The main mood disorders are major depressive disorder, dysthymia and bipolar disorder.
Patients with mood disorders present chemical alterations in the regulation of brain neurotransmitters. The origin of such alteration can be genetic, epigenetic, or the result of an interaction between genes and the environment. This explains the importance of exploring the history of similar diseases in other family members.
For the disease to present itself it is necessary for this to be combined with a series of environmental factors that operate as triggers or perpetuators (i.e., stress). Other factors such as drug use or traumatic situations that generate acute or chronic stress, can also lead to a decompensation of the delicate balance of chemical substances.
It is characterized by sad, irritable or anxious mood, frequent crying, changes in appetite or weight, sleep problems, loss of energy, feelings of exaggerated guilt, difficulty concentrating or indecision, inability to enjoy things and refusal of social contact, unjustified discomfort or pain, and repeated thoughts about death or about suicide.
It is a chronic and less severe form of depression, characterized by permanently low mood. The main symptom of dysthymia is a state of despondency, gloom and sadness almost every day for at least 2 years.
Bipolar Disorder consists of phases of depression that alternate with episodes of mania or hypomania. Interspersed with these, there are periods where the patient presents no symptoms and is able to carry out a completely normal activity. However, if mood episodes appear too frequently, with several depressive or manic episodes taking place in one year (Bipolar Disorder with short cycles), the prognosis worsens and the impact of the illness becomes greater, leading to deterioration. There are several types of Bipolar Disorder. The classical form alternates periods of grave mania with depressive periods, and it is called Bipolar Disorder Type I. During manic episodes, patients tend to require hospitalization. Type II is characterized by shorter and less intense episodes of elevated mood than in Type I, followed by prolonged depressive phases.
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