. Studies have shown that individuals suffering from depression are more likely to demonstrate hormonal/neurotransmitter imbalances in a smaller region of the brain known as the hippocampus, and inefficient neural connections. Regardless, it goes without question that this is a serious medical condition. Causes that can trigger or further aggravate depression include but may not be limited to:

  1. Stress

  2. A separate medical illness

  3. Side effects of certain medications

  4. Physical or mental abuse

  5. Genetics

    • Those that have family members with the illness are at a higher risk for developing it themselves

 

Symptoms

  1. Increased irritability, anger, and overwhelming sadness

  2. A general sense of ineptitude or worthlessness

  3. Weakness and fatigue

  4. A lack of excitement for social interactions or activities that were once appealing

  5. Trouble concentrating or focusing on tasks at hand

  6. A reduced sense of motivation and an inability to work towards goals

  7. Loss of appetite

  8. Insomnia

  9. Suicidal thoughts

Treatment

  1. Psychotherapy

  2. Medications

  3. Lifestyle changes

  4. Getting educated about the illness, to make it easier to manage

  5. More complex therapies which utilize electric currents or magnetic pulses to stimulate the inefficient nerve cells of the brain

For more information, check out our infographic on depression.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Bipolar Disorder

 

Causes

Less discreet than depression is bipolar disorder, also known as manic-depressive illness, which is characterized by unusual, extreme fluctuations inmood from the highest of highs (mania or hypomania) to the lowest of lows (depression). Causes for bipolar disorder include but may not be limited to:

  1. Physical abnormalities within the structure of the brain

  2. Hormonal/chemical imbalances in the brain

  3. Genetics—Those that have family with the illness are at a higher risk for developing it themselves

  4. Stress

 

Symptoms

Since individuals suffering from the condition experience two distinct mental states, symptoms are separated into two categories

  1. Mania/hypomania

    • Increased activity

    • Increased energy levels

    • A much more positive perspective than usual

    • Faster speech that tends to jump from topic to topic quickly

    • Greater susceptibility to agitation and/or irritability

    • Prone to erratic behavior such as unreasonable gambling

  2. Depression

    • Increased irritability, anger, and overwhelming sadness

    • A general sense of ineptitude or worthlessness

    • Weakness and fatigue

    • A lack of excitement for social interactions or activities that were once appealing

    • Trouble concentrating or focusing on tasks at hand

    • A reduced sense of motivation and an inability to work towards goals/objectives

    • Loss of appetite

    • Insomnia

    • Suicidal thoughts

 

Treatment

  1. Psychotherapy

  2. Medication

  3. Lifestyle changes

  4. Getting educated about the illness to make it easier to manage

  5. More complex therapies which utilize electric currents or magnetic pulses tostimulate the inefficient nerve cells of the brain

 

Sources/Links we utilized

Depression

Bipolar Disorder

Credit: Crash Course Psychology

© 2019 by MannMukti