The mood (emotional state) describes how a person feels; for example: cheerful, worried, dispirited, languid, sad, troubled etc. A person’s mood is a phenomenon that can also be observed from the outside.
If abnormal emotional states like depression, mania, hypomania are seen together in the same patient we talk about a diagnosis of mood disorder (bipolar disorder). A patient who suffers from this disorder experiences attacks of emotional states which are markedly different from normal ones and are often non-functional.
In this disorder the mood changes are intermittent and often spontaneous, season dependent and recurrent. Except for the initial attack, the subsequent attacks occur without a stressor.
Mood stabilizing drugs
Drugs that are used to prevent the changes we see in mood disorders and to stabilize the patient’s emotional state, are called mood stabilizers. The best known ones which are also the ones that came into use first, are Lithium Salts.
Apart from Lithium Salts, various antiepileptic drugs like valproic acid, carbamazepine, lamotrigine are widely used because of their mood stabilizing effect. The aim is to prevent new mood attacks and to help the patient to preserve his normal emotional state.