Mental Health Mondays | Mood Disorders (Part One)

People with mood disorders experience moods outside the normal range that are longer in duration with more severe symptoms. (Tweet This). There are two main forms of mood disorders – depressive and bipolar. In this post (part one), we will discuss depressive disorders first.

Outward Signs of Depression

Physical Appearance:

A person who is depressed may:

  • Look sad, dejected or anxious.
  • Speak slowly, in monotones.
  • Look unkempt (lack of attention to physical appearance and personal hygiene).
  • Have slowed thinking and body movements or be agitated, unable to sit still, pacing, or hand-wringing.
  • Have decreased energy, tiredness and fatigue.

Attitudes:

People who are depressed may say things such as:

  • “I’m a failure.”
  • “I have let everyone down.”
  • “It’s all my fault.”
  • “Nothing good ever happens to me.”
  • “I’m worthless.”
  • “No one loves me.”
  • “I am so alone.”
  • “Life is not worth living.”
  • “There is nothing good out there.”
  • “Things will always be bad.”

Effects of Depression:

  • Effects on emotion: sadness, anxiety, guilt, anger, mood swings, lack of emotional responsiveness, helplessness, hopelessness, irritability.
  • Effects on thinking: frequent self-criticism, self-blame, worry, pessimism, impaired memory and concentration, difficulty making decisions, confusion.
  • Effects on behaviour: crying spells, withdrawal from others, neglect of responsibilities, loss of interest in personal appearance, loss of motivation.
  • Physical effects:  chronic fatigue, lack of energy, sleeping too much or too little, overeating, or loss of appetite, constipation, weight loss or gain, and unexplained aches and pains.

Symptoms of Major Depressive Disorder:

  • An unusually sad mood most of the day and nearly every day. The person will experience depressed feelings. Their depressed mood is observed by others.
  • Loss of enjoyment and interest in activities that used to be enjoyable.
  • A significant weight gain or loss even when not dieting.
  • Sleeping too much or too little, nearly every day
  • Moving more slowly or becoming agitated and unable to settle.
  • Lack of energy, chronic tiredness.
  • Inappropriate feelings of guilt and worthlessness, nearly every day.
  • Difficulty concentrating, making decisions, nearly every day.
  • Reoccurring thoughts of death – Suicidal thoughts.

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