Mood Disorders

Mood Disorders can cause someone to feel sad all the time, to lose interest in important parts of their life, or may cause extreme happiness or sadness.

Mood disorders are treatable medical conditions. With an appropriate diagnosis, treatment, and a support system, most people struggling with a mood disorder can be treated.

The most common mood disorders are: Depression, Bipolar Disorder, Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD), and Self-Harming. Depression and Bipolar Disorders are mental disorders. However, physical illnesses may also affect a person’s mood, thoughts, body, energy and/or emotions. Both disorders, especially bipolar disorder, tend to follow a cyclical course, meaning they have ups and downs (in a cycle).

Common Symptoms of Mood Disorders

  • Mood disorders are characterized by marked disturbances in emotional state, which cause physical symptoms and affect thinking, social relationships, and behavior.
  • Mood disorders may be unipolar or bipolar.
  • People with dysthymic disorder have depressed mood for at least two years.
  • Major depressive disorder involves at least one period with significant depressive symptoms.
  • Bipolar disorders involve at least one period with manic symptoms and usually depressive periods as well.
  • Biological influences on mood disorders include genes, the neurotransmitters norepinephrine and serotonin, and brain abnormalities.
  • There is a two-way relationship between negative thinking and depression.
  • Cognitive characteristics of depressed people include learned helplessness; a pessimistic worldview; hopelessness; a tendency to make internal, stable, global attributions; and a tendency to ruminate.
  • There is a two-way relationship between social support and depression.
  • Depression may be related to experiences of loss.
  • The onset and course of mood disorders may be influenced by stress.
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