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How to Treat Mood Disorder



Unusual experience of mood at least for two weeks is known as mood disorder. In actual, there is a group of psychological illnesses with distinguished features known as mood disorders. Mood disorders include: Major depressive disorder (Also called major depression), Bipolar disorder, Dysthymic dysorder, Cyclothynic disorder

All these disorders need treatment, which may include psychotherapy (cognitive behavioral therapy), mood disorder medication, natural antidepressants and diet modification. Now, we will consider the treatment for each of the disorder separately.

Treatment of Major Depression

There is adequate mood disorder information about the fact that depression responds to both the psychological and drug treatment. The choice of the treatment for depression depends on the local availability and patient’s preference. Severe depression may require electroconvulsive therapy (ECT), as there is high risk of intractable suicide attempts. Drug treatment for depression include various mood disorder medications such as tricyclic antidepressants (TCAs), selective serotonin re-uptake inhibitors (SSRIs), monoamine oxidase inhibitors (MAOs), moclobemide and some newer antidepressants.

TCAs are well-known as effective antidepressants. They inhibit the re-uptake of the amines and 5-HT at synaptic clefts. The effects of TCAs appear after two to three weeks from the beginning of the treatment. Though TCAs are effective in the treatment of depression, but they are notorious for their side effects. Anticholinergic effects, postural hypotension, seizures and cardio-toxicity are the major side effects caused by TCAs. SSRIs have less adverse effects than TCAs, but they still cause nausea, anorexia, headache and sexual dysfunction.

Monoamine oxidase inhibitors block the metabolism of noradrenaline and 5-HT and thus increase the concentration of neurotransmitters at synaptic cleft. MAOs must be used carefully as they show dangerous interaction with amphetamines and foods containing tyramine (cheese and wine). Moclobemide selectively inhibits MAO subtype A.

Many of the antidepressants are very effective and 75% patients respond to the treatment. Successful treatment requires proper dosing of a suitable drug at proper time. Improvement in mood disorder symptoms may take two to four weeks.

Mild to moderate depression can be managed with CBT and interpersonal therapy. As far as mood disorder information is concerned, both the mood disorder medication and psychotherapy can be carried out together.

Treatment of Bipolar Disorder

Before starting the treatment, the patient must be evaluated and assessed for the level his/her mood disorder. He/she may need hospitalization or may be dealt as an outdoor patient. Mood disorder medication includes mood stabilizers, antipsychotics and benzodiazepines. Individual psychotherapy and natural antidepressant foods play an essential role in managing the mood disorder symptoms.

Treatment of Dysthymic Disorder

Mood disorder medication is not necessary for this disorder. Long term psychotherapy is beneficial to overcome the mood disorder symptoms. In medication, SSRIs, TCAs or MAOs are the choices.

Treatment of Cyclothymic Disorder

Typically, lithium, cabamazepine and valproic are the drugs of choice for cyclothymic disorder. Psychotherapy provided will help the patient gaining an insight into his/her illness.

Similarly, seasonal affective disorder, postpartum depression, grief, death and dying are psychological conditions and are dealt with accordingly. In short, psychotherapy and antidepressant drugs are the main stay of treatment for mood disorders. According to mood disorder information provided by researchers, natural antidepressants like fatty acids (omega) and other antidepressant foods are also beneficial.