Mood disorders are characterized by an elevation or lowering of an individual’s mood. Their mood may be elevated into a mania state or may be lowered into a depressed state. There are also mood disorders that involve an individual cycling between mania and depression, like bipolar disorder. The mood changes are often noticeable and strong. These states of mood are distorted and usually inconsistent with the circumstances as well. Mood disorders affect an individual’s normal, everyday functioning and emotional state. Individuals may alienate family and friends, and have trouble at work or school. Mood disorders are closely correlated with substance abuse and suicide, which increases the seriousness. Examples of mood disorders are major depressive disorder, bipolar disorder, cyclothymia, and seasonal affective disorder.
Mood disorders may include depressive symptoms – such as unyielding sadness and emptiness, losing interest in previously enjoyed activities, thoughts of worthlessness or hopelessness, fatigue, physical aches, loss of appetite, or excessive sleeping. The individual may exhibit mania symptoms – such as prolonged periods of ecstasy, restlessness, irritability, excessive energy, impulsiveness, risky behavior, racing thoughts, rapid speech, or insomnia. Frequently, individuals with mood disturbances also struggle with symptoms of anxiety as well.
The disorder usually has an impact on the whole family, not just the adolescent. When parents identify symptoms of a mood disorder, they are encouraged to find professional treatment for their child. It’s often tough to understand as a parent where these symptoms are coming from. With individual therapy, an adolescent will be helped to understand the root causes of their mood disorder and work through the difficult feelings and symptoms. Treatment may also include medications, such as antidepressants, to stabilize mood and reduce symptoms.
Promise Village: Home for Children is committed to working with adolescent’s struggling with a mood disorder. Positive peer interactions, character building, individual therapy, and medications are all used to help the adolescent. Mood disorders, such as depression, weigh heavy on a child. Promise Village: Home for Children seeks to help children get the help they need to reduce or eliminate symptoms of mood disorders.
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