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To what extent are affective mood disorders biologically determined?

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  • Essay length: 1966 words
  • Submitted: 19/06/2006
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University Degree Clinical Psychology

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To what extent are affective mood disorders biologically determined?

Although there is evidence to suggest that affective mood disorders are biologically determined, there is also evidence to support the argument that they can be psychologically determined. I will be looking at both sets of arguments and try to reach my own conclusion.

Mood disorders (also known as affective mood disorders) are a group of disorders distinguished primarily by changes in the mood and motivation of a person. These include bipolar and unipolar syndromes. In bipolar disorder, the patient swings from one energetic and emotional extreme to the other. They can experience both mania and depression (which are polar opposites) with normal periods interspersed. This disorder can occur in about 0.5% to 1% of the population and women are diagnosed more often than men are by a ratio of 3:2. In unipolar disorder (also known as major depression), the patient experiences depression only. Estimates show that 10% of all men and 20% of all women in America will suffer from major depression at some point in their lives (Hirschfeld and Cross, 1981; Weissman and Boyd, 1985).

Patients with mild mania tend to be lively, talkative, and self-confident,

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