According to the National Institute of Health, mood disorders They affect 20.9 million adults over the age of 18 in the United States. This represents about 10% of adults in the United States who experience a mood disorder each year. Still, mood disorders are widely misunderstood today. If you want to learn more about mood disorders, here are 5 facts you may not know about them.
Your moods are those long-lasting, penetrating feelings and thoughts that you have within you. Moods can affect your behavior and your decisions. Mood swings are normal for everyone, but they affect your daily ability to function at work, school, and home if you have a mood disorder.
What is a mood disorder?
A mood disorder occurs when there is an alteration in your emotions that causes extreme highs and lows. Mood disorders are classified into two broad categories: bipolar disorders and depressive disorders.
There are two specific areas of your brain, the amygdala and the orbitofrontal cortex, found at the front of your brain, which are believed to be responsible for controlling your emotions and feelings. Studies found that people with mood disorders have a larger amygdala. This supports the idea that abnormalities in this part of the brain can lead to mood disorders. Repeated episodes of a mood disorder are believed to contribute to the enlargement of this area.
A bipolar disorder or manic depressive disorder is defined as extreme mood swings between depression and mania. When you have a manic episode, you may feel euphoric or very irritable with increased activity at all times of the day or night.
There are 4 types of bipolar disorder.
This is the most serious form of bipolar disorder. Manic episodes can last up to a week and can result in hospitalization. You can also feel depressed for weeks at a time, or sometimes both mania and depression at the same time.
This mood disorder creates cycles of depression similar to bipolar 1, but is generally less severe and not as severe. You can handle your daily responsibilities and most people with bipolar 2 disorder do not need hospitalization, but it still affects your life and how you relate to others.
This type of bipolar disorder has milder side effects. If you have this, you will experience irregular mood swings, some ups and downs without the extremes. These will last for short periods of time. Adults are not diagnosed with this unless they have been experiencing symptoms for at least two years. It is sometimes difficult to diagnose for this reason.
Unspecified bipolar disorder:
This bipolar disorder does not meet the other criteria that define the other types, but you may still have noticeable abnormal mood swings.
Suppose you have experienced these feelings and are wondering if you may have bipolar mood disorder, talk to your doctor. They will perform a variety of tests to determine the cause of your mood swings. They may also suggest that you see a counselor to discuss your ups and downs.
Depressive mood disorder
Depression is very common. You may feel depressed due to pain, a traumatic event, or a crisis, such as the death of a family member, the loss of your job, or a debilitating illness. Depression that continues after the stressful event has passed or abated is classified as clinical or major depression. You are diagnosed with clinical depression if you have symptoms that last two weeks or longer.
Below are the types of depression mood disorders.
Persistent depressive disorder:
This is a chronic depression that lasts for years. You may have breaks in your depression, but it is fairly constant that you experience it on a daily basis.
As the name suggests, postpartum depression it can occur during and / or after delivery. It can be due to hormonal changes. But for some, depression persists for months after giving birth.
This is a severe depression with psychotic episodes like seeing something that is not there and hearing something that is not there.
Depression due to medical illness:
This type of depression can occur when you have been diagnosed with an illness. The diagnosis can make you feel depressed because you can’t do the things you want to do. You may feel that life is no longer enjoyable or fun. This is a common depression that older adults experience if they are diagnosed with a chronic illness. Depression in the elderly is very common.
Seasonal affective disorder:
This type of depression occurs for some people in the fall and winter months, especially in areas where the weather turns cold and cloudy. It is triggered by a lack of sunlight and feels like a major depression for people. Usually, when the weather becomes sunnier and warmer, the depression goes away. Many people with this type of depression use a light therapy lamp to relieve their symptoms.
10 Facts About Mood Disorders Most People Don’t Know About
Here are some cool things that many people don’t understand about mental health.
Taking some medications mimics the symptoms of a mood disorder. Corticosteroids, chemotherapy drugs, beta-blockers, Parkinson’s disease drugs, estrogen replacement drugs for menopause, birth control pills, and cholesterol-lowering medications affect your mood. Other mediations that affect your mood include
- Acne Medications
- Allergy medications
- Thyroid medications
If you take these medications and notice that you feel depressed or have extreme highs and lows, talk to your doctor to see if there are alternative medications you can take with fewer side effects.
2 – Genetic factors
Studies show that specific genes make you prone to mood disorders. A family history of mood disorders will make you more likely to develop one. If your parents have a mood disorder, you are at an even higher risk of developing a mood disorder in your life.
3 – Hormonal imbalances
Hormones can affect your mood and increase your chances of having a mood disorder. Increased levels of hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal activity is a type of hormonal condition that causes depression. Additionally, increased levels of TSH, a thyroid-stimulating hormone, produce mood swings and depression. Approximately 4.6 of the population of the United States 12 years and older suffer from hypothyroidism, which causes depression. Your thyroid is a butterfly-shaped gland located on the side of your throat. This gland produces hormones that regulate your energy levels and metabolism. Too little TSH in your blood indicates that your thyroid gland is not working properly. This is hypothyroidism. Symptoms include
- Weight gain
- Hair loss
This condition is more common in women. Changes in the thyroid are common during pregnancy and that is when many women discover they have hypothyroidism. If you have these symptoms, talk to your doctor. You will have a blood test to check your TSH levels.
4 – Psychosocial factors
Stressful life situations, such as traumatic events or childhood abuse, put you at higher risk for developing a mood disorder later in life. In fact, a 2019 article published in Frontiers in Psychiatry cites trauma as a common trigger for mental health crises, such as depression and post-traumatic stress disorder.
5 – Women suffer from depressive mood disorder more than men
Women are twice as likely to have a mood disorder compared to men. Women also have more symptoms and symptoms of more serious mood disorders compared to men.
The best natural treatments for mood disorders
Early diagnosis and treatment are important in coping with your mood disorder. Once you have a complete evaluation, you and your doctor will decide the best treatment. Many prescription drugs help with mood disorders. Along with these medications or sometimes instead of them, depending on your diagnosis and your doctor’s treatment suggestions, these treatments can help with mood disorders.
Full attention It is a practice that helps you to be more aware and in control of your emotions, anxiety and stress. Helps you relax through breathing and other techniques. This can be helpful in slowing the progression of mood disorder symptoms. Mindfulness activities such as
- Mindful eating
- Conscious thoughts and body awareness
- Mindfulness mediations during walks
Brain stimulation therapy
Repeated brain magnetic stimulation has shown good results in the treatment of mood disorders. This outpatient treatment involves cortical stimulation to speed up or slow down the activity of your brain. The procedure takes about five sessions over a period of 4 to 6 weeks. It has no long-term side effects. Short-term side effects include headache or some mild scalp pain in the treatment area.
A 2020 study published by Harvard University confirmed what doctors suspected all along. Eating a healthy diet reduces the risk of having a mood disorder. Eat a diet with vegetables, fruits, whole grains, lean meats and dairy products is essential.
Yoga or exercise
Regular exercise protects you against developing a mood disorder. Inactive people are more likely to suffer from depression. This is because exercise has a positive effect on your brain, releasing endorphins that improve your mood.
Give up smoking
People who quit smoking say they feel more positive and optimistic about their future. Smoking is an antidepressant that increases your anxiety and the chances of becoming depressed.
Omega-3 fatty acids serve as antidepressants. This is because fatty acids regulate serotonin and dopamine in your brain. Fatty acids also have anti-inflammatory and antioxidant benefits for your body.
Mood disorders are often misunderstood and misrepresented. They are more common than you think, so it is important to understand what they look like and the ways to lower your chances of developing a mood disorder later in life.