Mood disorders

Posted: October 17th, 2013





Mood disorders


            Mood disorders are mental health problems that can be experienced by anyone including young children. In most cases, the mood disorders result from chemical imbalance in the brain. However, a person can also experience mood disorder due to his medical condition, drug abuse, environmental causes and many other reasons. Mood disorders are also referred to as affective disorders. In most cases, the mood disorders can go undiagnosed since its symptoms resemble the regular mood swings. Its symptoms may also resemble that of other disorders. The mood disorders include the depressive disorders and the bipolar disorders.

Depressive disorders

            Depressive disorders are mental health problems with symptoms such as deep and constant feeling of misery. Persons suffering from depressive disorders usually find things that were once interesting to them not anymore. In addition, they experience other symptoms like loss of sleep and appetite. There are two types of depressive disorders, these are, the major depressive disorders and the dysthymic disorders. The major depressive disorders usually last utmost two weeks. Persons going through this type of depression experience lack of appetite sleep and contemplate committing suicide. In contrast, the dysthymic disorder is a severe form of depression that may last for years. Persons experiencing dysthymic disorders usually experience low self-esteem, fatigue, difficulty in concentration and many other symptoms (Maj, 44).

Bipolar disorders

            A bipolar disorder is also called a manic-depressive illness. This disorder affects the brain leading to abnormal changes in the mood, liveliness, activity level and a person’s ability to perform the day-to-day activities. Its symptoms are harsh. It affects a person’s social life, destroys relationships, performance in school and may lead to suicide. Most of the bipolar disorders are evident in teenagers. This disorder is long-term and persons affected must learn to manage it through out their lives. The disorder has treatment and people experiencing this can lead perfectly normal lives. However, it is never easy to identify the disorder during its first phase. Due to this, most people suffer from it for years before they seek treatment (Hornbacher, 14).

Compare and contrast depressive disorders and bipolar disorder.

            A depressive disorder does not include the manic stages as in the bipolar disorders. A person suffering from a depressive disorder remains in one state of the disorder until completion. This kind of depression may occur once or repeatedly. In contrast, the bipolar depression changes from the low depressive states to other states. A person suffering from the bipolar disorder experiences a series of mood shifts. The bipolar patients tend to be affected by different activities or situations while the depressive disorder patients are usually affected by a single situation like the death of a loved one. In addition, the bipolar disorders can be controlled by understanding its effects. However, the depressive disorders cannot be controlled since it hits once leading to hormonal imbalance in the brain.

Biological factors related to both mood disorders and bipolar disorder

            Most surveys ascertain the mood disorders to be caused by evolutionary adaptations. A depressed mood reduces a person’s ability to cope with situations. Therefore, the person does not succeed in achieving his goal. Due to certain biological factors, the mood disorders often affect a person during his peak reproductive years. These biological factors include the environment and the loss of reproductive ability. When speaking about biological factors related to bipolar disorder, the premise of biological inheritance is put into consideration. For families with bipolar disorder, immediate relatives such as siblings and children have a higher chance of having bipolar disorder compared to people coming from families without the disorder. Studies indicate that if one of two identical twins has bipolar disorder, then his or her counterpart bears a three times risk of getting bipolar disorder compared to fraternal twins.

Psychological factors related to both mood disorders and bipolar disorder

            Psychological factors such as death and divorce may result to mood disorders. Certain illnesses such as influenza greatly relates to depression. Therefore, it is an evolving mechanism to help solve this problem. In addition, during the winter, people are usually in a low mood. This is adaptive since there are less physical activities during the winter. Human beings have maintained the instinct of having a low mood during the winter. In accordance with Hornbacher (2008), an individual who possesses a genetic disposition for bipolar disorder, then a stressful situation is highly capable of triggering the disorder. This situation may include death of a close person, job loss, or divorce. In addition, alcohol and drug abuse can also facilitate the occurrence of bipolar disorder.       

Sociocultural factors related to both mood disorders and bipolar disorder

            Factors such as stress at work death and drug use may affect an individual’s mood. It may cause depression or even bipolar disorder. Drugs like cocaine and ecstasy may lead to manic episodes. In addition, an overdose of the over the counter drugs and excess caffeine may also lead to manic episodes. An individual already exposed to the bipolar disorder may worsen it by being stressed, lacking sufficient sleep. However, surveys show that the bipolar individuals portray great creativity (Ghaemi, 33). A life event of given nature is capable of triggering a mood episode in a person conditioned with bipolar disorder; even without a clarified link to altered health habits, genetic factors, drug or alcohol abuse. Even though sociocultural factors are not deemed causes of bipolar disorder, they are capable of worsening the condition by interfering with the process of recovery.


            There is a treatment for every mood disorder. However, the treatment depends greatly on the assessment of the medical profession. In the course of treatment, medication, cognitive and behavioral therapy are all considered. Therefore, it is always advisable to seek medical treatment during the early stages of the disorder. This will prevent the disorder from becoming chronic. With this, the affected will be able to manage the illness well. Most patients diagnosed with mood disorders have a history of rape and childhood abuse. Therefore, children should not be brought up in harsh environments.










Works Cited

Ghaemi, S N. A First-Rate Madness: Uncovering the Links between Leadership and Mental Illness. New York: Penguin Press, 2011. Print.

Hornbacher, Marya. Madness: A Bipolar Life. Boston: Houghton Mifflin, 2008. Print.

Maj, Mario. Depressive Disorders. Chichester: John Wiley & Sons, 2003. Print


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