Following a traumatic event such as the death of a loved one, a failed relationship, or a chronic illness, people are known to develop mood disorders, grief and loss conditions, and even anger management issues. There is not one known cause or treatment for each one of these disorders but there are resources to help those who are suffering from any of these conditions.

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Mood Disorders

Generally, there are five types of recognized mood disorders:

Major depression

Can be indicated by symptoms of depression that persist over long periods of time

Dysthymia

Characterized by a consistent depressive mood that lasts for two years or longer

Bipolar disorder

The uncontrollable switching between states of mania and depression

Mood disorder related to another health condition

Chronic and terminal illnesses often lead to mood disorders

Substance-induced mood disorder

Often a result of alcohol use disorder or substance use disorder

Each of these mood disorders is unique, but they can be diagnosed together, and they can result from similar circumstances.

Symptoms of Mood Disorders

Some of the symptoms of mood disorders include:

  • Low self-esteem
  • Feelings of loneliness and isolation
  • Intensely sad emotions
  • Feelings of worthlessness, feelings of guilt and shame
  • Trouble sleeping or insomnia
  • Trouble eating
  • Sudden unintentional weight loss or weight gain

Mood disorders are caused by a chemical imbalance in the brain, that is to say that levels of neurotransmitters are not where they should be. The reasons for the development of mood disorders can be a combination of multiple external factors, but families with a history of mood disorders are at a higher risk to developing one or more mood disorders.

Symptoms of Mood Disorders

Mood disorders are generally treated with antidepressants, psychotherapy, or a combination of treatment options. Antidepressants aim to restore the chemical imbalance in the brain by increasing the levels of neurotransmitters. Psychotherapy can allow clients to discuss their issues in a non-judgmental environment, without fear of social repercussions.

Grief and Loss

Sometimes referred to as complicated grief, or grief and loss disorder, this usually occurs due to the death of a loved one, or the breakdown of a relationship or any other form of loss. It is normal to experience overwhelming feelings of sadness, emptiness, and numbness, during the grieving period, but eventually these symptoms should fade. In extreme cases, these feelings persist over time and people are not able to accept a loss.

The symptoms of complicated grief are very similar to the symptoms of regular grief, the difference being that they persist over time and get in the way of resuming regular life. Complicated grief keeps people from getting through the morning process and moving forward with their lives.

Some of the symptoms are:

  • Extreme and intense feelings of sorrow, sadness, and pain over the death of a loved one
  • Inability to focus on anything but the death of a loved one
  • Constant reference to memories with the deceased
  • Constant reminders of the deceased or constantly avoiding reminders of the deceased
  • Having a hard time accepting the loss of a loved one
  • Feeling like life has no purpose or meaning
  • Consistent low mood and bitterness towards most things
  • Inability to return to a normal routine after a sufficient amount of time
  • Constantly replaying scenarios in their head to do with the deceased

Treatment for complicated grief is decided on a case by case basis by health professionals to determine the best course of action for individuals. In most cases, the recommendations for treatment are psychotherapy, medication, or a combination of the two. Antidepressants can be helpful to treat clients suffering from complicated grief and help them return to a normal routine. Psychotherapy or counseling offers clients a safe way to vent their feelings and identify the triggers that cause negative feelings.

Anger Management

Anger management issues can present themselves in different ways on a case by case basis. Some people tend to act out aggressively towards others when they are struggling with anger, and others bottle it up and take out their frustration on themselves.

Some of the physical symptoms include:

  • Rapid heartbeat
  • Muscle tension
  • Increased body temperature
  • Teeth clenching or grinding
  • Clenched fists
  • A feeling of tension in the chest area

Some of the psychological symptoms include:

  • Nervousness or feeling “on edge”
  • Inability to relax the body and muscles
  • Feeling irritable
  • Feeling humiliated
  • Resentment of others

Some of the changes in behavior include:

  • Screaming and shouting in scenarios that don’t necessitate it
  • Ignoring family and friends, withdrawing from social situations due to anger
  • Getting into physical altercations
  • Punching holes in the wall or breaking household items
  • Becoming aggressive towards friends and family

Anger management is generally treated through talk therapy, including cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT). There are also group therapy programs available to those suffering from anger management. The goal of these methods is to identify the underlying causes for their issues with anger, as well as to work through the triggers that cause feelings of anger within clients.

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