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Top 10 Most Common Questions About Mood Disorders, Answered

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Mood disorders are a category of mental health conditions that affect a person’s emotional state. They involve persistent feelings of sadness, irritability, or highs and lows that are extreme and disrupt normal life.

The main types of mood disorders include:

  • Major depressive disorder – This involves periods of extreme, persistent sadness and loss of interest in normal activities. Other symptoms can include changes in sleep, appetite, energy, concentration and suicidal thoughts.

  • Bipolar disorder – Formerly called manic depression, this involves cycles of extreme highs (mania) and lows (depression). The highs may lead to risky behaviors while the lows bring extreme hopelessness.

  • Dysthymia – This involves a chronic low-grade depression that lasts for years. Symptoms are not as severe as major depression but still impact relationships and daily functioning.

  • Seasonal affective disorder – A type of depression triggered by changes in seasons, starting in fall and winter and ending in spring or early summer.

  • Disruptive mood dysregulation disorder – This involves severe, recurrent outbursts of anger along with sadness or irritability in children and adolescents.

Mood disorders differ from typical mood changes by being more extreme, persistent over time, and interfering significantly with normal functioning. Proper evaluation by a mental health professional can determine if someone’s symptoms meet the criteria for a mood disorder diagnosis.

How Homeopathy Can Help in the Complete Cure for Mood Disorders?

Homeopathy, a gentle and natural approach to healing, has shown promise in treating mood disorders, providing a safe alternative to conventional psychiatric medications. Welling Homeopathy, a renowned homeopathic clinic, has developed its own CUREplus™ Homeopathy Treatment method. This method is designed to offer patients a complete, pain-free recovery from various mood disorders, including bipolar disorder, by using customized homeopathic medicines.

Here’s how homeopathy can help in the complete cure for mood disorders:

Customized Treatment: Welling Homeopathy’s CUREplus™ protocol offers tailor-made homeopathic medicines to address each patient’s unique health problems.

Effective and Natural: Homeopathic medicines have proven effective in treating mood disorders in patients from 108 countries, without the side effects often associated with psychiatric medications.

Targeting the Root Cause: Homeopathy works at a deeper level, aiming to improve overall immunity and address the root cause of the mood disorder.

Reducing Dependency on Medications: With the help of homeopathic medicines, patients can gradually taper off their anti-depressant and anti-psychotic medications, resulting in better overall well-being.

Non-habit Forming: Homeopathic medicines used in the treatment for mood disorders are not habit-forming and can help patients cope without relying on addictive medications.

What causes mood disorders

What causes mood disorders?

Mood disorders can be caused by a complex interaction of biological and environmental factors.

Biological factors

  • Brain chemistry – Imbalances in neurotransmitters like serotonin, dopamine, and norepinephrine can influence mood regulation. For example, low serotonin is associated with depression.

  • Hormones – Changes in hormones due to puberty, pregnancy, menopause, or thyroid issues may trigger mood symptoms.

Environmental factors

  • Trauma – Experiencing a traumatic event like abuse, violence, or disaster can increase the risk for developing a mood disorder. Post-traumatic stress disorder is closely tied to trauma.

  • Stress – Chronic stress from work, relationships, family, or other life circumstances can alter brain chemistry and lead to mood disturbances. High stress is linked to depression and anxiety disorders.

  • Substance abuse – Alcohol and recreational drug use can directly cause mood problems. Withdrawal from substances can also induce depression or anxiety.

  • Certain medications – Some prescription drugs like steroids or blood pressure medications are associated with mood changes as a side effect.

  • Sleep deprivation – Not getting enough sleep disrupts circadian rhythms and alters mood-regulating neurotransmitters. Both insomnia and sleep apnea have been connected to mood disorders.

So in summary, mood disorders arise from complex interactions between biological vulnerabilities and environmental stressors or triggers. Identifying and addressing these root causes through psychotherapies, lifestyle changes, and medications can help manage symptoms.

What are the symptoms of mood disorders?

Mood disorders involve persistent feelings of sadness or periods of feeling overly happy or irritable that are severe enough to impair day-to-day function. Some common symptoms of mood disorders include:

  • Persistent feelings of sadness, emptiness, or hopelessness
  • Irritability or restlessness
  • Anxiety, agitation, or feelings of unease
  • Loss of interest in normal activities
  • Fatigue or lack of energy
  • Sleep disturbances
  • Changes in appetite
  • Difficulty concentrating
  • Feelings of worthlessness or guilt
  • Thoughts of death or suicide

There are some differences in the specific symptoms seen in unipolar depression versus bipolar disorder.

In unipolar depression, the primary mood disturbance is persistent feelings of sadness, emptiness and hopelessness. There can be brief periods of feeling better, but the low mood will persist continuously outside of those short-lived periods.

In bipolar disorder, there are dramatic mood swings between periods of high energy and elation (mania) and periods of depression. The manic periods may involve symptoms like a decreased need for sleep, racing thoughts or rapid speech, impulsiveness, or risky behavior. The person will cycle between manic and depressive periods.

So while general symptoms of sadness, anxiety, sleep issues, etc can occur in both unipolar and bipolar mood disorders, bipolar disorder has the additional element of cycling mood episodes between mania and depression.

How are mood disorders diagnosed?

Mood disorders are diagnosed based on self-reported symptoms, psychiatric evaluation, and diagnostic criteria in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM).

  • Self-reported symptoms – To diagnose a mood disorder, mental health professionals will ask about symptoms you’ve experienced, including duration and severity. This subjective information is crucial in identifying episodes of mania, hypomania, or depression.

  • Psychiatric evaluation – A psychiatrist or other mental health professional will conduct an evaluation, asking about your symptoms, thoughts, feelings, and behaviors. Family history and medical history are reviewed. They will rule out any medical conditions or medication side effects that could be causing symptoms.

  • Diagnostic criteria in DSM – The mental health professional compares your reported symptoms to criteria for mood disorders listed in the DSM. They determine if your experiences align with major depressive disorder, bipolar disorder, or other mood disorders based on duration, number of episodes, and severity of symptoms. The diagnosis guides recommended treatment.

How are mood disorders treated?

Mood disorders are often treated with a combination of medications and psychotherapy.

Medications

Several types of medications may be used to treat mood disorders:

  • Antidepressants – These medications help relieve depression symptoms by increasing levels of brain chemicals like serotonin and norepinephrine. Some commonly prescribed antidepressants include selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) like fluoxetine (Prozac) and sertraline (Zoloft), and serotonin-norepinephrine reuptake inhibitors (SNRIs) like venlafaxine (Effexor) and duloxetine (Cymbalta).

  • Mood stabilizers – Also known as antimanic agents, these medications help control extreme mood swings associated with bipolar disorder. Lithium is one of the most commonly used mood stabilizers. Others include lamotrigine (Lamictal), valproate (Depakote), and carbamazepine (Tegretol).

Psychotherapy

Along with medications, different forms of psychotherapy can help manage mood disorders:

  • Cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) – CBT focuses on identifying and changing negative thought patterns that contribute to symptoms. Patients learn coping techniques to manage stress and regulate emotions.

  • Dialectical behavior therapy (DBT) – DBT utilizes CBT techniques along with concepts of mindfulness and distress tolerance. It helps patients better regulate emotions, control impulsive behaviors, and improve relationships.

  • Interpersonal therapy – This type of talk therapy helps patients identify and address problems in personal relationships that may relate to or exacerbate their mood disorder.

  • Family-focused therapy – This involves educating family members about their loved one’s disorder and teaching coping strategies. Having family support can lead to better outcomes.

Regular psychotherapy, along with adherence to prescribed medications, can effectively manage mood disorder symptoms. Support groups and healthy lifestyle changes like exercise, nutrition, and stress management can also complement treatment. With proper care, many people with mood disorders can achieve remission of symptoms and improved quality of life.

What lifestyle changes help with mood disorders?

Making positive lifestyle changes can greatly help in managing mood disorders and improving overall mental health and wellbeing. Here are some key areas to focus on:

Exercise

Regular exercise has been shown to improve mood and relieve symptoms of depression and anxiety. Aim for 30-60 minutes per day of moderate exercise like brisk walking, swimming, biking etc. Exercise helps release feel-good endorphins and reduces stress hormones.

Nutrition

Eat a balanced, nutritious diet focusing on whole foods like vegetables, fruits, whole grains, lean protein, nuts and seeds. Limit sugar, processed foods and saturated fats which can negatively impact mood. Stay hydrated and avoid excess caffeine and alcohol which can worsen symptoms.

Sleep Hygiene

Getting 7-9 hours of quality sleep per night helps regulate mood. Stick to a consistent sleep schedule, limit electronics before bed, create a restful sleep environment and practice relaxation techniques to get better sleep. Poor sleep exacerbates psychiatric conditions.

Stress Management

Chronic stress takes a toll mentally and physically. Practice relaxation techniques like deep breathing, meditation, yoga, or progressive muscle relaxation to activate the body’s relaxation response. Pursue hobbies and activities you enjoy to take a break from daily stressors.

Social Support

Spend time with supportive friends and family who uplift you. Join group activities or support groups to connect with others dealing with similar challenges. Strong social ties are linked to better mental health outcomes. But take breaks from negative relationships that worsen your mood.

Making simple lifestyle tweaks can make a big difference in managing mood problems. Work with your healthcare provider to develop a lifestyle plan tailored to your needs. Consistency is key.

What are the complications of untreated mood disorders?

Mood disorders like depression and bipolar disorder can have serious complications if left untreated. Two major risks are suicide and substance abuse.

  • Suicide risk – Both depression and bipolar disorder increase the risk for suicide. People with untreated depression may feel hopeless about the future and see death as the only way to end their suffering. During manic episodes of bipolar disorder, a person may engage in reckless behavior with little concern for consequences. This impulsiveness, combined with hopelessness during depressive phases, makes suicide more likely. Getting treatment greatly reduces suicide risk.

  • Substance abuse – People with mood disorders frequently turn to drugs or alcohol to try to ease their symptoms. This often makes the illness worse and leads to addiction. Those with untreated bipolar disorder are particularly prone to abusing stimulants like cocaine during manic episodes and depressants during depressive phases. Substance abuse complicates treatment and worsens outcomes. Catching and treating mood disorders early can prevent substance abuse issues from developing.

In addition to those risks, untreated mood disorders negatively impact relationships, work performance, and overall wellbeing. The strain of dealing with uncontrolled symptoms can destroy marriages and other personal relationships. Holding down a job becomes difficult when depression or mania interferes with work performance. Skills like concentration, motivation, and decision-making also suffer without treatment. Early intervention not only reduces risks, but also helps preserve quality of life.

How do you help someone with a mood disorder?

The most important way to help someone with a mood disorder is to express your care and support. Listen without judgment when they share their feelings and experiences. Avoid minimizing their emotions or telling them to “snap out of it.” Instead, validate their feelings and acknowledge their struggle.

Gently encourage the person to seek professional treatment. Offer to help them research options or make appointments. Recommend talk therapy, medication, or other treatments that could improve their mood. However, don’t force or guilt someone into getting help. They need to make that choice themselves when ready.

You can also encourage regular self-care. Mood disorders often disrupt normal routines around sleep, diet, exercise, and socializing. Without imposing rigid rules, suggest healthy lifestyle adjustments like getting sunlight, avoiding alcohol, establishing a sleep schedule, eating nutritious meals, exercising, journaling, or joining a support group.

Most importantly, be patient and consistent in your support. Recovery from mood disorders takes time. Let the person know you are there for them during the ups and downs. With compassion and encouragement, you can make a real difference in their mental health journey.

What is the prognosis for mood disorders?

The prognosis for mood disorders varies greatly depending on the individual and the specific disorder. However, with proper treatment and management many people are able to achieve remission of symptoms and live fulfilling lives.

For some, mood disorders can be an ongoing chronic condition requiring active management. Symptoms may come and go over time. Having a strong support system, adhering to treatment recommendations, and adopting healthy lifestyle habits can help reduce relapses.

Even in severe cases, there is hope for stabilization, symptom improvement, and recovery. While mood disorders are complex mental health conditions, many different treatment options are available, including medications, psychotherapy, brain stimulation therapies, and more.

Being diagnosed with a mood disorder does not mean life-long suffering. With today’s advances in psychiatry and psychotherapy, effective treatments allow many people to regain functioning and meaning in their lives. Ongoing research continues to further the understanding and management of these conditions as well.

However, mood disorders often require long-term, proactive treatment and monitoring. Expecting a “quick fix” can lead to discouragement. Working closely with a mental health profession and following their treatment plan is key. There will also likely be ups and downs along the recovery journey.

By partnering with a knowledgeable care team, surrounding themselves with support, and tapping into available resources, most people with mood disorders can achieve stabilization and marked improvement. While it may be a lifelong condition, with proper care, mood disorders need not prevent someone from living a full and rewarding life.

Which Are Top 5 Homeopathic Remedies for Bipolar Disorder and Mood Disorders?

Homeopathy, unlike conventional medicines, uses specific remedies that target the unique symptoms and emotional responses of each patient. Here, we elaborate on some potent homeopathic treatments mentioned by Dr. Sourabh Welling for treating mood disorders:

Argentum nitricum: A key remedy in homeopathy, Argentum nitricum (Silver nitrate), is well-suited for individuals experiencing high levels of anxiety and nervousness along with sudden mood swings. These individuals may often feel restless and impulsive, which may lead them to make hasty decisions or actions. Restlessness can also manifest with physical symptoms such as trembling and twitching in various parts of the body. Argentum nitricum helps in calming these acute phases of anxiety and stabilizing mood swings.

Aurum metallicum: This remedy (Metallic Gold) is often recommended for individuals suffering from severe depression. This type of depression tends to make an individual feel completely worthless, with a constant sense of despair and often suicidal thoughts. Patients needing Aurum metallicum may also experience significant sleep disturbances. This remedy helps by uplifting the mood, reinstating self-worth, and giving the individual the strength to deal with life’s challenges.

Calcarea carbonica: Derived from the middle layer of oyster shells, Calcarea carbonica (Carbonate of Lime) is useful for individuals who get overwhelmed easily. They often have anxiety about their health and security, and may also suffer from chronic fatigue. Their stress and anxiety could also lead to physical symptoms such as indigestion, palpitations, and sweating. Calcarea carbonica assists in boosting their coping mechanism, reducing fatigue and anxiety, and improving overall vitality.

Lithium carbonicum: This homeopathic medicine is typically suitable for those experiencing mood swings akin to bipolar disorder, with recurrent depressive episodes and intermittent periods of intense energy or mania. The depressive episodes may involve feelings of sadness, hopelessness, and a lack of interest in life. Lithium carbonicum can help to stabilize these mood swings and bring a sense of balance and calm to the patient.

Natrum muriaticum: This remedy (Common Salt) is considered effective for individuals who are introverted, sensitive and prone to periods of deep gloom following a loss or disappointment. These individuals can also harbour unexpressed grief and exhibit a strong desire for solitude. Natrum muriaticum helps by allowing these individuals to open up emotionally and overcome their feelings of deep sorrow and despair.

Each of these remedies, when prescribed by a skilled homeopath, can offer significant relief and contribute to curing mood disorders in a holistic and patient-specific way. However, it is essential to remember that self-medication can be counter-productive. Always consult a qualified homeopath for correct diagnosis and treatment.

Homeopathy treatment, such as Welling Homeopathy’s CUREplus™ Protocol, offers a holistic, natural, and safe approach to treating mood disorders. Customized homeopathic medicines can help patients recover from mood disorders by addressing the root cause and eliminating the need for habit-forming psychiatric medications.

What resources are available for those with mood disorders?

There are many resources available for those struggling with mood disorders like depression, bipolar disorder, and anxiety disorders. Getting the right support can be critical in managing symptoms and improving quality of life.

Mental Health Professionals

Seeking help from a mental health professional is highly recommended. Therapists and psychiatrists are trained to diagnose mood disorders accurately and provide effective treatment plans. Therapists offer talk therapy to help manage thoughts, emotions, and behaviors. Psychiatrists can prescribe medications to help regulate brain chemistry imbalances that contribute to mood symptoms. Many accept insurance and offer sliding scale fees.

Support Groups

Joining a support group provides community with others dealing with similar challenges. Support groups allow people to share experiences, advice, and coping strategies. Many are free, locally accessible, and offer in-person or online meetings. Popular options include Depression and Bipolar Support Alliance (DBSA), Anxiety and Depression Associations, and the Indian Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI).

Crisis Hotlines

When experiencing severe symptoms, overwhelming emotions, or thoughts of self-harm, Call our helpline number +91 8080 850 950 and talk to our online advisors for a personal consultation with our experts.