Mood Disorders : a Handbook of Science and Practice

Moods are so essential to our navigating the world that when they go awry it is only a matter of time until distress and disaster hit. Moods allow us to gauge people and circumstance, alert us to danger or opportunity, and provide us with the means to convey our emotional and physical state to others.

If we act rashly when we ought to be prudent or hang back when we could move forward to advantage, difficulties accrue. Problems compound if, in addition to disruptions in mood, energy, sleep, and thinking also are affected. Disorders of mood which result from this combined disturbance are common, painful, and too often lethal. Fortunately, they are usually treatable.

Scientists and clinicians have learned a remarkable amount about depression and manic-depression, or bipolar disorder, during the past decade. These advances in our understanding of diagnosis, pathophysiology, epidemiology, comorbidity, and treatment are lucidly presented in this excellent handbook.

There is a strong emphasis upon a complex approach to mood disorders, with the authors providing important coverage of both psychological and biological perspectives on the causes and treatment of depression and mania. The thorny issues of diagnostic categories, the ever-expanding spectrum of pathological into normal affective states, and the unsettled relation of major depression to bipolar disorder, are well addressed, as are the topics of evolutionary psychology, suicide, and pharmacological and psychotherapeutic treatments.

There remain many important questions: ethical and clinical considerations which will arise after the first genes for mood disorders are located; the intriguing psychological issues raised by mania—its relation to violence and creativity, its addictive qualities, and its place in the field of positive emotions; cross-species comparisons which will be possible as a result of mapping the human and other mammalian genomes; and the increased understanding of normal moods which will follow from research into more pathological ones.

Neuroscientists, clinicians, psychologists, and molecular biologists make a powerful alliance. This handbook gives an outstanding overview of their accomplishments to date and a sense of the excitement to come.

Language: English
Format: PDF
Pages: 394
Size: 2 mb

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