Causes and of Treatment Mood Disorders

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Mood disorders are a group of mental diseases caused by chemical imbalances in the brain which causes the patient to have irregular changes in their moods. These moos changes are normally to the extremes. The patient can be extremely happy or extremely sad at inappropriate times. A considerable percentage of the population suffers from mood disorders at one time or the other. However, if well treated, mood disorder patients usually live normal lives. Medication and nutrition is generally used to check the chemical balance in the brain. This paper will explore two major types of mood disorders; depression and bipolar disease.

Causes of Mood Disorders

Neurotransmitters are chemicals that control moods in the human brain. Patients’ moods are affected in situations where serotonin, norepenephrine, GABA and dopamine are in wrong proportions in the brain. The chemical imbalance can be caused by substance abuse. Alcohol and cocaine abuse have been associated with mood disorders. This means that people who take either of these drugs are more likely to be affected by mood disorders than those who do not.

Mood disorders can also be genetic or inherited. People from families with a history of such diseases are predisposed to mood disorders. There is usually an element of their genetic makeup that creates the chemical imbalance which leads to mood disorders. A hormonal change is another factor that can cause this illness. This occurs in adolescents during puberty and women during menstruation and pregnancy. The hormones produced during these periods usually cause imbalance in those in the brain, causing mood disorders. This type of mood disorder does not last long. Usually, it ends with the end of menstruation, pregnancy or adolescence. Therefore, unless it extends beyond that period, it should not be a cause of worry.

Stress and change have been seen to cause mood disorders. People who cannot manage their stress levels or deal with change, such as the loss of a child, spouse or parent, can suffer from depression. Women can easily get mood disorders if they have marital issues. This is because women are more emotional than men. Poor parenting styles could result in mood disorders in children. Parents who are too harsh and instil fear in children could cause them to respond negatively.

There are also some factors that may put a person at risk of getting mood disorders, aside from the major causes mentioned above. Chronic illnesses e.g. cancer and AIDS may leave a patient feeling helpless thus causing them to slip into depression. Romantic break up especially in youth can also be a risk factor. Neglect, emotional trauma and loss of family members usually affect children adversely.

Learning disorders in a society where education is given such high prominence could lead to low self esteem which if left unchecked could deteriorate to a mood disorder. Finally, natural disasters like earthquakes and volcanoes can leave victims extremely devastated. These risk factors do not always end up in mood disorders, but they increase the chances of the victim getting a mood disorder considerably. If well dealt with, they will have only a mild effect on the patient (Mondimore & Depaulo, 2005).

Effects of Mood Disorders

Mood disorders affect families and close friends as much as they affect the patient. Relationships are strained as friends and family try to understand the patient, often without much success. Family roles are also changed, especially if the patient is the breadwinner. This puts a strain on the family member left to take over and causes them to feel frustrated. Eventually, family members may become angry at the patient for not getting better and at themselves for not being able to do anything about it. The medication for mood disorders tends to be expensive and puts a strain on family finances.

Depressed people usually lose interest in life and want to stay isolated as they feel withdrawn. This disinterest could extend to the area of hygiene. Such patients do not feel the need to clean or tidy themselves or their environment. Sleep patterns are distorted and their quality of life deteriorates. The person may end up feeling tired most of the day due to lack of sleep. Work productivity diminishes and could lead to job loss (Joyce, 2008).

Relationships suffer since partners with mood disorders could lose interest in sex. The pessimism they exhibit may also be too much for the other partner to handle. There are cases where such patients lose the ability to have an orgasm. This can be discouraging and if it goes on for long, it can be depressing to the partner. Most people usually opt out of such relationships. Thus, it is evident that the effects of mood disorders are many and far reaching.

Diagnosis and treatment of Mood Disorders

This is an important stage as it helps the medic to determine what kind of treatment to administer. There are various ways this can be done but questionnaire filling is not the best method. Research has shown that patients tend to lie or downplay issues in these questionnaires. The patient can answer some questions but this should be complemented by other methods. The doctor could study the family history to establish whether there is a history of mood disorders. Family members and close friends could be questioned in order to understand the trend of the disease. This way, the doctor can establish the frequency of attacks and actions patient takes when unwell (Mondimore & Depaulo, 2005).

The Newcastle Scales of Depression can aid in distinguishing between various types of depression. Endogenous and exogenous depression can be separated by this scale. There are some structured questionnaires e.g. the Hamilton Depression Scale can be used to establish depression patterns. Severity of depression can be established using the Beck depression Inventory. These tools and methods will lead to the final stage of treatment and control (Lowe & Cohen, 2010).

The treatment process involves nutrition change, psychotherapy and drug treatment. Anti depressants are employed to control the level of hormones in the brain. Once the chemical balance has been restored, improvement is noted in the patient. Therapy sessions with a qualified psychotherapist can be useful both to the patient and family. These allow the patient to express their feelings in the open, and they can be coached on how to deal with them (Goldney, 2006).

Family members and friends can also be coached on how to assist the patient during recovery. They are in contact with the patient most of the time and can therefore influence them a lot. Patients with mood disorders should be encouraged to eat a lot of fruit. Family members can show solidarity by also participating in healthy eating. This will make the patient feel loved and accepted. Taking walks with the patient in the evenings can boost the recovery process greatly. Eventually, with the right treatment and emotional support, patients can recover fully (Joyce, 2008).


Goldney, R. D. (2006). The Utility of the DSM Nosology of Mood Disorders. Canadian Journal of Psychiatry , 874-878.

Joyce, P. R. (2008). Classification of mood disorders in DSM-V and DSM-VI. Australian & New Zealand Journal of Psychiatry , 851-862.

Lowe, C., & Cohen, B. M. (2010). Living With Someone Who’s Living With Bipolar Disorder: A Practical Guide for Family, Friends, and Coworkers. Chicago: Jossey-Bass.

Mondimore, F. M., & Depaulo, J. (2005). The Evolving Nosology of Mood Disorders. International Review of Psychiatry , 17-25.

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PsychologyWriting. "Causes and of Treatment Mood Disorders." September 29, 2022.