Biological Treatments of Mood Disorders (1)

notes on biological treatments for mood disorders

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  • Created on: 29-06-12 14:48
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Biological Treatments of Mood Disorders
Drug Therapy
Three main categories of antidepressant drugs have been used to treat clinical depression:
Tricyclic antidepressants: prevent noradrenalin and serotonin being taken back into the
neuron after it has been released. It increases the activity levels of these neurotransmitters
o Side effects:
Dry mouth
Excessive perspiration
Constipation
Blurring of vision
Sexual dysfunction
o Results:
Effective in alleviating depression for about 60%
Can take a long time to have a positive effect; 6-8 weeks
Can be fatal if an overdose is taken; only five times the prescription level
Monoamine oxidase inhibitors (MAOIs): stops the breakdown of the monoamine oxidase
chemical in the presynaptic neuron. Higher levels of neurotransmitters are active in the brain
o Side effects:
Interaction with certain foods, such as red wine or chocolate
Increase in blood pressure
Liver damage
Weight gain
Selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs): the most well known in Prozac (fluoxetine).
They allow serotonin to remain active for longer at the synapse
o Side effects:
Increase a person's feelings of anxiety and agitation
Increased risk of suicide
o Results:
Fast-acting
Bring relief from depression relatively quickly, usually after just 2 weeks
Less severe side effects
Bipolar disorder:
Lithium: returns the levels of neurotransmitters such as serotonin and dopamine to normal.
The uptake is different for each person and they have to be carefully monitored to maintain
the correct level
o Side effects:
Blurred vision
Difficulty in concentration
Kidney dysfunction
o Results:
Most effective for treating mania, not depression
People who suffer from bipolar must take it for the rest of their lives to
avoid the recurrence of manic episodes
Many people who take it don't like it, and stop taking it
As it has to be taken after the manic episodes have ceased, many sufferers
believe they can manage without it, and stop taking it as a result
Evaluation:

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The three classes of antidepressant drugs all help to reduce depression but have undesirable
side effects and not everybody responds to drug treatment
They all take time to work.…read more

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The client and therapist draw up a list of activities that the client had
previously found enjoyable
They then deal with any obstacles in rekindling them
Engagement in these activities should lift the mood
o Graded task assignments
Clients are helped to engage in successively more demanding but rewarding
activities
o Thought-catching of `automatic negative thoughts'
Fundamental to the treatment
Clients are taught to notice the association between thoughts and feelings
and note this down
Emotion-arousing experience Automatic negative thought Challenges to the maladaptive
thought…read more

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Cognitive therapy is not suitable for bipolar disorder and works best with articulate and
motivated individuals
IPT is not as well researched as CBT and there is little evidence to evaluate how, or even if, it
is effective. Some research (e.g. Frank et al.…read more

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