Depression & Mood Disorders

Depression is one of the top causes of disability in the world. Awareness and understanding of depression is increasing, but we still have a culture that says, “Just get over it,” and “getting over it” is not that easy.

Depression and other mood disorders, such as bipolar disorders, are biological, brain-related problems, even if they begin due to environmental or situational circumstances.

Major Depressive Disorder

Major Depressive Disorder (MDD) causes low energy and low mood that may also have some anxiety, irritability, and anger symptoms. It may result in changes to your eating habits, sleeping habits, sexual activities, and relationship patterns. It may even make it difficult to feel emotionally connected to other people.  It may last weeks or months.

Dysthymic Disorder

Dysthymic Disorder is a long-term period of low mood and energy.  It may last for years.  It is not as intense as MDD, but it can keep you from enjoying life and doing the things you want to do.

Seasonal Affective Disorder

Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) results in low mood during specific seasons of the year, usually winter.  Most humans want to bundle up, rest, and eat during cold and dark seasons, but most people can still get to their jobs, get out of the house, and enjoy the day during these low timto. With SAD, it gets very difficult to do this. Symptoms usually improve when there is more sunlight and warmer weather. Similar symptoms may also occur for individuals who work night shifts or work in dark environments, such as underground.

Bipolar Disorders

Bipolar disorders cause fluctuations between low moods and high moods.  Each mood usually last weeks or months, which is very different than mood swings, which happen throughout the day or week.

The high moods sound like a good thing. Who wouldn’t want to spend weeks feeling good? But this high feeling can also come with agitation, insomnia, irritability, impulsiveness, and high-energy behaviors at inappropriate times. The high moods can also trick you into thinking something is a good idea even when it is a very bad idea, which can result in injuries, risky behaviors, and large amounts of debt.

Cyclothymic Disorder

Cyclothymic Disorder results in high and low moods, also, but they are less intense than with Bipolar I or Bipolar II.

 

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