Mood disorders

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Mood disorders:

Mood disorders July 27, 2006

Definition of mood disorders:

Definition of mood disorders Psychological disorders characterized by emotional extremes

Two mood disorders we’ll discuss:

Two mood disorders we’ll discuss Depression Bipolar disorder: alternating periods of depression and mania


Depression #1 reason people seek mental health services Leading cause of disability worldwide

Symptoms of depression:

Symptoms of depression Sad mood, most of the day, nearly every day Anhedonia: loss of interest and pleasure in usual activities

Symptoms of depression:

Symptoms of depression Difficulties sleeping: insomnia or sleeping a great deal Poor appetite and weight loss, or increased appetite and weight gain Loss of energy, great fatigue

Symptoms of depression:

Symptoms of depression Negative self-concept, self-blame, feelings of worthlessness and guilt Complaints or evidence of difficulty concentrating, such as slowed thinking and indecisiveness Recurrent thoughts of death or suicide

To be diagnosed as depressed:

To be diagnosed as depressed A person must have: Sad, depressed mood OR loss of pleasure AND four other symptoms For at least two weeks in a row

Other conditions:

Other conditions People with depression may also have Anxiety Panic attacks Substance abuse Sexual dysfunction Personality disorders Important theme: people often, though not always, suffer from more than one disorder at a time.


Depression Lifetime prevalence rate of 11 - 17% in US Twice as common in women as in men Occurs most frequently in young adults


Depression Stressful events at work and in relationships can precede depression. Early loss of a parent due to death or separation increases later vulnerability to depression. People with more stressors (family member’s death, job loss, physical assault, marital crisis) have a higher risk for depression.


Depression Often subsides on its own, but 80 percent of those with depression experience another episode within a year.

Bipolar disorder:

Bipolar disorder Formerly manic depression Alternating periods of depression and mania Mania can occur on its own too.

Symptoms of mania:

Symptoms of mania Increase in activity At work, socially, or sexually Unusual talkativeness, rapid speech Impression that thoughts are racing Irritable mood Less than the usual amount of sleep needed

Symptoms of mania:

Symptoms of mania Inflated self-esteem Belief that one has special talents, powers, and abilities Distractibility Excessive involvement in pleasurable but risky activities, such as spending money, excessive alcohol/drug use, reckless driving, and risky sex

Bipolar disorder:

Bipolar disorder Lifetime prevalence of about 1% Average onset in the twenties Occurs equally often in men and women

Explaining mood disorders:

Explaining mood disorders Psychoanalytic perspective Biological perspective Social-cognitive perspective Interpersonal perspective

Psychoanalytic perspective:

Psychoanalytic perspective When a child loses a loved one Grief Separation Withdrawal of affection the child incorporates the lost person into the self, in a fruitless attempt to undo the loss.

Psychoanalytic perspective:

Psychoanalytic perspective We all harbor unconscious negativity toward people we love. So the person then becomes the object of his/her own hate and anger. Depression is anger turned against the self.

Psychoanalytic perspective:

Psychoanalytic perspective Little support for this theory

Biological perspective:

Biological perspective Genetic influences The depressed brain

Genetic influences:

Genetic influences Mood disorders fun in families Risk of depression doubles if a parent or sibling is depressed Adopted people with a mood disorder have biological relatives with mood disorders, alcohol problems, or suicide.

The depressed brain:

The depressed brain Norepinehprine increases arousal and boosts mood Scarce during depression and overabundant in mania

The depressed brain:

The depressed brain Serotonin is also scarce during depression Drugs that relieve depression increase levels of serotonin

The depressed brain looks different and functions differently:

The depressed brain looks different and functions differently Abnormalities in the frontal lobe  7% smaller in severely depressed patients Lower levels of electrical activity in the left frontal cortex

The depressed brain looks different and functions differently:

The depressed brain looks different and functions differently

Social-cognitive perspective:

Social-cognitive perspective How we think affects how we feel and behave. Negative moods feed negative thoughts. Rumination: persistent brooding, constantly rehashing problem inefficiently and without insight

PowerPoint Presentation:

Attribution style Helplessness/Hopelessness

Attribution style:

Attribution style Attribution: the reason we give for why an event occurred Failing a test Getting a promotion Receiving a compliment Having a fight

Attribution style:

Attribution style We can say causes of an event were Internal or external Stable or unstable Global or specific

PowerPoint Presentation:

People with depression tend to make internal, stable, and global attributions about negative events.

Event: I failed my GRE math exam.:

Event: I failed my GRE math exam. Internal: I failed the exam because I am stupid. Stable: I will always be stupid. Global: I am not just stupid at math, but at all subjects.

PowerPoint Presentation:

People with healthy views tend to attribute negative events to external, unstable, and specific causes.

Event: I failed my GRE math exam:

Event: I failed my GRE math exam External: That test was nothing at all like the practice tests. Unstable: I’m sure I could do much better next time. Specific: I may have gotten a low score on that, but I aced my math class and history class.


Helplessness/hopelessness An individual’s feelings of helplessness and lack of control over life’s events lead to depression. No matter what I do, I just can’t succeed, so I might as well give up. Can interact with attribution style.

Attribution and helplessness/hopelessness:

Attribution and helplessness/hopelessness Bad event Attributed to Internal Stable Global factors Depression Sense of Helplessness: No response I can make to alter the Situation, nothing will ever improve

Depression: an ailing mind in an ailing body:

Depression: an ailing mind in an ailing body

Interpersonal perspective:

Interpersonal perspective Depressed individuals tend to have sparse social networks see these networks as providing insufficient support

Interpersonal perspective:

Interpersonal perspective Depressed individuals also elicit negative reactions from others. Depressed people behave in ways that cause peers to reject them.

Interpersonal perspective:

Interpersonal perspective Depressed people are often low in social skills. Low interpersonal problem solving Speaking slowly Hesitating More negative self-disclosure I’m such a loser, I just spilled on myself, I never get invited to parties, listen to this stupid thing I did yesterday.

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