Episode 1

Episode 1: Mood disorders


January 9th, 2019

28 mins 43 secs

Season 1

Your Hosts

About this Episode

There are a number of forms of mental illness that can be characterized as mood disorders. The most commonly well known include clinical depression, bi-polar, and anxiety disorders. Over one million Canadians suffer from some form of depressive illness. Mood Disorders affect one in five people across the world. In the following interview with Karen Lieberman, the Executive Director of the Mood Disorder Association of Ontario, viewers will learn about initial signs of mood disorders along with how to support family members who have been unsuccessful in their approach to urging their loved ones towards a diagnosis. Ms. Lieberman discusses the issue of stigma and possible reasons for delaying or avoiding treatment. Distress Line volunteers are provided with recommendations for these issues along with supporting callers who may be experiencing symptoms of mood disorders. Questions for Further Consideration 1. Have you known someone who presented as having depression or any mood disorder? What kinds of things can you do to support a person who you suspect as having this type of mental illness to seek help? What has helped in the past? Remember in the case of depression, you need to consider how long the individual has been feeling this way. The longer time goes on, the more treatment resistant the individual will be to improvement. A toned-down approach in which the individual is told they are cared for, and that you are noticing changes in their behaviour versus getting frustrated with their resistance seems to have more positive results. For a caller on a Distress Line, discussing getting treatment may involve probing for reasons behind their resistance. They may need to hear that their concerns should be further explored with their doctor to rule out physical reasons behind their symptoms. Why is it considered "unhelpful" to say "don't give up hope" to a depressed person? A depressed individual who has given up hope does not feel heard when they are feeling so down that there is nothing to live for. It can be irritating to hear that they are feeling is not valid. Remember to acknowledge how they are feeling, using active listening techniques. Let them know that you have hope for them and to focus on strategies that include not making suicide an option for that moment. Glossary of Terms Mood Disorder: A pattern of illness defined by a disturbance of mood (such as profound sadness, apathy, euphoria or irritability), including depression, dysthymia, bipolar affective disorder, mania, hypomania and other disorders. Depression: A mood disorder characterized by a loss of energy, feelings of worthlessness, and loss of interest in all usually pleasurable outlets, including food, sex, work, friends, or entertainment. Often accompanied by recurrent thoughts of death or suicide. Diagnosis is made when at least 5 of a group of symptoms have been present for at least 2 weeks, including depressed mood and loss of interest. Dysthymia - A mood disorder related to depression, with many of the same symptoms. However, thoughts of suicide and death are typically absent, and the individual is usually able to function. Patients with dysthymic disorder typically have been depressed most of the day, on most days, for at least 2 years. Hypomania - A distinct period of elevated, expansive or irritable mood, for at least four days, that is distinctly different from the person's usual non-depressed mood. Bi-Polar Disorder: bipolar disorder - Also known as "manic depression", this disorder is characterized by mood swings from depression to mania, with very little in the middle. Mania - A mood disorder characterized by periods of abnormally and persistently elevated mood, overactivity, over-production of ideas and exalted thoughts Anxiety Disorder: A group of psychiatric disorders including generalized anxiety disorder, phobias, obsessive-compulsive disorders, and anxiety neurosis that are characterized by excessive anxiety. (Source: https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/mood-disorders/symptoms-causes/syc-20365057)