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Mood Disorder Essay

1850 words - 8 pages

Mood disorder is the term given for a group of diagnoses in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM IV TR) classification system where a disturbance in the person's mood is hypothesized to be the main underlying feature.[1] The classification is known as mood (affective) disorders in ICD 10.

English psychiatrist Henry Maudsley proposed an overarching category of affective disorder.[2] The term was then replaced by mood disorder, as the latter term refers to the underlying or longitudinal emotional state,[3] whereas the former refers to the external expression observed by others.[1]

Two groups of mood disorders are broadly recognized; the division is based on ...view middle of the document...


Diagnosticians recognize several subtypes or course specifiers:

* Atypical depression (AD) is characterized by mood reactivity (paradoxical anhedonia) and positivity, significant weight gain or increased appetite ("comfort eating"), excessive sleep or somnolence (hypersomnia), a sensation of heaviness in limbs known as leaden paralysis, and significant social impairment as a consequence of hypersensitivity to perceived interpersonal rejection.[6] Difficulties in measuring this subtype have led to questions of its validity and prevalence.[7]

* Melancholic depression is characterized by a loss of pleasure (anhedonia) in most or all activities, a failure of reactivity to pleasurable stimuli, a quality of depressed mood more pronounced than that of grief or loss, a worsening of symptoms in the morning hours, early morning waking, psychomotor retardation, excessive weight loss (not to be confused with anorexia nervosa), or excessive guilt.[8]

* Psychotic major depression (PMD), or simply psychotic depression, is the term for a major depressive episode, particularly of melancholic nature, where the patient experiences psychotic symptoms such as delusions or, less commonly, hallucinations. These are most commonly mood-congruent (content coincident with depressive themes).[9]

* Catatonic depression is a rare and severe form of major depression involving disturbances of motor behavior and other symptoms. Here the person is mute and almost stuporose, and either immobile or exhibits purposeless or even bizarre movements. Catatonic symptoms also occur in schizophrenia, a manic episode, or be due to neuroleptic malignant syndrome.[10]

* Postpartum depression (PPD) is listed as a course specifier in DSM-IV-TR; it refers to the intense, sustained and sometimes disabling depression experienced by women after giving birth. Postpartum depression, which has incidence rate of 10–15%, typically sets in within three months of labor, and lasts as long as three months.[11] It is quite common for women to experience a short term feeling of tiredness and sadness in the first few weeks after giving birth; however, postpartum depression is different because it can cause significant hardship and impaired functioning at home, work, or school as well as possibly difficulty in relationships with family members, spouses, friends, or even problems bonding with the newborn.[12] In the treatment of postpartum major depressive disorders and other unipolar depressions in women who are breastfeeding, nortriptyline, paroxetine (Paxil), and sertraline (Zoloft) are generally considered to be the preferred medications.[13]

* Seasonal affective disorder (SAD), also known as "winter depression" or "winter blues", is a specifier. Some people have a seasonal pattern, with depressive episodes coming on in the autumn or winter, and resolving in spring. The diagnosis is made if at least two episodes have occurred in...

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