We all experience shifts in our mood at times. Sometimes we may feel happy and excited, and as though everything in life is running smoothly, and going exactly to plan. At other times however, it can feel as though nothing is going to plan, making us feel sad, angry or frustrated. Experiencing these shifts in mood is usually just a normal part of day to day life. This is not the case however, for those suffering from Mood Disorders.
Mood Disorders, also known as Affective Disorders, include a number of mental health conditions that all have an underlying trait of the sufferer experiencing a mood that is usually not congruent with the situation. They include Depression (of which there are a number of different types), and Bipolar Disorder. For those suffering from Mood Disorders, their condition will continue to persist for an extended period of time, often causing significant disruptions in the sufferer’s day to day life. They are commonly found to coexist with conditions such as Anxiety, Post Traumatic Stress Disorder and Phobias.
How Common Are Mood Disorders?
Research suggests that 1 in 5 individuals will experience some type of depression at some time in their lives, and about 1-2 individuals out of 100 will experience Bipolar Disorder. Depression is more common in women; however the numbers are about the same for men and women experiencing Bipolar Disorder.
What Causes Mood Disorders?
There can be a number of factors that may contribute to their onset.
- Stressful life events or circumstances, as well as significant life changes
- Hormonal changes
- Nutritional deficiencies and poor dietary patterns
- Genetic factors
- Some medications
- Environmental pollution
- Substance abuse
- Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD)
- Some medical conditions
- Imbalance in brain chemistry (which may be the result of other contributing factors)
Treatment Options Available
There are many treatment options available for sufferers of this condition.
- Prescription medication. This option is treating the symptom rather than the cause. Although medication may be beneficial in the short term, it is a good idea to also explore alternative treatment options. Never however, stop taking prescription medication without first seeking the advice of your doctor.
- Therapy and counseling, eg. Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, Mindfulness Therapy
- Alternative therapies, eg. Homeopathy, Acupuncture, EFT, Emotion Code
- Dietary changes
- A good support network
- Herbal supplements
- Relaxation techniques
Mood Disorders do not need to become debilitating, and the first step to getting back to leading a full and active life, is to seek the help of a health care professional that addresses more than just the symptoms of the condition, but rather, someone who takes a holistic treatment approach to you as an individual.