Mood Disorder

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As many as 19 million Americans million are affected by mood disorders ( The two main types of mood disorders are bipolar disorder and major depressive disorder which are described as disturbances in mood, behavior and emotion.“ Bipolar disorder is a complex disorder in which the core feature is pathological disturbance in mood ranging from extreme elation, or mania, to severe depression usually accompanied by disturbances in thinking and behavior, which may include psychotic symptoms, such as delusions and hallucinations” (Craddock, Jones 1999). Major depressive disorder or unipolar depression is characterized by a consistent low mood and lack of interest in things typically enjoyed .A second classification of major depressive disorder, is dysthymic disorder which is a chronic but less severe form of major depression (John W. Santrock 2007). Also major depression has many subgroups including seasonal affect disorder and postpartum depression. While there are many treatment options for the symptoms of mood disorders and promising scientific research, much is still unknown about a disorder that affects so many lives.

According to Dinsmoor, R. S. & Odle, T. G. (2009), bipolar depression refers to a condition in which people experience two extremes in mood. The bipolar spectrum includes; bipolar I, bipolar 2, bipolar NOS (not otherwise specified) and cyclothymia and all are related to disturbances in mood but differ in severity of symptoms. They are differentiated by the “impact the symptoms have on the person’s social or occupational function” (Duckworth & Sachs 2011). Typically bipolar I is more severe than bipolar II and bipolar II is more severe than Cyclothymia, which is a more chronic unstable mood state in which the “highs...

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...lieved to be affected and is often considered as a second-line treatment if ETC is not successful. Light therapy may also be used to treat depression that occurs over the winter months and to restore a normal sleep cycle, but is not considered an effective treatment for mood disorders when used alone.

Mood disorders are complex and there are not any simple solutions. They affect people from every race, social and cultural background and economic status. Mood disorders can have profound effects on families as well as those afflicted, but there is hope. According to Craddock and Jones (1999) “It is however, almost certain over the next few years bipolar susceptibility genes will be identified. This will have a major impact of disease pathophysiology and will provide important opportunities to investigate the interactions between genetics and environmental factors”.
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