We express our emotions through our moods. Our moods have a bearing on our life. For instance, sometimes we feel sad, and other times we feel happy. Sometimes we can handle both sadness and happiness at the same time.
However, people’s moods can vacillate between one extreme or the other, or they could stay at one extreme for longer, and lead to crippling the sufferer’s social and professional life.
An affective disorder, also known as a mood disorder, is a condition that impacts our moods and its associated functions. Depressive and bipolar disorders both affect mood. Therefore, mood disorder is a general term used to describe both of them. The moods of people who suffer from these types of disorders can range from intensely low (depressed) to extremely high or irritable (hysterical).
People’s moods can change depending on the situation. A mood disorder can only be diagnosed when symptoms persist for several weeks. A mood disorder can affect your behavior and ability to function properly, such as at work or at school.
Mood disorders can affect children, teens, and adults alike. However, the symptoms of mood disorders may vary according to age. For example, diagnosing mood disorders in children is much more challenging as they’re less capable of articulating their feelings.
Treatment for mood disorders may include therapy, medicines, self-care, and support. Apart from the conventional methods, nowadays, therapists also recommend looking for alternate therapies.
For instance, the use of ketamine for treating treatment-resistant depression has piqued researchers’ interest in the anesthetic. If you are anywhere in Chicago, or around that area, you can check out this ketamine clinic in Chicago, as it is one of the leading in the country offering ketamine infusion therapy.
Different types of mood disorders
Some mood disorders that you should know about:
- Major depressive disorder: A persistent, prolonged period of sadness.
- Bipolar disorder: Depression that alternates between periods of depression and mania, also known as manic depression and bipolar affective disorder.
- SAD (seasonal affective disorder): a type of depression characterized by shorter days in northern and southern latitudes from late fall to early spring.
- Cyclothymic disorder (CD): Characterized by mood swings on a less extreme scale than bipolar disorder.
- Premenstrual dysphoria: a period of mood changes and irritability preceding menstruation.
- Dysthymia (chronic depression): chronic depression that lasts for years.
- Disruptive mood dysregulation disorder (DMDD): a persistent, severe, and chronic form of irritability in children that is characterized by temper tantrums that are out of proportion with the child’s developmental age.
- An illness-related depression: It is characterized by a persistent depressed mood and a loss of interest in most or all activities that are directly related to a particular medical condition.
- Substance-induced depression: Symptoms of depression that develop as a result of using or withdrawing from substances or medications.
Causes of Mood Disorder
There is no specific cause for mood disorders, but many factors seem to contribute to them and they are often inherited. The most likely cause is a chemical imbalance in the brain. Especially if someone has already experienced depression, or if they are genetically predisposed, stressful life events like divorce, death, or trauma can also trigger depression.
Symptoms of Mood Disorder
People with mood disorders may have difficulty keeping up with everyday tasks. People with depression may experience physical symptoms, such as nausea or headaches, especially in children. Since there are different types of mood disorders, they can affect the quality of life in different ways. A few common symptoms are:
- Lack of interest in previously enjoyed activities
- Overeating or undereating
- An inability to sleep or excessive sleep
- Feelings of anxiety
- Lacking the energy to care, feeling “flat”
- Anxiety, sadness, hopelessness, and worthlessness
- Concentration problems
- Decision-making problems
- Sense of guilt
- Suicidal thoughts
Mood disorders are characterized by ongoing symptoms that adversely affect daily life. These thoughts and feelings aren’t random feelings we all have at times.
How do mood disorders affect people?
Sadness or depression are common part of life. However, mood disorders tend to last longer and are more intense. Managing mood disorders can be more difficult than dealing with normal sadness. When a child, teen, or adult has a parent with a mood disorder, they have a greater chance of inheriting it. However, life events and stress can exacerbate feelings of sadness or depression.
Depression can sometimes result from events that have taken a bad turn. Being laid off from a job, going through a divorce, losing a loved one, struggling financially, and mourning a death in the family, can all have a negative bearing on one’s mood.
People have a hard time coping with these situations. There is a greater risk of becoming sad or depressed due having experienced such events. And, if you’re already diagnosed with a mood disorder, these untoward turns of fate can be earth shattering and exacerbate existing disorders.
Women are two times more likely to suffer from these symptoms. Moreover, once a family member is diagnosed with this condition, their offspring stand in the crosshairs of developing the same conditions.
The Way Forward
Mood disorders need as much treatment and attention as other medical maladies. As a result, if you or anyone close to you experiences any of the signs or symptoms mentioned above, you should seek medical aid immediately. Remember that even the most chronic diseases can be treated with timely diagnosis and treatment.