The treatment of mood disorders often involves both the treatment of acute mood episodes and the management of chronic, waxing and waning illness. Although some patients present singular, nonrecurring depressive or other mood events, many have chronic neurochemical imbalances that appropriate treatment does not cure, but usually attenuates. Complete alleviation of acute symptoms is often an attainable goal, as is preventing or attenuating their recurrence.
Depressions may present at any age, in many forms, and with varying severity. Most are eminently treatable, with response rates of 70 to 90% for appropriate strategies. Only characterologic dysphorias, and perhaps dysthymia, are less amenable ...