What Are Mood Disorders?
Mood disorders describe a broad category of disorders in which a person's mood is the primary underlying symptom. This disturbance can be described in several ways, including whether a person has had a manic or hypomanic episode or not.
Mania is an overly joyful or excited mood, extreme optimism and impulsivity.
Hypomania is a mild-to-moderate level of mania, which includes symptoms similar to the signs of mania as listed above, but tend to be less extreme. Those with bipolar disorder with hypomanic features may be misdiagnosed, as those with hypomania may attribute their elevated mood with happiness.
Depression is often categorized by a low mood, lack of motivation, changes in sleep, eating, and activity.
General Symptoms of Mood Disorders:
The symptoms experienced by someone may differ by diagnosis and situation. Here is an overview of the types of symptoms commonly associated with mood disorders:
- Sadness and anxiety
- Loss of energy
- Feelings of guilt, hopelessness, or worthlessness
- Loss of interest or enjoyment from things that were once pleasurable
- Difficulty concentrating
- Uncontrollable crying
- Difficulty making decisions
- Increased need for sleep
- Change in appetite causing weight loss or gain
- Thoughts of death or suicide
- Attempting suicide
- Loss of interest
- Social Withdrawal
- Change in sex drive
Treatment For Mood Disorders:
Mood disorders are often treatable with a combination of medication and psychotherapy. Medication can help manage the symptoms of depression. Therapy can often help a person process the underlying reasons driving the depressive symptoms.
For more information about mood disorders, please check out the following disorder-specific pages featured on Band Back Together.
Types of Mood Disorders:
Depressive Disorders - This describes general depression and depression-related disorders. Often those with depression feel sad, blue, hopeless, helpless, or have changes in thoughts, mood, behavior, sleeping, or weight.
Dysthymia - Dysthymia is a low-level depression, which is characterized by more than two years of feeling depressed more days than not.
Bipolar Disorder - Bipolar Disorder is characterized by swings of high mood swings of euphoria and optimism and low mood swings of depression.
Major Depression - This is a major depressive episode, which may be the result of a traumatic event.
Seasonal Affective Disorder - Also known as the "Winter Blues," Seasonal Affective Disorder is depressed mood that typically occurs during one season of the year.
Cyclothymia - This disorder is a blend of Dysthymia and Bipolar Disorder, in which the highs and lows are often less extreme.
Teen Bipolar Disorder - Bipolar Disorder is characterized by swings of high mood swings of euphoria and optimism and low mood swings of depression. This page is geared towards teens.
Teen Depression - This described general depression and depression-related disorders. Often those with depression feel sad, blue, hopeless, helpless, or have changes in thoughts, mood, behavior, sleeping, or weight. This page is geared toward teens.
Prenatal/Antenatal Depression - Antenatal Depression is depression during pregnancy. Antenatal (also called prenatal) depression is a biological illness just like clinical depression. Antenatal depression is NOT something that occurs because a woman does not want to have a baby, because a woman will not be a good mother or because a woman is weak.
Postpartum Depression - The symptoms of postpartum mood disorders don't differ from the non-postpartum mood disorders except that the feelings of guilt and inadequacy about being an incompetent mother feed her worries about being an inadequate mother.
Loving someone who is depressed - Sometimes it is difficult to love someone who is depressed. This page gives you more information about how to be supportive and how to take care of yourself.
Therapy - Therapy is a prime resource for those with mental illness. Therapy, also known as counseling, psychotherapy, and talk therapy, is working with a specialist in mental illness to discuss problems, solutions, and managing your mental illness or life situation.