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Module 43 DISORDERS OF MOOD AND THOUGHT MOOD DISORDERS Problems arise when someone’s mood state is so intense and so prolonged that it profoundly impairs the ability to function Two main types of mood disorders o Major depression and bipolar disorder Major depressive disorder Depression is a mood disorder characterized by deep sadness and despair Someone is considered clinically depressed only if the episode arises without a discernible cause and lasts for two or more weeks o Symptoms include: Diminished pleasure or interest in food, sex, social banter, and other joys Intense feelings of worthlessness, guilt, and self-blame Restlessness and agitation, marked by difficulty sleeping, concentrating on work, and making decisions Fatigue, slowness, and a lack of energy Recurring thoughts of suicide and death Quick facts and numbers: o Age is a relevant factor Very rarely diagnosed before adolescence Most common in middle age o People al over the world get depressed, though the form it takes may differ Headaches and “nerves” in Latino cultures “Imbalance” in Chinese and Asian cultures Problems of the “heart” in Middle Eastern cultures o The depression rate has been rising with each successive generation Found in United States, Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Lebanon, New Zealand, Puerto Rico, and Taiwan o About twice as many women as men seek treatment for depression May occur because: Girls encounter more adversity than boys do Girls ruminate more about negative events Girls become needy when depressed, which causes friends to withdraw, further worsening the problem o Some people get depressed on a season basis (seasonal affective disorder) People with SAD who live in colder regions of the world become listless and withdrawn in winter Two hours a day of exposure to bright light is an effective treatment
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o Regardless of one’s sex, age, culture, or generation, it’s reassuring to know that depressive episodes often last only a few weeks However, often reoccurs and lasts longer Theories of depression Randolph Nesse (2000) believes that human beings may have adapted depression as a way to cope with life situations that are difficult, futile, or to dangerous to confront Biological factors If one fraternal twin suffers depression, 20% chance other will If one identical twin suffers depression, 50% chance other will o Suggests two compatible conclusions There is a genetic basis of depression Environmental factors also play a prominent role Depression is associated with lower-than-normal levels of norepinephrine and
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