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By Dr. Lester Sandman
 Dr. Lester Sandman is a privately practicing psychiatrist in
Bellevue, Washington. He specializes in mood and anxiety
di...
 One could also include some of the anxiety disorders in
this broad category, since anxiety is a common symptom
in depres...
 Environment may also play a role, but it’s useful to try to
distinguish between a mostly “biological” mood disorder, whi...
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Dr. Lester Sandman: Mood Disorders, an Overview

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Dr. Lester Sandman is a privately practicing psychiatrist in Bellevue, Washington. He specializes in mood and anxiety disorders. Dr. Sandman is board certified by the American Board of Psychology and Neurology, and he holds medical licenses in multiple states, including Washington, California, Arizona, and Hawaii. With more than 20 years of experience in his profession, Dr. Lester Sandman offers the following information about mood disorders.

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Dr. Lester Sandman: Mood Disorders, an Overview

  1. 1. By Dr. Lester Sandman
  2. 2.  Dr. Lester Sandman is a privately practicing psychiatrist in Bellevue, Washington. He specializes in mood and anxiety disorders. Dr. Sandman is board certified by the American Board of Psychology and Neurology, and he holds medical licenses in multiple states, including Washington, California, Arizona, and Hawaii. With more than 20 years of experience in his profession, Dr. Lester Sandman offers the following information about mood disorders. The most commonly recognized mood disorders are bipolar disorder and major depression; however, many other conditions also fall within this general category. Also known as affective disorders, this category of mental health conditions also includes milder forms, such as dysthymic disorder and cyclothymic disorder, as well as a number of conditions described in the research literature that have not been accepted as “official” diagnoses.
  3. 3.  One could also include some of the anxiety disorders in this broad category, since anxiety is a common symptom in depression and bipolar disorder. While the cause of mood disorders remains unknown, research shows that brain chemicals, such as neurotransmitters, play a key role in regulating moods. Neurotransmitters act as signals between nerve cells in the brain. When these chemicals are not functioning properly, the result may be a mood disorder. These problems with brain neurotransmitters and their resultant mood disorders also appear to have a genetic component and do run in families. Research is currently active in trying to track down how inherited genes that control neurotransmitters are turned off and on in an individual.
  4. 4.  Environment may also play a role, but it’s useful to try to distinguish between a mostly “biological” mood disorder, which will likely do best on a medication, versus a mood state that is primarily psychological, social, and/or environmental, which will do better with counseling or psychotherapy. Recognizing a mood disorder depends on the type of condition; however, some symptoms occur commonly in many. These symptoms include hopelessness, sadness, helplessness, guilt, decreased ability to make decisions, suicidal ideation, appetite changes, hostility, anxiety, racing thoughts, sleep disturbances, difficulty concentrating, and hypersensitivity to failure, among others. If you experience persistent symptoms, a psychiatric evaluation may help diagnose the condition. Once diagnosed, treatment may include medications or psychotherapy, or both.

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