Bipolar Disorders

Bipolar Disorder, which in the past was called Manic Depressive Disorder, is a mood disorder in which the sufferer can have a variety of symptoms that can be brief or go on for weeks or longer. These can be characterized by moods of elation and/or moods of depression as well.

Elated moods present symptoms in which the person experiences a great deal of energy more than the ordinary increase that we can all experience in times of excitement or physical activity. There sense of self-worth can be excessive and the mood euphoric and this can lead to a person doing things that are risky or even dangerous such as gambling with money that the family cannot afford to lose, excessive spending sprees and  foolish business investments or getting involved in high risk behaviors such as having excessive sexual escapades.

Depressed moods can go on for just a short amount of time, last weeks or longer. They can be mild depressions or quite intense and even debilitating causing lethargy, lack of zest in life, hopeless feelings and even wishes to die.

There can also be a mix of these two moods in which there is an alternating between elation and depression.  This is called mood lability.

As these types of symptoms can result in serious consequences, it is important for the affected person or family to seek help. weekly Psychotherapy in combination with medications have shown good results.

If you are interested to know more about this disorder or would like to seek treatment, please contact Mr. Abbott. He would be happy to discuss the problem with you.




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What Is Depression

Depression is a feeling of a loss of happiness, often accompanied by a loss of interest in things and loss of energy.  The loss may be something immediate such as a loss of a relationship or serious conflict in a relationship.  Depression also can be related to events that occurred many years ago in childhood. Sometimes people with this type of depression have been experiencing feelings for a long time.  Others are hit by depression and wonder where it came from.

Feelings of depression are not an uncommon feeling. Many of us can feel down about something that happened, and we get over it in a few hours or days.  However if you are experiencing a depression that has lasted longer, or you don’t understand why you are feeling depressed, contacting a professional to get help is a good idea.

If you wish to give my offices a call, I would be happy to discuss your problem with you.

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Anxiety Disorders a Common Problem

What is Anxiety Disorder?*

Anxiety is a normal reaction to stress and can actually be beneficial in some situations. For some people, however, anxiety can become excessive. While the person suffering may realize their anxiety is too much, they may also have difficulty controlling it and it may negatively affect their day-to-day living. There are a wide variety of anxiety disorders, including post-traumatic stress disorder, obsessive-compulsive disorder, and panic disorder to name a few. Collectively, they are among the most common mental disorders experienced by Americans.

Several parts of the brain are key actors in the production of fear and anxiety. Using brain imaging technology and neurochemical techniques, scientists have discovered that the amygdala and the hippocampus play significant roles in most anxiety disorders.

The amygdala is an almond-shaped structure deep in the brain that is believed to be a communications hub between the parts of the brain that process incoming sensory signals and the parts that interpret these signals. It can alert the rest of the brain that a threat is present and trigger a fear or anxiety response. The emotional memories stored in the central part of the amygdala may play a role in anxiety disorders involving very distinct fears, such as fears of dogs, spiders, or flying.

The hippocampus is the part of the brain that encodes threatening events into memories. Studies have shown that the hippocampus appears to be smaller in some people who were victims of child abuse or who served in military combat. Research will determine what causes this reduction in size and what role it plays in the flashbacks, deficits in explicit memory, and fragmented memories of the traumatic event that are common in PTSD.

By learning more about how the brain creates fear and anxiety, scientists may be able to devise better treatments for anxiety disorders. For example, if specific neurotransmitters are found to play an important role in fear, drugs may be developed that will block them and decrease fear responses; if enough is learned about how the brain generates new cells throughout the lifecycle, it may be possible to stimulate the growth of new neurons in the hippocampus in people with PTSD.

Current research at NIMH on anxiety disorders includes studies that address how well medication and behavioral therapies work in the treatment of OCD, and the safety and effectiveness of medications for children and adolescents who have a combination of anxiety disorders and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder.

Signs & Symptoms

Unlike the relatively mild, brief anxiety caused by a stressful event (such as speaking in public or a first date), anxiety disorders last at least 6 months and can get worse if they are not treated. Each anxiety disorder has different symptoms, but all the symptoms cluster around excessive, irrational fear and dread.

Anxiety disorders commonly occur along with other mental or physical illnesses, including alcohol or substance abuse, which may mask anxiety symptoms or make them worse. In some cases, these other illnesses need to be treated before a person will respond to treatment for the anxiety disorder.

Effective therapies for anxiety disorders are available, and research is uncovering new treatments that can help most people with anxiety disorders lead productive, fulfilling lives. If you think you have an anxiety disorder, you should seek information and treatment right away.

*This information was excerpted from NIMH.NIH.GOV

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Coming Topics

In the weeks and months to come, this page will  have articles written by Mr. Abbott on Depression, Various Anxiety Disorders, Couples Work and many other topics of interest.  Please come back to this page to see what’s up.


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