Mood Disorders (depression) are a small grouping of common conditions that affect mental health. In mood disorders, normal feelings like being blue, happy or anxious become extreme and you feel you've got little or no control of your moods.
Mood disorders include the following:
- Bipolar disorder (manic depression)
- Panic attacks
Over 3 million Canadians deal with mood disorders and also over 50 million Americans but less than 1/3 seek help. People often hide their symptoms simply because they don't want people to know and deep inside really don't know what to do. Having a mood disorder is absolutely NOT a sign of weakness. It's a problem which can affect anyone, anywhere in any walk of life.
Can Those with Depression Problems Get Better?
Many individuals with depression improve with treatment. Without treatment, symptoms may last for months and even years, then there is the risk of depression coming on and coming on regularly. There's also a risk of suicide.
What can cause Depression-Many factors can increase the risk of developing depression:
- Genetics-depression runs in families
- Imbalance of brain chemicals
- Childhood physical and emotional abuse
- Gender-women are two times as more likely to develop depression
- Medical illness or chronic disability
- Temperament and personality (pessimism, perfectionism or lacking of social network)
- Use of certain prescription or non-prescription drugs
- Prolonged use of alcohol
In case you have a tendency to develop depression, things like high-stress times or significant loss (death of someone close), job loss, lack of a development) can trigger depressive episodes or at the least make the stress trigger seem worse.
How's Depression Diagnosed?
There isn't a simple test for depression or anxiety attacks. Your physician will request information about your feelings and behaviour. It is important that you just be honest. However there are many of treatments for depression and quite often a combination of treatments is best suited.
Treatment for Depression-There are many treatments for depression and often a combination of treatments work best.
Medication: Antidepressant or mood stabilizing medications are available to treat depression. It may take up to six weeks to feel a positive change. It is dangerous to abruptly stop your medication, so consult with your doctor if you are feeling better and want to stop taking medications.
Psychotherapy: Supportive therapy is important to depression treatment. Psychotherapy can help you understand and accept your illness, and deal with factors that may have caused you to become depressed. Therapy can also build your resilience and self-esteem.
Cognitive therapy: Cognitive therapy is a form of talk therapy that helps you understand how your thoughts affect your feelings towards behavior. It helps you retain your thought patterns to change your feelings.
Interpersonal therapy: This therapy focuses on strengthening your relationships and building your support system.
Supports Groups: Attending a self-help group can help alleviate and prevent depression.
Exercise: Research indicates that exercise can help relieve depression. Exercise increases helpful brain
chemicals that are depleted in depression. However, exercise should not replace traditional therapy.
Take care of yourself: Eating well, drinking plenty of water, sleeping properly and avoiding alcohol or recreational drugs can strengthen your ability to cope with depression.