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Mood Disorders: More Than Just a Bad Day

By Natalie Jewell

Most people feel sad at times and then really happy at others. This is just part of being human. When someone has a mood disorder, these highs and lows are felt with greater intensity and for longer periods of time than most people. This can cause disruption to their everyday lives.

There are different types of mood disorders. Here's a look at some of them.

Major Depressive Disorder  

This is a disorder marked by feelings of apathy or sadness that last for at least two consecutive weeks and causes loss of interest in regular daily activities. In addition to feeling sad, a person with depression may feel worthless, be irritable, have insomnia, get headaches or an upset stomach, and experience changes in appetite.

Bipolar Disorder

This is a condition in which a person's moods alternate between extreme highs called mania and extreme lows called major depression. They often have normal moods between the two. There are different types of bipolar disorder including Bipolar I, Bipolar II, Cyclothymia, and Bipolar Disorder Not Otherwise Specified.

Persistent Depressive Disorder (Dysthymia)

This is a condition in which the individual suffers from a chronic, low-grade, depressed, or irritable mood that lasts for at least two years. It isn't major depression but can still impact a person's daily life.

Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD)

This is a form of depression usually associated with fewer hours of daylight, especially in the far northern and southern latitudes, from late fall to early spring.

Premenstrual Dysphoric Disorder

This occurs when a woman's mood changes and she becomes extremely irritable during the premenstrual phase of her cycle but her mood returns to normal with the onset of menses.

Disruptive Mood Dysregulation Disorder

This is a disorder seen in children marked by chronic, severe irritability and temper outbursts which are outside of the normal range for the child's age and development.

What Causes an Individual to Develop a Mood Disorder?

With mood disorders, there often is a chemical imbalance in the area of the brain responsible for mood regulation. Life events such as job loss or history of abuse can trigger a mood disorder, especially if there's a family history of mental illness.

If you just don't feel like yourself and think that there's a chance you may have a mood disorder, you should go see your doctor. Treatment may include being prescribed medication and seeing a therapist. Eating properly and exercising can help ease symptoms.

So, if you've been struggling with your moods, it is important that you get help from a medical professional. With treatment, it is possible to start feeling like your old self again. If you are experiencing negative thoughts and may be a danger to yourself or others, please call or visit your emergency room immediately.

To learn more about your health, wellness and fitness, see your local chiropractor at The Joint Chiropractic in Memphis, Tenn.

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