DEPRESSION AND MOOD DISORDERS
What is Mood Disorder?
Over 3 million Canadians over the age of 18 reported experiencing a mood disorder at some point in their lives. Millions more suffer from mood disorders worldwide, and unfortunately, that number is growing, especially in the younger generations and even as young as the ages of 11-13. Mood disorders can be catastrophic on an individual's day to day functioning and can even result in death from suicide or significant morbidity from suicide attempts. Mood disorders include various disorders such as bipolar disorder and depression.
What causes Mood Disorders?
Depression and bipolar disorder are likely caused by many different factors that work together including family history, biology, the environment, life experiences, personality and physical health problems.
What is Bipolar Disorder ?
Bipolar disorder is a mood disorder characterized by mood and energy fluctuations resulting in manic, hypomanic, and depressive episodes.
Symptoms of Bipolar Disorder:
During a manic episode, the individual may experience an elevated mood, euphoria, and increased energy. They may engage in risky behaviour, and be overly talkative or irritable. Less severe mania is known as hypomania. With bipolar 1 disorder, the mania is more severe than it is with bipolar 2 disorder. Individuals suffering from bipolar 1 almost always end up in the hospital.
Conversely, during a depressive episode, an individual with bipolar disorder may feel extremely low, suffer from insomnia, lack of focus and concentration, and may even have thoughts of suicide.
What is Depression?
Depression is a mental illness that affects a person’s mood. Much more than having a ‘bad day,’ a person with depression can suffer for a long time without treatment and support.
Symptoms of Depression:
Regular sad mood
Limited or diminished pleasure in activities
Excessive feelings of guilt
Irritability and trouble making decisions
Aches and pains
Significant weight loss or weight gain or change in appetite
Fatigue or little physical energy Recurring thoughts of death or suicide
Mood disorders cause significant difficulties with regular, normal functioning. These include but are not limited to:
Inability to do schoolwork or focus in class due to fluctuations between severe mania and severe depression
Unwillingness to go to school or do homework
Difficulty working as a result of extreme sadness and hopelessness
Unwillingness to want to socialize or interact with people
Inability or unwillingness to leave the house as a result of severe depression or severe mania
How we can help?
Mood disorders are extremely harmful to an individual’s mental, physical, and emotional well-being. If left untreated, an individual may experience unnecessary suffering and could harm themselves or those around them. It is crucial that an individual gets immediate help at the onset of symptoms.
Fortunately, effective, proven treatments do exist. The most effective are through all forms of Psychotherapy, Functional Medicine, Neurofeedback and Biofeedback, which work to improve an individual’s mood or to improve an individual’s way of dealing with their disorder.