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Mood Disorder
Is a term given to a group of mental disorders that are all characterized by changes in mood. It is a mental disorder that is characterized by mood disturbance. It may be mild or severe and includes depression, hypomania or mania, or their combination.

Types of Mood Disorder

1.Major Depression Major depression can be a long-lasting and disabling condition that affects most aspects of a person's life. It has distinct emotional, mental, and physical symptoms, like feeling sad, hopeless or guilty for more than two weeks, or having problems sleeping or eating.

Seasonal affective disorder (SAD) - is a type of depression thats affected by the seasons. It usually affects people in the winter months, when theres less daylight.

Postpartum depression - is a type of depression that affects a mother after they give birth. Postpartum depression is likely brought on by different biological changes as well as the social and emotional changes in parents lives.

2.Dysthymic disorder (also called dysthymia)

It is similar to depression. With dysthymic disorder, your symptoms of depression are milder but last for a longer period of time. 3.Cyclothymia
Cyclothymia is a chronic form of bipolar disorder consisting of short periods of mild depression and short periods of hypomania (lasting a few days to a few weeks), separated by short periods of normal mood.

4.Bipolar disorder or manic-depressive illness It is a mental disorder characterized by abnormal mood shifts, as well as fluctuations in energy, activity levels and the ability to complete everyday tasks. Bipolar is a serious mental illness that can damage relationships, career prospects, academic performance, and can even lead to suicidal tendencies. A patient with bipolar disorder has severe fluctuations in mood (poles) - from depression to mania. Usually, moods are normal in between the peaks and troughs. Shifting from Mania to Depression Mania - this is the period of euphoria, restlessness, energy, recklessness, and talking a lot. The patient may go on emotional and mental sprees; it is the period when risky behaviors are most likely to occur, including risky sex. Depression - this mood is the other extreme to mania. The patient feels sad, may cry a lot, has a sense of being worthless, energy levels are extremely low, there is loss of pleasure, and sleep problems.

Symptoms of mood disorders

Depending upon age and the type of mood disorder present, a person may exhibit different symptoms of depression. The following are the most common symptoms of a mood disorder. However, each individual may experience symptoms differently. Symptoms may include: persistent feelings of sadness feeling hopeless or helpless having low self-esteem feeling inadequate excessive guilt feelings of wanting to die loss of interest in usual activities or activities once enjoyed sleep disturbances (i.e., insomnia, hypersomnia) changes in appetite or weight decreased energy difficulty concentrating a decrease in the ability to make decisions suicidal thoughts or attempts frequent physical complaints (i.e., headache, stomach ache, fatigue) running away or threats of running away from home hypersensitivity to failure or rejection irritability, hostility, aggression

difficulty with relationships

Causes of Mood Disorder

Biological perspective
Emphasizes the importance of genetic and biochemical influences. Mood disorders run in families and a search for genes that put people at risk is now under way. Certain neurotransmitters, including norepinephrine and serotonin, seem to be scarce in depression. Finally, the brains of depressed people have been found to be less active.

Social- cognitive perspective

It sees depression as a vicious cycle in which stressful events are interpreted though a pessimistic explanatory style, creating a hopeless, depressed state that hampers the way a person thinks and acts. This, in turn, fuels more negative experiences. Recent research reveals how self-defeating beliefs feed the vicious cycle. These beliefs may arise from learned helplessness.

Behavioral Perspective It focused on depression being caused by social deficits, in which a lack of social skills causes high levels of negative feedback, rather than positive, from the environment.

Interpersonal Perspective
It proposed that people who have depression have interpersonal behaviors and attitudes, such as constantly seeking reassurance from others that they are loved, that lead to rejection from others. Even when others provide reassurance, its sincerity is questioned, and further reassurance is sought. This causes a pattern of negative interactions where the child with depression seeks more and more reassurance from others who become disaffected and increasingly prone to reject the child.

Cognitive Perspective It emphasized the role that maladaptive ways of thinking impact a child's emotions and behaviors and focused on three types of maladaptive cognitive functions that a person with depression engages in on a daily basis. First, people with depression engage in automatic negative thoughts (e.g., Mom is really mad, it must be something that I did), which lead to inappropriately negative interpretations of events. Second, they have excessively self-critical views of themselves or schemas. Third, they tend to have highly negative views of themselves, the world, and the future, referred to as the negative cognitive triad. As an example, a child with depression may think, I don't do well in school because I'm stupid as an example of a negative view of themselves, I hate school as a negative view of their world, and I'll never be good at anything as a negative view of the future.

Treatment of Mood Disorder

Effective treatment of mood disorders combines two components: psychotherapy and medication. Treatment is usually at least partially effective within a few weeks to a couple months, and research suggests that treatment also prevents future depressive episodes. There is also some research that suggests that early (child/adolescent) treatment of mood disorders lowers the risk for the eventual development of Bipolar Disorder.

PSYCHOTHERAPY TREATMENT Psychotherapy is one of the most effective methods for treating mood disorders, particularly for first episodes of depression. Three types of psychotherapy have been shown to be effective in the treatment of mood disorders: Cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) helps a person identify and change the thought and behavior patterns that contribute to depression. People who are depressed tend to think negatively, and cognitive behavioral therapy teaches how to identify and challenge the negative thoughts. CBT is also used to identify the ways that the person expresses their irritability/anger and determines individualized ways to control negative actions. CBT hasbeen shown to be effective with Major Depression, Dysthymia, Seasonal Affective Disorder, and some forms of Mood Disorder NOS.

Interpersonal therapy (IP) looks at how depression can be connected to troubled emotional relationships and seeks ways to improve interpersonal relations and thus lower the depressive symptoms. IP has been shown to be effective with Major Depression, Dysthymia, and some forms of Mood Disorder NOS. Social rhythms therapy (SRT) appreciates the impact of stress on the development and maintenance of mood disorder symptoms, and seeks ways for the person to balance their lives. The role of sleep, nutrition, physical activity, illness, and social interactions is explored and individualized approaches to maintaining wellness in these areas is developed. SRT has been shown to be effective with Bipolar Disorder, Mood Disorder NOS, Seasonal Affective Disorder, and Postpartum Depression.

When psychotherapy alone is not effective or when functioning is greatly impaired, medication treatment may be necessary. The first line of medication treatment is typically an antidepressant, better known as the SSRIs because of their selective response to a neurotransmitter called Serotonin. Mood stabilizers may be necessary, particularly when mood swings are part of the diagnostic picture. Medication treatment can take up to four weeks before improvements are observed. For children with Bipolar Disorder, finding a beneficial medication regime can take up to one year and often involves more than one medication. When treating Major Depression and Dysthymia, medication treatment is usually recommended for 18 months. People who are considered at high risk for recurring depressive episodes may need to take medication indefinitely. People with Bipolar Disorder will likely need to be on medication for their lives. As with all medications, determining the right medication and the need for medication should be discussed with a medical specialist who is well-versed in depression and other mood disorders.