Critical Care Procedures
Obsessive Compulsive Disorder Treatment
Memory Improvement Techniques
Quit Smoking Techniques
Psychotherapy For Couples
Manual Therapy Treatment
Treatment Of Male Sexual Problems
Treatment Of Learning Disorders
Anger Management Therapy
Psychological Diagnosis (Adult And Child)
Psychoanalysis for Suicide
Treatment of Behaviour & Thought Problems
Psychoanalysis for Mourning
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Patient Review Highlights
Mood disorders are common psychological problems that affect a vast portion of the human populace all over the world every year. These occur when there is a shift or imbalance in a person's psyche which affects his or her daily function and interpersonal relations in varying degrees. Each individual is affected by these conditions in a different capacity and responds to them in a distinct manner.
Mood disorders generally manifest themselves as fluctuations in a person's temperament. It is triggered by various factors. These mental illnesses range from mild to severe, the latter requiring urgent psychological counseling and treatment. A mild condition may even develop into a painful and chronic one without any form of remedial intervention.
What are the most common types of mood disorders?
There are many distinctive categories of mood disorders that can affect a person. The most commonly occurring ones are as follows:
- Major depressive disorder
- Bipolar disorder
- Seasonal affective disorder (sad)
Major depression is the most frequently occurring type of mood disorder. It causes mental and emotional turmoil, as well as physical anguish. Those affected by it may experience a single episode in isolation or multiple episodes over a period of time. The milder version of this condition is known as dysthymia.
Bipolar disorder is a comparatively rare condition that causes alternating states of extreme mania and depression. It is also known as manic-depressive illness. The mild version of this is called cyclothymia.
Seasonal affective disorder or sad is a depressive disorder that is known to affect those living in colder climes. It is caused generally by the lack of warmth and light, the onset of which begins in late autumn and lasts till the end of winter.
What causes a mood disorder?
Mood disorders are very difficult to diagnose as they can be caused by an assortment of triggers and the symptoms are not always apparent. This is particularly true in the case of dysthymia and cyclothymia.
Some of the usual factors that lead to mood disorders are:
- Chronic stress and anxiety
- Anomalies in the functioning of the nervous system
- Prolonged periods of isolation
- Childhood abuse and trauma
- Ineffectual coping mechanisms
- Insufficient nourishment/malnutrition
In most cases, a combination of multiple factors usually leads to the development of mood disorders and other mental illnesses.
Most of us have faced the feeling of being weighed down by life's harsh realities and have been sad or low for a long while. It is very common to be upset for some time and most people recover from this feeling and start smiling again in a short span of time. But, if you or any of your loved ones are almost always very sad and this spirit is affecting your daily life considerably, then chances are you might be undergoing a phase of depression.
Here are certain signs to watch out for to determine whether you are struggling with depression.
- Cultivation of a pessimistic approach about everything in life - You feel a sense of hopelessness and that your situation in life will always be the same without any improvement is a sure shot sign that you are suffering from depression.
- Sudden variation in weight or appetite - If you suddenly find that you've lost or gained a significant amount of weight without any substantial reason, then chances are high that it is happening because of your depression.
- A significant change in sleeping patterns - If you've been experiencing insomnia lately or have got a habit of oversleeping, then these might be symptoms of depression.
- Feeling of guilt without any particular reason - If you have started feeling guilty or constantly blame yourself for everything you've done in the past then the reason behind this may be your state of depression.
- Anger or irritated mood - Having a low level of tolerance, getting angry quickly or always being in an irritated mood can be a prominent sign of depression.
- Displaying an uninteresting behaviour towards regular activities - If you no longer feel pleasure in pursuing your favourite activities or things from daily life like hobbies; socialising doesn't interest you anymore then it can be a warning sign for you. In such cases, you can consult a psychiatrist to get treatment for depression.
Schizophrenia is a disease of the mind that is usually degenerative in nature. The complex disorder is generally characterized by symptoms, such as delusions, hallucinations (both auditory and visual) and disturbances in speech and is usually chronic in nature. The symptoms are not regular and can appear at any point of time. So it is highly possible that a person suffering from schizophrenia may sometimes bear resemblance to any other normal person and all of a sudden, might exhibit symptoms typical of Schizophrenia.
The causes of Schizophrenia include:
- Brain Dysfunction: Abnormalities in the cerebral cortex (the cerebrum’s outer covering that is vital in regulating consciousness) of the brain is the most common cause of this disorder. This is due to the presence of abnormally enlarged ventricles in that region. The decreased brain size owing to the enlarged ventricles is often related to the hallucinations and delusions experienced by schizophrenics.
- Genetic Factors: Studies have also stated ‘genetics’ to be an important cause behind this disorder. Closer the family ties, higher the risks of transmitting the disorder.
- Biochemical Factors: More than one neurotransmitter is being targeted by recent drugs to control schizophrenia.
Symptoms which most people do not experience normally, but are found in people diagnosed with schizophrenia are said to be positive symptoms. They are:
- Hallucinations: These are sensory experiences of things that do not exist outside the mind. Hallucinations usually manifest in the form of auditory or visual images.
- Delusions: Delusions on the other hand are false beliefs one has about oneself. Delusions are of 3 major types:
- Grandeur: Wherein the person imagines himself to be a famous personality
- Persecution: The belief that somebody somewhere is plotting against you and the whole world is going to get you.
- Control: The belief that a larger force, let’s say a witch, a demon or even a duck for that matter is controlling your actions.
These positive symptoms generally respond well to medications.
In addition to this, schizophrenics think and speak differently than the rest of the society. They jump from idea to idea, lose track of speech mid-way and often speak in fragmented and haphazardly joined sentences. They are, in fact, unable to fix their attention on anything in particular.
Examples of the most common negative symptoms include:
- The flat effect: The individual basically shows no facial expression and always has a flat emotionless mask on while staring into space. At times, they have inappropriate reactions to situations. Example - they might laugh at somebody's death and cry ad get angry when something good happens.
- Avolition: This condition occurs when the individual just sit for hours doing nothing as well as behaves in a way lacking any motivation or enthusiasm. If you wish to discuss about any specific problem, you can consult a psychiatrist.
People who have been victims of domestic violence not only suffer physical abuse, but from emotional abuse as well, which may stay with them for their whole life. The trauma associated with domestic violence can be deep and takes time to heal even after the relationship with the perpetrator is over and there is no communication or contact between them.
Emotional harm is greater than physical harm
Women make up the significant majority of domestic violence victims. When they face violence within the home sphere, they experience a wide range of emotions like anger, sadness, powerlessness, fear, resentment, vindictiveness and much more. Physical violence not only harms their body, but their mind and spirit are equally wrecked as the memory of being physically subjugated scars them emotionally in a very deep manner and can take years to heal.
Some of the long term impact of domestic violence on women is mentioned below.
- Any kind of physical injuries like bruises, cuts or dislocated joints and bones.
- Many women suffer from hearing impairment
- Loss of vision is also another effect
- Miscarriage or premature childbirth
- Sexually transmitted diseases
- A feeling of fatigue and weakness
In certain cases, unreported domestic violence may result in homicide or murder which is the ultimate and most unfortunate manifestation of physical abuse gone too far, That is why it is important to seek help early on before things escalate too far.
The mental effects of domestic violence take much longer time to recuperate from than the physical effects. If the shock is severe, it can render women mentally unstable for life in extreme cases. Even if a woman recovers from it, the emotional scar may remain and might manifest in the future.
- Depression: This is one of the worst mental effects of domestic violence is depression. The good news is depression is often temporary and can be cured. Signs of depression include a feeling of hopelessness, sadness, weight gain or loss, sleeplessness, loss of appetite and a consequent lack of interest in whatever you love to do. This can affect one’s decision making ability and in extreme cases can render one suicidal.
- Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder: When you encounter any violent experience, then you are most likely to develop Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder. The signs of this disorder include frequent flashbacks of the traumatic experience, nightmares and extreme anxiety. Women who face these kinds of traumatic experiences find it difficult to cope with their present situation for a while. Counselling and support from their loved ones can heal these problems fast.
Other effects of domestic violence may also include seizures, addiction and substance abuse and fainting. If you wish to discuss about any specific problem, you can consult a doctor and ask a free question.
Child sexual abuse is a pressing issue in society today. Statistically, there has been a considerable increase in the number of cases related to juvenile sex abuse over the past decade. Most of the cases report the abuser to be a close family member or a family friend rather than a complete stranger.
A sexually abused child may develop severe mental health conditions and have major difficulties coping with as an adult. One of the most common disorders affecting survivors of child sexual abuse is Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). This involves the individual reliving the trauma all his/her life, thus leading to panic, stress and difficulties in living a healthy life in the longer run.
The individuals who were abused as a child normally suffer from a very low self -esteem. They continue to blame themselves for the events that occurred and hence have a rather demeaning view of themselves, leading to adjustment issues in the future.
They may also be diagnosed with clinical depression owing to the previous trauma. This hampers the everyday functioning of the individual. The individual may continue to relive the past traumatic events in the mind that further fuels their depression and contribute to the vicious cycle, eventually.
Most often, survivors of child sexual abuse have a rather impulsive nature owing to the hampered functioning of impulse-control. They have lesser control over their emotions, especially anger and are rather quick to act on it.
Because of all the complications, they might be less socially competent and thus fail to build firm peer relationships. They grow up to be adults with severe trust issues; they are hence, often side-lined because of their cynicism which leads to further depressive symptoms.
Genophobia or the fear of sex is another complication that they may experience as adults. They may avoid sex altogether or engage in sexual activities that are rather violent in nature. Some survivors may develop certain sexual fetishes that can be rather dangerous; the most common being ‘paedophilia’ or the sexual arousal involving prepubescent children.
The seriousness of the condition is often undermined. In treatment, various therapeutic techniques are used according to the need and age of the patient. Therapists work to promote positive thinking among the sufferers so that it becomes easy for them to accept their past and move on in life with a better outlook. With proper guidance and help, the individuals are able to overcome their mental health issues and live a wholesome life.
If you wish to discuss about any specific problem, you can consult the doctor and ask a free question.