Mood related Disorders

Mood Related Disorders

Mood Related Disorders

Mood Related Disorders are mental health conditions involving emotions. Depression and Bipolar Disorder are the two most well-known. “Depression” is a broad term used in combination with other descriptive terminology to denote specific diagnoses.  Each separate depression diagnosis has a unique set of symptoms and characteristics, but all are inclusive of depression symptoms.   Included below is a list of depression diagnoses with a brief description distinguishing the difference between them.

Likely Caused by Chemical Imbalance

Research shows a strong connection between chemical imbalances in the brain and mood-related disorders such as depression and Bipolar Disorder.  In support of that theory, mood-related disorders tend to show up in families.  It’s not an unusual occurrence for others in the family to realize that they are experiencing similar symptoms once one family member is diagnosed, resulting in others going for treatment. Although life events can trigger depression events, more cases seem to be related to chemical imbalance issues.  Therefore, medication treatment plays a significant part in the treatment.

Man with mood-related condition (depression) showing signs of grieving.
Man with mood-related condition (depression) showing signs of grieving.

What are some of the symptoms displayed?

Individuals with mood disorders have difficulty coping with emotional situations, stress, crisis, and life events in general. They tend to have persistent feelings of sadness, anxiety, “empty” moods, low self-esteem. Other symptoms typical of depression include:

  • Feeling hopeless or helpless.
  • Expresses a bleak or negative outlook on life.
  • Uncharacteristically sad, irritable, short-tempered, critical, or moody
  • Feeling inadequate or worthless.
  • Excessive guilt
  • Repeating thoughts of death or suicide, wishing to die, or attempting suicide
  • Loss of interest in usual activities or activities that were once enjoyed, including sex
  • Relationship problems
  • Trouble sleeping or sleeping too much
  • Changes in appetite or weight (eating more or less than usual)
  • Decreased energy
  • Trouble concentrating
  • A decrease in the ability to make decisions, forgetful, disorganized, and “out of it.”
  • Frequent physical complaints (for example, headache, stomachache, back pain, or tiredness) that don’t get better with treatment
  • Running away or threats of running away from home.
  • Extremely sensitive to failure or rejection
  • Irritability, hostility, or aggression
  • Drinks more or abuses drugs, including prescription sleeping pills and pain killers

Treatment Can Help

Treatment for any condition must always be individualized; however, the following treatments options are successful in many cases.

 Antidepressant and mood-stabilizing medicines—especially when combined with psychotherapy. Warning: Antidepressants take up to three or four weeks to work and may have an opposite effect on some people.  If you begin to have thoughts of suicide instead of feeling better when taking these medications, call your therapist immediately.

Psychotherapy—most often cognitive-behavioral and interpersonal therapy. (also referred to by some as “talk” therapy)

Family therapy (more than one family member participates)

Other therapies, such as electroconvulsive therapy and transcranial stimulation. (for more severe cases)

Types of Mood Related Disorders

Bipolar Disorder

Bipolar Disorder is a condition in which a person has periods of depression alternating with periods of mania or elevated mood. Formerly known as manic depression, mood shifts range from periods of extremely “up,” elated, irritable, or energized behavior (known as manic episodes) to very “down,” sad, indifferent, or hopeless periods (known as depressive episodes). Bipolar Disorder  events may last a long time, such as two years, or as short a time as a few days as seen with Cyclothymic Disorder symptoms, which is a milder form of Bipolar Disorder .

Disruptive Mood Dysregulation Disorder

Disruptive Mood Dysregulation Disorder is a condition that occurs in children and youth ages 6 to 18. It involves chronic and severe irritability resulting in severe and frequent temper outbursts. The temper outbursts can be verbal or can involve behavior such as physical aggression toward people or property. These outbursts are significantly out of proportion to the situation and are not consistent with the child’s developmental age. They must frequently occur (three or more times per week on average) and are often triggered by frustration. In between the outbursts, the child’s mood is persistently irritable or angry most of the day, nearly every day. This mood is noticeable by others, such as parents, teachers, and peers.

Major depression

Major depression is characterized by severe depression in individuals who show less interest in usual activities, feeling sad or hopeless, and other symptoms for at least two weeks.

Chronic or significant medical illnesses

Many medical illnesses (including cancer, injuries, infections, and chronic diseases) can trigger mood disorders symptoms of depression.

Persistent Depressive Disorder (dysthymia)

Persistent Depressive Disorder (dysthymia) is a condition characterized by chronic, depressive episodes lasting at least two years.  Some depression symptoms may be severe at times, while others may be less intense, but the depressed mood is persistent throughout the two years or longer.

Postpartum depression

Postpartum depression may occur during pregnancy and after delivery. The woman has extreme sadness, anxiety, and exhaustion interfering with her ability to care for and bond with her infant.  The severity and length of time post-partum depression lasts varies but may be severe enough to lead to suicide or harm to the child.

Premenstrual Dysphoric Disorder

Premenstrual Dysphoric Disorder occurs in women about a week before their menstrual cycle.  They experience severe depression, irritability, or anger, marked anxiety or tension, or mood swings. Other symptoms may include decreased interest in usual activities, difficulty concentrating, lack of energy or easy fatigue, appetite changes with specific food cravings, trouble sleeping or sleeping too much, or a sense of being overwhelmed or out of control. Physical symptoms may include breast tenderness or swelling, joint or muscle pain, a sensation of “bloating,” or weight gain.

Psychotic depression

Psychotic depression occurs when a person has severe depression and psychosis, such as delusions or hallucinations. The psychotic symptoms typically have a depressive “theme,” such as delusions of guilt, poverty, or illness.

Schizoaffective Disorder

Schizoaffective Disorder is a chronic mental health condition characterized primarily by schizophrenia symptoms, such as hallucinations or delusions, and symptoms of a mood disorder, such as mania and depression.

Seasonal Affective Disorder

Seasonal Affective Disorder is characterized by the onset of depression during the winter months when there is less natural sunlight. This depression generally lifts during spring and summer. Winter depression, typically accompanied by social withdrawal, increased sleep, and weight gain, predictably returns every year in seasonal affective disorder.

Substance-induced mood disorders

Substance-induced mood disorders such as depression resulting from the effects of medicine, drug abuse, alcoholism, exposure to toxins, or other forms of treatment.
Bipolar Disorder (a mood-related disorder) causes swings in emotions from extreme mania to severe depression.
Bipolar Disorder (a mood-related disorder) causes swings in emotions from extreme mania to severe depression.