Clients who suffer from these disorders often experience guilt over their inability to control their sadness, unstable moods, and impulsive behavior. Well-meaning friends or family members can exacerbate this guilt by telling suffers to “cheer up”. But Mood Disorder sufferers are not able to simply stop feeling depressed or change their moods at will. These disorders have a biochemical basis and must be dealt with by a caring and competent mental health practitioner. Following is a list of the more frequent Mood Disorders treated at Richard A Waldman MD.
Major Depressive Disorder
Major Depressive Disorder occurs most frequently in adults, although children and the elderly may also be affected. Sufferers of this disorder may experience changes in appetite, reduced energy levels, difficulty maintaining their sleep cycle, irritability, difficulty concentrating, feelings of despair, guilt, and worthlessness, and persistent thoughts of suicide. Like any mental illness, Major Depressive Disorder is not the result of negative thinking or self-indulgence, but is rather a genuine mental illness often caused, at least partially, by a biochemical imbalance. Richard A Waldman MD can diagnose this illness and help sort through any confusion clients may have regarding their condition.
Bipolar Disorder is characterized by frequent and unpredictable shifts in mood and behavior. During the “high” period, bipolar persons often experience a surge of euphoria and physical energy. While this may seem ideal, the emotions and perceptions in the euphoric phase of Bipolar Disorder form a distorted, manic caricature of true happiness. Risky financial decisions, reckless driving, and other inappropriate behaviors result from these manic episodes. A sharp downturn follows, bringing with it depression, lack of energy, confusion, fearfulness, despair and thoughts of suicide. Sufferers of bipolar disorder constantly struggle to navigate the endless treadmill of emotional fluctuations that may range from elation to suicidal despair within an extremely short period of time.
Mood disorders do not always manifest in a dramatic display of symptoms. Sufferers of Dysthymic Disorder experience many of the challenges faced by those with Major Depressive Disorder. Low self-esteem, indecisiveness, and persistent fatigue remain. The danger of Dysthymic Disorder lies in its insidious and chronic nature. Those affected by this disorder may feel that because their symptoms aren’t severe, they should be able to overcome them. But studies show that untreated Dysthymic Disorder can lead to work difficulties, unstable family relationships, and even early death.