Mood Disorders

November 5, 2009
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A mood disorder is a psychological problem in which a person has emotional issues, and the emotional issue interferes with his/her life. Research has shown that mood disorders commonly run in families. A psychologist or psychiatrist can diagnose a mood disorder using the guidelines set forth by the Diagnostic and Statistics Manual, most commonly known as the DSM. It’s more difficult to diagnose mood disorders in children because they sometimes don’t know how to express their feelings. Some common mood or personality disorders include, but are not limited to: Major Depressive Disorder, Bipolar Disorder, Borderline Personality Disorder, Obsessive Compulsive Disorder, and Antisocial Personality Disorder. Each year, almost 44 million Americans experience a mental disorder (

There are numerous possible causes for having a mood or personality disorder. Many people inherit a mood/personality disorder through heredity. Environmental factors are also a major cause of a mood/personality disorder. In addition, a person who experiences an unusual amount of stressful events in their life usually develops a mood or personality disorder. In children and teenagers, the causes could be different. It could be that they are being constantly bullied in school or any other reason along those lines such as emotional/physical/sexual abuse by parents. Mental health problems affect one in every five young people at any given time ( As you can see, there are many causes of these types of disorders, so there is a chance anyone could get a mood or personality disorder.

The symptoms of a mood or personality disorder could be very obvious or completely obscure. The symptoms usually start out with persistent feelings of guilt, worthlessness, and hopelessness. When these feeling become strong, some people may experience overwhelming sadness in which they breakdown crying. Loss of pleasure or interest in activities that someone usually likes to do is another big indicator. With children and teenagers, it may become hard to concentrate in school, likewise with adults it could become hard to concentrate at work. Physical symptoms such as: headaches, stomachaches, and weight gain/loss are also very typical of a mood or personality disorder. Suicidal thoughts and recurring thoughts of death are immediate red flags and major symptoms that require immediate attention.

One fortunate aspect of being diagnosed with a mood disorder is that it is treatable, but the disease may stay with you for the rest of your life. An excellent recovery plan that could be used is one that integrates physical, psychological, and interpersonal strategies. Professional counseling by a licensed social worker or psychologist is usually the first approach if the patient is in a stable state of mind and willing to work toward regaining happiness/ a normal way of life. Antidepressants are a controversial way to treat a mood or personality disorder for many reasons. This is mainly because they don’t actually treat the disease, but rather because no pill can or ever will change the cognitive-emotional issues that form the basis of most depressions. In the end, this is pointless since you will feel the same way as before you took the antidepressants, which are sometimes referred to as “happy pills.” Antipsychotic drugs are sometimes prescribed if a patient is suffering from hallucinations or delusions. Furthermore, antipsychotic drugs may be prescribed if the psychiatrist feels the patient is mentally unstable and could pose a threat to themselves or others. Hypnosis could be an effective treatment since it helps you access a state of mind that every person can access which enables you to rearrange meaningful ideas, concepts, memories, events and meanings. Electroconvulsive therapy (ECT) is a medical treatment for severe symptoms in which a small, carefully controlled amount of electricity is introduced into the brain ( This is a very old treatment which is currently the fastest way to treat severe symptoms of a mental disorder. If someone is an immediate danger to themselves or others, they require emergency psychiatric hospitalization.

Depression or any other mood disorder is a journey, not a destination. My parents have always told me if there’s a will, there’s a way. Throughout all my years of elementary school, and my three years of middle school, I always struggled with self-confidence and self-esteem. I always felt like the odd one out, or the one that doesn’t belong in the group. Whenever I was sitting with people and they whispered or laughed, I thought they were making fun of me. In addition, whenever someone said anything to me, I was very sensitive about it. For example, if someone said “I don’t like you,” I would think about it for hours and sometimes cry. I overcame the problem which took a lot of hard work and convincing my self that I am just like everyone else or better, and that most people aren’t worth my emotional pain. My personal philosophy that I live by is, “If you think you can do it, you’re right. If you think you can’t do it, you’re right.” I believe that with a mood/personality disorder or any other issues you might have, if you tackle the problem early on, it’ll be easier to get rid of. From the research I did, I realized that the greatest dangers from these disorders is giving up and becoming a failure in life, or worse, committing suicide, so get help when you need it!

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FireDancer said...
Jun. 9, 2010 at 5:04 pm
This was vary well writen:-) And as someone with Schizoid personality disorder, and Social anxiety disorder, it was nice too hear someone talk about people with mood/personality disorders as just that. People. Insted of these werdos and freaks who are crazy! This was a great story, Nice job:-]
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