What Is A Mood Disorder Psychology Essay

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Mood disorders are something that has plagued American Society for quite some time. A mental disorder is usually characterized by a disturbance of the mood, in which they can be mild, moderate, or severe. When depression is used, the clinical depression plan is introduced. There have been so many people, including famous ones that have suffered from many severe disorders such as depression. These disorders have also plagued many experienced writers such as Ernest Hemingway and Virginia Woolf. Unfortunately, this affects 1% of the population in adults in the United States.

These disorders are often untreated because people don't want to accept the fact that they are suffering from some sort of illness. Yet, when it is left untreated for too long, a deeper, more severe form can take over. The numbers of mood disorders that can be treated are constantly going up, so treatment should be easily assessable. Since this disorder is an equal opportunist, no one is totally and completely immune, regardless of your gender, class, nationality, intelligence or your social status.

According to Comer (2010), a mood disorder is defined as a disorder affecting one's emotional state, including major depressive disorder and bipolar disorders. These emotional shifts come from daily events and usually do not affect the individual's life greatly. Depression and mania are some of the key emotions that are in mood disorders. Unfortunately, these mood problems have been shared by millions of people and the economic costs of these depressions amount to more than $80 billion a year. Most of these symptoms are emotional, motivational, behavioral, and physical.

What causes mood disorders?

Mood disorders often vary. Depression, for example, may be characterized by the number of symptoms experienced, which could cause a diminished pleasure. These individuals could also suffer from irregular sleep patterns, fatigue, suicidal thoughts, and things such as delusional guilt. Mania, on the other hand, is the inverted state of depression. This usually results in an unrealistic self-image; lack of sleep not accompanied by fatigue, runaway thoughts, distractions, and increased agitation of movement. Even abnormal brain structures have been found in individuals with bipolar disorders, yet it is not clear what role they play in the disorder itself.

In other instances, some conditions that evolve are caused by emerges from losing something loved. Instead of dealing with the circumstances at hand, some individuals avoid the conflict by doing whatever they can to keep busy. Things such as chronic illness, difficult relationships, and financial problems can also trigger depressive symptoms. Individuals or families that are socioeconomically disadvantaged have higher chances of becoming depressed than their advantaged counterparts. Men and women are both prone to depressive disorders, but for many different reasons.

According to Comer, 2010, some mood disorders can be inherited through biological vulnerability. This is something that could happen among many close relatives. He has stated that scientist now have techniques from the field that can help them directly identify genes that can determine whether certain abnormalities are related to certain mood disorders. Some investigators found that the makeups of genetics are different for those who have it and those who don't. Some biochemical factors include norepinephrine and serotonin, which has been linked to unipolar depression. Some even found that different parts of the body's system can play a role.

Self-help Treatments

Some self-help treatments are designed specifically for certain diagnoses. It is very important that you don't assume what you have without being properly diagnosed from a medical doctor. Once you are diagnosed with a medical condition, the main thing to do is become familiar with your condition so that you can start working toward a cure or some type of balance.

According to helpguide.org, there are a number of ways to live and cope with mood disorders. They have listed a number of things that you can do to help yourself throughout your process and they include the avoidance of drinking, ensure that you are making healthy choices for yourself to keep your symptoms under control, continue with proper treatment and maintain a good set of decisions as they can influence your illness course. Some of the key recovery concepts that are mentioned are hope, perspective, personal responsibility, self advocacy, education and support.

Effects of Self-Help Participation

In a study conducted by Powell, Yeaton, Hill, & Silk, 2001, they studied whether participation in self-help groups would improve psychosocial outcomes. Considering that helping people recover from mood disorders is a challenge, continuing symptoms and recurrent episodes usually are not uncommon, even in the most state-of-the-art care facilities. In order for treatment to be a success, there must be an understanding of the diagnosis. Even with the most dedicated care, future episodes can't be ruled out; therefore, it should be anticipated depending on the frequency, duration and the recent past episodes noted.

Although in their findings they predicted something different, the authors found that even though there was doubt on the efficacy involving the self-help interventions; they were consistent with the groups of self-help study. They found that involvement definitely plays a positive role in the benefits that were produced than in just attendance alone. They argued that the conclusion could have been changed because of the severity of the illness indicators in the psychosocial outcomes, but other factors have to be looked at i.e. age of onset or management of illness. They also concluded that the positive effect of the group involvement during self-help on management of the illness itself is especially noteworthy since treatment itself is being increasingly combined with self-help participation and treatment and rehabilitation add to significance of the study.

Interview with Mr. Tamasaka

In my interview, I continuously worked with a Probation Officer by the name of Ty Tamasaka, who has been a probation officer for over 5 years or more. He is currently working with the State of Hawaii, through the 1st Circuit Courts system. He has worked with many different agencies and have seen many individuals move through the system time after time. If I'm not mistaking, he started here on Oahu, moved to the Big Island to work in Hilo and then moved back here to Oahu and picked up where he left off.

The branch that he actually works with is the Adult Client Services Branch and he has a load of cases dealing with substance abusers, mental disorder probationers, and sex offenders. Some of these individuals, who were mentally challenged, were also abusing drugs and sexually abusing children. I asked him questions like were these people arrested because of their crimes and he would sometimes say no; that they were never convicted of a crime.

I found that many of his probationers were utilizing self-help venues to help deal with their issues and that it seem to be working for some of them. There has been some that were cut from treatment because they wasn't doing what they needed to do, they had individuals that were placed in resident treatment centers because their problem could only be fully treated within a resident treatment area and even some of them were being released from treatment because they have done so well. Of course these individuals would still have to take meds if they were placed on some, but for the most part, I gathered that treatment could be conducted and a positive reinforcement for some.

Not everyone was willing to do the right thing and had to be removed from the program. They were still using drugs, they were doing things to their victims like stalking them and many other things; yet according to Mr. Tamasaka, this treatment could be really good for them, they just have to be willing to do the work. Some of the self-help programs were for substances, alcoholics, and sex offenders. It was also clear that some patients weren't in a well-enough state to be put into treatment programs. The mental disorder patients were sent to mental hospitals to serve out their time there until they were fit enough to go back into society and it would be the same thing if they committed another crime, if deemed unfit to stand trial.

I could clearly understand why some mood disorder individuals might have trouble or how the self-help groups could hinder their treatment. If you are trying to help a person with their alcohol problem, there may be certain medications that you don't want them to take so that they could be alert and focused when you are trying to discuss the 12-step program. Unfortunately, taking a mood disorder patient off their meds could cause them to act out or do something to someone else because they don't know how to deal with their condition without medication. Anything that could cause a severe change in their mood could ultimately become a stressor for them, but for those who have things under control, they are the ones that can succeed.

In Conclusion

I have discussed what a mood disorder is and its causes that are known to man so far. I have also talked about self-help treatments and its effects of the participation within this treatment. My introduction of Mr. Tamasaka, gave me more insight as to how things happen once you become part of the system, although their concern is to help the offender. These individuals may be suffering from mood disorders but they can still be helped if they want to be. On the other hand, he also explained that some individuals are too sick to fix their problem, their condition is just too far set back to change now and some of them who have been dealing with their condition don't want the help. I found out a lot about the disorders and how treatment can make them better or worse.