Mood Disorder

A mental condition that primarily negatively affects your emotional state is called a mental disorder. A person who experiences these types of disorders may notice intense sadness, anger, or elation. However, mood disorders are treatable and treatment usually involves medicines and psychotherapy.

What is a Mood Disorder?

Additionally, while you experience a mood disorder you may also notice long periods of extreme happiness or sadness, or both. For all people, it is normal that mood changes depending on the situation but to diagnose a mood disorder, symptoms should last roughly 2-3 weeks or longer. Furthermore, these conditions may impact your ability to perform daily tasks including work, school, and others. Bipolar disorder and depression are the most common mood disorders.

Mood Disorder Types

  • Disruptive mood dysregulation disorder
  • Premenstrual dysphoric disorder
  • Bipolar disorder
  • Depression


To diagnose this condition, the symptoms should last at least 14 days. The most common symptoms are feeling sad or hopeless. Moreover, depression may also provoke problems with eating, sleeping, memory, and thinking. Check below depression types:

  • Postpartum Depression (Peripartum Depression) – This condition usually happens during or after the end of pregnancy. Women experience different hormonal, physical, emotional, financial, and social changes after having a baby. Therefore, postpartum depression may occur.
  • Persistent Depressive Disorder – This type of depression is considered chronic and often lasts approximately two years. However, symptoms that an individual experiences may decrease during this time.
  • Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) – This condition usually occurs in late autumn or early winter and lasts until spring or summer. SAD episodes may also happen during the late spring or summer but it is less common. Certain symptoms of SAD are similar to those of major depression. However, these symptoms can disappear or decrease during spring and summer.
  • Depression with Psychosis – One of the most severe types of depression and it is also combined with psychotic episodes (including hallucinations, delusions, and others). Those who experience this type of depression are at higher risk of thinking about suicide.

Bipolar Disorder

This disorder may last an entire life and it is characterized by intense shifts in mood, energy levels, thinking, and behavior. However, only several types of bipolar disorder can cause significant mood fluctuations. Check below the basic types of bipolar disorder:

  • Bipolar I Disorder – Those who experience one or more mania episodes are considered that experience this type of bipolar disorder. Additionally, depression episodes also may occur but they are not necessary for a diagnosis.
  • Bipolar II Disorder – This type of bipolar disorder is very similar to previous but people may also experience hypomania episodes, which are less severe than mania. However, those who experience bipolar II disorder usually can handle daily activities.
  • Cyclothymia Disorder – Those who suffer from this condition experience chronic and unstable mood states. Hypomania and depression may last up to 2 years.
  • Other Specified and Unspecified Bipolar and Related Disorders – Criteria of this type of bipolar disorder are different but those who experience it will notice significant abnormal mood changes.

Other Mood Disorders

  • Disruptive Mood Dysregulation Disorder (DMDD) – This condition happens mostly in children and adolescents. Anger and irritability frequently occur. DMDD commonly happens before the age of 10.
  • Premenstrual Dysphoric Disorder (PMDD) – In most cases, PMDD occurs within 7-10 days before menstruation. As per studies, this condition appears due to certain hormonal changes associated with the menstrual periods. Depression, sleeping disturbances, irritability, anxiety, and anger are the common symptoms of PMDD.

While mood disorders can negatively affect anyone (adults, adolescents, and children), major depression usually impacts more women than men.

Is Anxiety a Mood Disorder?

No, this condition is not a mood disorder. However, it is classified as one of many anxiety disorders (such as panic disorder and phobias).


The symptoms vary, depending on the mood disorder, the severity of the condition, other existing diseases, and others. These disorders commonly impact a person’s mood, sleep, eating behaviors, energy level, and thinking abilities. Check below some general depressive symptoms:

  • Sadness most of the time
  • Lack of energy or feeling sluggish
  • Feeling worthless or hopeless
  • Loss of interest
  • Death or suicidal thoughts
  • Concentrating or focusing problems
  • Sleeping not enough or too much
  • Loss of appetite

Check below some general symptoms of hypomanic or manic episodes:

  • Racing thoughts
  • Sleeping disturbances
  • Restlessness
  • Irritability
  • Agitation
  • Rapid movement of speech
  • Feeling extremely energized or elated

In case you experience any of the symptoms listed above or any other effects, contact your doctor right away.


As per studies, the following factors usually cause mood disorders. For example:

  • Environmental Factors – Death of a loved one, chronic stress, traumatic events, and childhood abuse contribute to depression. Therefore, depression is linked to diabetes, Parkinson’s disease, and heart disease.
  • Genetic Factors – People with a family history of a mood disorder have an increased risk of developing one. Most of them are genetic or inherited.
  • Biological Factors – Some brain imaging tests showed that an enlarged amygdala can provoke mood disorders. In addition, the amygdala and orbitofrontal cortex are responsible for your emotions and feelings.


Physicians usually perform first a physical examination for conditions that provoke symptoms including thyroid disease, vitamin deficiency, and others. Thereafter, your doctor may ask you about symptoms, and medical and family history.

Another way to diagnose a mood disorder is to see a psychologist or psychiatrist and they can use criteria in the American Psychiatric Association’s Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders.

These disorders often are diagnosed when sadness, elation, anger, and other emotions are accompanied by trouble sleeping, and others.


The treatment for mood disorders is different for the patients. It depends on the symptoms, severity, other medicines you may use, and others. Commonly, the treatment consists of medicines and psychotherapy. Check the treatment options below in detail:


  • Antidepressants – The most common drug categories prescribed by doctors are serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) and serotonin and norepinephrine reuptake inhibitors (SNRIs). As per studies, both categories work quite well and it may take 4-6 weeks until medicine starts working. Follow carefully the doctor’s recommendations and you should continue to administer the medication even if you feel well.
  • Mood Stabilizers – This category of drugs helps to regulate mood swings, which may happen if a person experiences bipolar disorder or other mood disorders. The most common medicines used are Lithium and anticonvulsant drugs.
  • Antipsychotics (Neuroleptics) – Aripiprazole is the most common drug that is prescribed by doctors. This category of medicines helps to lessen the symptoms.


Another name for psychotherapy is talk therapy and it involves different treatment techniques that help to change one’s unhealthy thoughts, behaviors, and emotions. Commonly, psychotherapy takes place with a psychiatrist or psychologist. Check below some examples of talk therapy:

  • Psychodynamic Therapy – It is based on the behavior and mental well-being that is influenced by problematic thoughts and childhood experiences. These problems and experiences usually are outside of your awareness.
  • Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT) – This psychotherapy is based on cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT), especially for those who notice very intense emotions.
  • Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) – Mental health providers use this talk therapy to manage and treat mood disorders and emotional problems.

Other Treatments

  • Light Therapy – It is commonly used in the treatment of seasonal affective disorder (SAD).
  • Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation (TMS) – This treatment option is commonly used in people with severe depression when antidepressants do not work anymore.
  • Electroconvulsive Therapy (ECT) – This procedure involves a mild electric current through the brain. Thus, causing a short seizure that helps against severe mental health conditions (such as bipolar disorder and depression). The duration of the treatment is about 12 sessions.

Frequently Asked Questions

Is possible to prevent mood disorders?

Unfortunately, it is not possible to prevent any mood disorder. However, early diagnosis and treatment can help to decrease the symptoms and prevent certain complications that can disrupt your life. In case you suspect you have a mood disorder, you should see a doctor.

How common are mood disorders?

The most common mood disorders are depression and bipolar disorder. Roughly 7% of people in the U.S. have depression and 2.8% have bipolar disorder. Additionally, about 15% of children and adolescents have any mood disorder.

Is bad mood genetic?

However, mood disorders are highly heritable mental conditions. Ask your healthcare provider if you have any questions.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You were not leaving your cart just like that, right?

Enter your details below to save your shopping cart for later. And, who knows, maybe we will even send you a sweet discount code :)