It’s normal for us all to have a change in moods, to be happy on occasion and sad on occasion, and it is important to note the difference in a “normal” mood versus a mood disorder.

Mood disorders refer to depression and bipolar disorder. An individual suffering with depression for instance, has a consistently low affect and mood for a minimum of two weeks, and this mood makes it difficult for them to function in daily life. As an individual, if you have felt blue for a couple of weeks or longer and find it difficult to go to work or hang out with friends, if you’ve lost interest in activities that used to bring you joy, there is a chance you may be suffering from depression. Bipolar disorder refers to individuals who experience extreme changes in mood, thoughts, energy, and behaviors. These mood swings can last hours, days, or weeks and fluctuate between mania and depression. For people suffering from any of these mood disorders, there is hope and at Dr. Ditzell Psychiatry we have the tools to help you reclaim your life.

Mood disorders Overview

If you have a mood disorder, your general emotional state or mood is distorted or inconsistent with your circumstances and interferes with your ability to function. You may be extremely sad, empty or irritable (depressed), or you may have periods of depression alternating with being excessively happy (mania).

Anxiety disorders can also affect your mood and often occur along with depression. Mood disorders may increase your risk of suicide.

Some examples of mood disorders include:

  • Major depressive disorder — prolonged and persistent periods of extreme sadness
  • Bipolar disorder — also called manic depression or bipolar affective disorder, depression that includes alternating times of depression and mania
  • Seasonal affective disorder (SAD) — a form of depression most often associated with fewer hours of daylight in the far northern and southern latitudes from late fall to early spring
  • Cyclothymic disorder — a disorder that causes emotional ups and downs that are less extreme than bipolar disorder
  • Premenstrual dysphoric disorder — mood changes and irritability that occur during the premenstrual phase of a woman’s cycle and go away with the onset of menses
  • Persistent depressive disorder (dysthymia) — a long-term (chronic) form of depression
  • Disruptive mood dysregulation disorder — a disorder of chronic, severe and persistent irritability in children that often includes frequent temper outbursts that are inconsistent with the child’s developmental age
  • Depression related to medical illness — a persistent depressed mood and a significant loss of pleasure in most or all activities that’s directly related to the physical effects of another medical condition
  • Depression induced by substance use or medication ― depression symptoms that develop during or soon after substance use or withdrawal or after exposure to a medication

For most people, mood disorders can be successfully treated with medications and talk therapy (psychotherapy).

By The Mayo Clinic