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What should I tell a friend if I think he has a mood disorder?

An individual and/or the family can feel insulted, confused and angry when you bring up your observations on mood disorder symptoms. A negative response stems from the fact that so many have put mood disorders in the category of "character flaws" or "personal weakness" for so long. But once you realize you can fight this ignorance with facts, you will have quite an arsenal.

In the past years, medicine has advanced at a phenomenal pace. Psychiatric research and the medicines that have resulted from it have advanced even more. Studies and studies of studies have proven unequivocally that depression and bipolar disorder stem from biochemical anomalies that can be treated in all sorts of ways:
  • with other chemicals like medications and even nutritional supplements
  • with talk therapies
  • with lifestyle changes
In fact, depression is so based in physical and biochemical aspects that a few companies have developed urine tests to detect the neurotransmitter levels underlying it. Wouldn't parents want to know if their child had asthma when an inhaler can turn that kid into a soccer star?

Despite these facts, there's no point in painting a pretty picture that your friend and his or her family will greet your concerns and information with gratitude and open arms. Because ignorance remains, they may be insulted. They may be angry. Most of all, they'll be afraid. Fight their fear with the facts.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.