As a registered dental hygienist, each work day will bring about new experiences and obstacles to overcome. Some of these hurdles will be pleasant and some will be more detailed oriented. As a working professional it is up to you to handle these instances will grace and proficiency in a timely and mature manner. As such, working with the public includes many avenues to navigate because each person is a unique pathway. Psychology can help us better traverse these pathways with more resiliency. One issue that many dental hygienists may come across in his or her career are people with mood disorders. Mood disorders may include: major depressive disorder, mania, or bipolar disorder. Knowing the causes, symptoms, and treatments of these disorders can help any working professional give adequate care and can ensure that the patient will come back for another visit to maintain their health.
Mood disorders are a mixed group of mental complexions characterized by extreme exaggeration and disturbance of mood. Major depression and other mood disorders, such as bipolar depression, can heavily affect a patient’s dental health. The drugs used to treat these conditions can have significant side effects that dentists and dental hygienists should be aware of when treating a patient with such diagnosis. The dentist or dental hygienist should refer patients found with signs and symptoms of mood disorders for medical evaluation and treatment (Little, 2004). The most common diagnosis of mood disorders is what is called major depressive disorder. Major depressive disorders are diseases which are simply referred to as depression and represent a class of mood disorders. One of the main and more popular symptoms of people with depression is the lack of social activities, however, some patients with major depressive disorders can manifest common physical symptoms ranging from digestive and circulatory problems to libido and even respiratory issues. This lack of social interaction also leads itself to lack of personal care resulting in poor oral health care. The causes of mood disorders may exist from chemical imbalances in the brain due to genetic factors but could also stem from prescribed medication like the drug Reserpine (Yamada, Patent Issued for Therapeutic Agent for Mood Disorders, 2016). People with major depressive disorder feel extremely useless, worthless, and lonely making it hard for them to function normally, and studies have shown that women are twice as likely to suffer from depression. The reason for this is not quite agreed upon. Some believe that it is because women undergo more stress than men in areas of inequality in the workplace,
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