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Mood Disorders


 

Mood disorders afflict millions of Americans and hundreds of millions of people worldwide. Our moods are particular kinds of emotions that give salience or meaning to our experiences.

For example, when we happen on an old friend with whom we attended high school and whom we have not seen for many years, we feel surprised and happy. By contrast, the next person who walks by, whom we have never met, rouses no such feelings within us. The difference in feelings distinguishes our relationship to these two people. Similarly, we feel strongly positive and joyful emotions when we behold our someone we love, but feelings full of hurt and anger when we turn a corner to see a person who has intentionally harmed us in the past. All these feelings and emotions, and many more, allow us to distinguish people, places and circumstances that are meaningful to us in different ways from those that are not.

These feelings and emotions are products of biological processes in our central nervous system. Like all systems in our body, for example our lungs, our vision, or our heart, the central nervous system sometimes malfunctions. When our vision malfunctions we might call it nearsightedness or farsightedness, when our lungs malfunction in a certain manner we call it asthma, when our heart malfunctions in a particular way we call it tachycardia. Similarly, when our central nervous system malfunctions, it may lead to depression, mania, or mixed states (the combination of mania and depression). These disorders of emotion lead us to perceive our world inaccurately, so that we become angry at people who have really done nothing to offend us, depressed and sad when there is little or nothing to be sad about, or inexplicably giddy and happy. The decisions we make and the way we relate to people are distorted by these inaccurate perceptions. Like nearsightedness, asthma and tachycardia, these disorders of mood can be treated medically to enable us emotionally to perceive the world accurately again.

The Mood Disorders Clinic of Scott P. Hoopes, M.D.,& Associates is designed to accurately diagnose and treat mood disorders. We use diagnostic instruments developed for use in psychopharmacological research to establish reliable and reproducible psychiatric diagnoses. These diagnoses become the foundation for all subsequent treatment.