Mental health conditions affect your brain and can change the way you feel, think, or behave.
Mood disorders mainly affect the way you feel (your mood).
Some signs you may have a mood disorder are if you:
Some people can tell when they have a mood disorder.
Some people need help to notice any changes in their moods.
As a person with a developmental disability, you can learn about mood disorders so you can seek help to diagnose if you may have one.
There are two main types of mood disorders:
It is important to recognize the signs of mood disorders and to seek treatment.
The stories about Sandy and David in this presentation will help you.
She has been spending most of her time alone in her room, avoiding the activities she usually enjoys.
Sandy knows that these feelings are different from the way she usually feels and she tells her support provider.
Her support provider is concerned; together, they make an appointment with Sandy’s doctor.
This list will help Sandy remember what she wants to tell her doctor at the appointment.
Her doctor decides Sandy should see a special kind of doctor, called a psychiatrist.
Sandy and her psychiatrist, Dr. Jeffries, have an appointment where they talk about Sandy’s life and how she is feeling.
After talking with Sandy several times, Dr. Jeffries determines that Sandy has a mental health condition called depression.
Dr. Jeffries recommends two treatments that will work together: therapy sessions with him and a medication called an anti-depressant.
When she gets her medication, Sandy makes sure to go over the instructions and label with Dr. Jeffries and her pharmacist.
When she felt hopeless and sad, she told someone about it instead of keeping her feelings to herself.
She’s going to keep seeing Dr. Jeffries and she’ll be honest with him about her feelings.
Sandy takes other medications for diabetes and heart disease.
She’s going to make sure to learn the instructions for all of her medications so that she can take them in the right way and at the right times.
He knows what he is feeling is not how he normally feels, so he tells his support provider.
David tells Dr. Jeffries about his extreme moods.
Dr. Jeffries diagnoses David with bi-polar disorder and recommends the following treatment plan:
When he noticed that his moods changed a lot, he immediately told someone.
He helped Dr. Jeffries make the right diagnosis because he was honest during their therapy sessions.
He is going to make sure he takes his lithium responsibly and he’ll tell someone if he doesn’t feel right.
Your support system is a great place to find someone to talk to about how you have been feeling.
Always try to be as honest as you can.
Remember that every detail, no matter how small, is important.
People in your support system care about you and want to help you get better.
Talk to them and be honest with them about all of the feelings you are experiencing.
The most important thing is to seek advice and diagnosis for treatment for your mood disorder!
Last updated on June 18th, 2010