Mood Disorders

Depression and Bipolar Disorder

Mood Disorders or Affective Disorders refer to a spectrum of psychiatric conditions ranging from (unipolar) Depression to Bipolar Disorder, and whose predominant features are disturbances in the person’s emotional state, self-perception, behavior, and though processes.

Depression can result from genetic predispositions, biological states (e.g., medical conditions, menstrual cycles, or post-partum), psychosocial factors and life events (e.g., death of a loved one, relationship difficulties, trauma, career stress), environmental exposures, or motivated behaviors such as substance use. It can also present at various levels of intensity, i.e., short-lasting episodic, low-grade chronic but tolerable conditions, or severe illnesses that can significantly interfere with daily functioning at work or home.

Mood Disorders

When depressed patients visit their psychiatrist, they typically describe at least several of the following:

  • Persistent sadness
  • Anxiety, irritability, or anger
  • Loss of pleasure in many aspects of life
  • Trouble sleeping or eating
  • A level of exhaustion that makes daily tasks like taking a shower or grocery shopping feel overwhelming
  • At more extreme stages: thoughts of worthlessness, hopelessness, disorganized thinking, or suicidality.

Bipolar disorder is diagnosed when there is at least several days of an abnormally elevated or irritable mood (mania), and often accompanied with impulsive pleasurable activities or behaviors. Bipolar disorder combines two types of extreme emotional states that may alternate in cycles – depression and mania.

Symptoms of mania include:

  • An unusually elevated or euphoric mood
  • Rapid and intense bursts of talking
  • Ability to go without sleep for prolonged periods
  • Irritability
  • Uncontrolled promiscuity, spending sprees, fast driving, or gambling
  • Delusions or hallucinations
  • Alcohol or substance abuse

As mentioned above, both depression and bipolar disorder have many causes and presentations. Yet, both are treatable with medication and/or psychotherapy. Therapy can also help the loved ones of someone suffering from mood disorders to better understand the condition and to understand how it may indirectly affect them. The biological treatment of mood disorders has advanced considerably over the past few years to include medications and invasive or non-invasive brain stimulation modalities such as transcranial magnetic stimulation, electroconvulsive therapy, or deep brain stimulation. Many of these treatments are still being refined.

Mood disorders

If you, or someone you know, is affected by any of the above signs or symptoms, contact the office of Dr. Saidi to discuss possible treatment.