Mood Disorders

Depression, Anxiety, and Bipolar disorders are a few of the most common mood disorders.

Depression

Depression is thought to be a combination of factors that reflect biological, environmental, situational influences.  There are many stresses in life that can trigger depression such as the loss of loved one, loss of a job, or a traumatic event, to name a few.  Depression may be situational (following a stressful life event) or more chronic (sadness coming and going for years).

Depression can be experienced differently depending on age, gender, and cultural background.  Gender may influence how depression appears, as women may be more expressive and tearful, while men may report feeling irritable and angry.  In older adults, the risk for depression may increase when there are age-related physical, cognitive, and emotional changes.  Children may also experience depression differently. Children with depression may say they feel sick, refuse to go to school, cling to a parent, or worry that a parent may die. Depression untreated in childhood may continue into adulthood.

Common symptoms of depression include sadness, worthlessness, guilt, extreme fatigue, suicidal thoughts, anger/irritability, sleep difficulties, changes in appetite, loss of interest in activities once enjoyed.

Neuropsychological Assessment Group can provide an assessment to determine if you have depression and provide treatment solutions.

Anxiety

Anxiety can be a normal response to everyday stress. It helps us stay focused and adapt to change. When anxiety becomes excessive and more troublesome, it can start to take over one’s life. For some individuals, everyday life events can become overwhelming and can cause high levels of anxiety that are incongruent with the actual event.  Some individuals tend to worry excessively to the point that it is bothersome to them and their loved ones.

Symptoms of anxiety may include physical shortness of breath, increased heart rate, sweating, shaking, behavioral isolation, poor sleep, changes to appetite, and excessive worry that interferes with daily life events.

Are panic attacks different from anxiety?  Panic attacks are thought of as being a severe anxiety response. Panic attacks are usually brief episodes where the individual has an intense feeling of being overwhelmed, which is often accompanied by difficulties breathing, excessive sweating, and dizziness.

What makes panic attacks particularly frightening is that many people believe they are having a heart attack.  When panic attacks are not treated appropriately, the problems can escalate to avoidance of activities including not leaving the home. Panic attacks can be triggered by a specific situation or may appear for no apparent reason.  The good news is that panic attacks can be effectively treated and one of the most effective treatments for panic attacks is psychotherapy.

To determine if you experience anxiety, Neuropsychological Assessment Group can conduct an assessment and make recommendations designed to help you feel better.

Bipolar Disorders

Bipolar disorder may occur when the individual experiences a fluctuation in mood.  Those with bipolar disorder may experience periods of elevation including limited sleep, excessive spending, risk-taking behaviors, pressured speech, and irritability.  The same person may experience periods of depression, as described above.  Bipolar disorder is most commonly treated with a combination of medication and psychotherapy.

Neuropsychological Assessment Group can conduct an assessment to assess for bipolar disorder and provide recommendations for ongoing treatment.

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