One in four people suffer from a mental disorder. Psychiatry is a branch of medical science dealing with the knowledge and the treatment of mental illness, social reinsertion and giving back the quality of life for ill patients as well. The word ‘psychiatry’ has Greek origin meaning the healing of the soul. An individual becomes mentally ill when he is no longer accepting himself or others, when it has an aggressive preoccupation with his own body and with his own person, when he lose the contact with the reality, retreating himself into his own world, not being anymore able to adapt to social, occupational and cultural norms.
Mood disorder not otherwise specified is a relatively persistent emotional state that can have fluctuations in depth, intensity and duration. Mood disorders differ from normal variations through persistence, severity, duration and sometimes by the presence of other symptoms and functional disorders. Mood disorder not otherwise specified is a disease characterized by recurrent episodes of mania and depression with normal periods between illness episodes.
Mania – it can be characterized by mood changes, changes in the way of thinking, behavioural disorders (such as increased energy, overspending, sexual affairs, excessive familiarity), verbose (such as exaggerated speech, accelerated and impossible to have a continuous quantity), decreased ability to concentrate and decreased need for sleep.
Depression – it can be characterized by a decreased mood or a lack of pleasure or interest in any activity, sleep disturbances (like insomnia or hypersomnia), changes in appetite and weight, fatigue, lack of energy, low self esteem, anxiety, sadness, irritability, culpability, agitation or suicide ideation.
Mood disorder not otherwise specified, also known as affective disorder, is part of a class of diseases that have as a distinctive feature the appearance of an unusual mood under some specific circumstances. The most common mood disorders are the bipolar disorder, depression, postpartum depression, cyclothymiacs or seasonal disorder. Mood disorders are controlled or treated through medication or psychotherapy. Mood represents an emotional state which can be present for a long time, varying between sadness or joys which the individual can control it and which is reflected in all individual life aspects. Sadness exaggeration is represented by depression and the joy exaggeration is represented by euphoria.
Depression and euphoria are the cardinal symptoms of the depressive syndrome and the manic syndrome. The depressive syndrome represents a set of signs and symptoms that affect the cognitive, affective and behavioural scope. The manic syndrome represents a set of signs and cognitive, affective and behavioural symptoms that have as main symptoms the euphoria or the irritability. Both disrupt the social integration of the individual. Mood disorder not otherwise specified may be classified according to its intensity, recurrence, complexity or duration.
- Major mood disorder, which may be the first episode of illness
- Dysthymic disorder, also known as neurosis anxiety
- Mood disorder not otherwise specified
- Type 1 bipolar disorder, when it is encountered the depression syndrome
- Type 3 bipolar disorder, met in the manic syndrome with major depressive episodes
In psychopathology, depression may occur as a symptom, as a syndrome or as a disease, which is the most common entity. It has two cardinal symptoms: depression and lack of interest or pleasure. Depression is a symptom that is difficult to differentiate by normal sadness. It is persistent and it cannot be modified by external factors, it cannot be controlled by the patient. Each individual express their depression through a personal equivalent of sadness, anger or bad mood.
In mood disorder not otherwise specified lack of interest and pleasure is the second important symptom. Medically, this symptom is expressed by the lack of pleasure for any activity that was previously enjoyable. The interest for any aspect of life disappears: job, hobbies, sex life or family. The patient is pessimistic, hopeless, it tends to isolate and its communication capacity decreases. The way the affection shows its presence is closely related to personality type. Cognitive disorders are under inhibition sign or under the feeling of inefficiency.
During attention investigations, doctors observed an obvious decrease in concentration, the patient reporting that it cannot concentrate on a book or a show and this disorder of attention can be objective. Memory can also be disrupted, the binding capacity is decreased, patients even complaining of this problem. The patients may evoke unpleasant events of their life with the minimization of their previous accomplishments. At perception level may occur disorders, such as headache, somatoform disorders, auditory or visual hallucinations. At the mind level disorders may occur as well – the patient can hardly express its ideas, the verbal expression is slow. The speech content is monotonous and poor or the discussion is centred on the actual suffering and on unpleasant events and the future is very pessimistic.
In many cases family and friend do not know how to help a person with mood disorder not otherwise specified. Below advice can be useful:
- spend more time with the loved one
- provide help for daily activities (do not take them over entirely, because in this scenario mood disorder can increase)
- make exercise with the patient, walking first thing in the morning can help
- help the person not to disrupt its treatment