Mood Disorders

Most people are familiar with the term mood disorder, however most people are less familiar with its meaning. A mood disorder is the term designating a group of diagnoses in the mental health diagnostic manual classification system (DSM) where a disturbance in the person’s mood is considered to be the main problem. We naturally have variation in our moods to some extent, but mood disorders address atypical problems with mood.

Mood disorders (also called affective disorders) are a group of emotional difficulties that have as their distinguishing characteristic an experience of mood, or emotional state, that is unusual for the circumstances, and that causes the affected party to change their mood, or prevent the associated behaviors and symptoms from occurring. Probably the most familiar words the general public knows for mood disorders are depression, anxiety, bipolar, and anger issues.

There are a variety of clinical disorders within the mood disorders category. What is actually going on clinically–what clinical disorder may or may not exist–requires an assessment from a professional trained in psychological principals. This is important because mood disturbance is frequently the result of a complex mix of underlying causes. The diagnostic manual is a helpful guide in identifying groups of symptoms and impacts on functioning, however the resolution to the difficulties lies in the details of why your body is producing the symptoms. There is generally a combination of physiological, psychological, and environmental causes.

My approach to addressing mood problems and disorders takes into account the meaning of the symptoms. By identifying the meaning or reason for the symptoms, accurate solutions can be found so the body and mind can adjust, and the need for the symptom is eliminated. This generally includes physical and psychological solutions.

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