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How are Mood Disorders Treated?

Article Details
  • Written By: Malcolm Tatum
  • Edited By: Bronwyn Harris
  • Last Modified Date: 18 December 2019
  • Copyright Protected:
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    Conjecture Corporation
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Mood disorders impact the quality of life for many people, directly and indirectly. People suffering with mental health issues such as anxiety, various forms of depression, and different phobias often see no way out. At the same time, their loved ones feel helpless when it comes to easing the suffering of a friend, spouse, child or coworker. Fortunately, mental illness is something that can often be treated successfully by employing several basic tools.

When there is any type of ongoing manifestation of mood disorders, one of the first steps is to have a thorough physical examination, including bloodwork. In many cases, the root cause of the disorder may be some type of chemical imbalance that is affecting the function of the thyroid or causing the brain to not produce the correct ratio of different neurotransmitters. Mood disorders with this type of origin can often be corrected with the use of medication, sometimes coupled with nutritional supplements. This combination helps to replenish the body’s diminished resources while also helping to ease the symptoms associated with the disorder.

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In some cases, a chemical imbalance is only part of the picture. Extended periods of heavy stress can lead to the development of mood disorders such as anxiety and panic disorder. Panic attacks usually occur with no prior warning and can leave the individual feeling weak and feeling extremely frustrated. Experiencing a panic attack can also open the door to other mood disorders such as agoraphobia, effectively preventing the individual from participating in many everyday activities.

When anxiety and panic disorder are present, therapy of some type is often very helpful. Methods such as Cognitive Behavior Therapy (CBT) have helped many people overcome the fear and isolation caused by panic attacks, allowing them to begin enjoying life again without fear of what may happen. The exact course of therapy will depend on the individual situation of the patient. A qualified therapist can often identify the underlying emotional causes for the panic attacks and help the patient deal with them, rendering them unable to trigger more attacks.

Therapy is also a powerful tool for anyone who is depressed. There are many different types of depression, ranging from a mild temporary depressed state to serious illnesses such as bipolar disorder. It is not unusual for many mood disorders of this type to be treated with medication to help raise the spirits of the patient while also undergoing counseling to help uncover and defuse any underlying issues that may have led to the depression in the first place.

With just about all mood disorders, it is important to address both the physical and the mental aspects of the condition. Along with medication, nutrients, and therapy, the treatment process may also involve dietary changes that call for the elimination of some foods from the diet and the addition of others. Exercise may also play a role in the treatment of mood disorders, providing the body with a natural boost that in turn has a positive effect on the mind. The attending healthcare professional can assess each individual and determine what treatments are likely to yield the best results and help restore the patient to physical and emotional wholeness.

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