The thing about human evolution is that we are always moving forward. Every day we are constantly taking what we already know and what we’ve already done and pushing it further, trying to develop the new, and ultimately better. This can be seen in just about every avenue of our lives from the cars we drive to the food we eat, but perhaps one of the most globally felt and impactful areas that we have been making strides in is in medicine and healthcare.
Looking back through the pages of history, it doesn’t take much to realize that we are blessed being born when we were. For it wasn’t all that long ago that many of the diseases and conditions that we find ourselves seemingly immune to today (thank you vaccines) were running rampant, taking lives, and change the lives of countless more. And while the lives of the sick have been dramatically improved over the years, there does seem to be one avenue of our health that is on a steady decline – mental health. And while mental health is a rather broad sentiment, one that encompasses much, for the sake of this article, we will be taking a look at one of the smaller, subsections of mental health; and sadly, one that is among the most prevalent – mood disorders.
A mood disorder is a psychological disorder that is characterized by the elevation or lowering of a person’s mood. And while most everyone will experience a flux in their moods and the way they feel throughout the day, for a person with a true case of mood disorder, such as clinical depression, it will likely interfere with their everyday life for extended periods of time.
Although depression is the most common and well known of the mood disorders, it isn’t the only one. Others that prevalent and worth knowing about include bipolar disorder, dysthymia, and substance-induced mood disorders.
Bipolar Disorder is also sometimes referred to as manic depression. It is a mood disorder that causes severe high and low mood changes. People with this disorder are usually on one extreme, they are overly happy or overly sad, no in between.
Dysthymia is the name given to long-term depression. People with this disorder rarely experience feelings of happiness. They are usually sad, have low self-esteem and experience feelings of hopelessness.
Depression is a bit more severe than Dysthymia. A person suffering from depression is usually in a constant state of sadness. They usually suffer from insomnia, feelings of worthlessness, digestive disorders and even thoughts of suicide. Treatment is usually the best option because, without it, the symptoms can last from weeks to years.
Substance-Induced Mood Disorders is a form of depression that can be caused or precipitated by the use of alcohol, drugs, and medications. A person with this disorder may experience a disturbance in their mood. After using the substance they may feel depressed or their mood may be heightened.
Some other common mood disorders include seasonal affective disorder (SAD), postpartum depression, cyclothymia and Schizoaffective Disorder.
Although the prevalence of mood disorders and mental health problems are on the rise, it seems that there is still a taboo and social stigma around them, so much so that many people who should be seeking help and treatment are suffering in silence. However, for much more, they simply do not know the signs and symptoms that could lead them to receive the help they need.
So in hopes of shedding some light on a real health concern and with a reassurance that you are not alone, allow us to present to you some of the most signs and indicators of common mood disorders.
Let us imagine that you are on a cross-country road trip. The car is packed, the tank is full and nothing but the open road ahead of you. However, just before the trip began, you might have consumed a bit too much coffee for breakfast or soda at lunch. The result - the open road has to be put on hold for a pit stop so that you can use the facilities.
While the need to pee is nothing new and something that just about everyone (if not everyone) has experienced before and likely will again, the point we are trying to illustrate is that the urge to pee is something that, when present, takes precedence over everything else. Now, imagine that happened to you all the time. Welcome to not so fun world of type 1 diabetes.
Frequent urination when it is the result of type 1 diabetes is usually most noticeable at night, although you need only ask anyone with type 1 diabetes to know that isn’t always the case. The reason for this seemingly constant feeling of having to pee is because the kidneys are working overtime trying to get rid of the excess sugar in the blood. In order to do that, though, they have to get rid of more water; and to put it simply - more water means more urine.