What is a Mood Disorder?

Mood disorders fall under a very general category of illnesses. If you say someone has a mood disorder, it's as general as saying someone "has cancer." There are many different types, each with different symptoms and varying treatments.

With mood disorders, there is usually an underlying problem. This problem then affects a person's emotional and mental state.

Mood disorders cover a range of mental disorders. These are most commonly depressive disorder, bipolar 2 mood disorder, cyclothymia, anxiety mood disorder, and SAD or Seasonal Affective Disorder.

Dealing with Depression

According to the World Health Organization, major depression is the top burden of disability among people who suffer from mental disorders.

Severe depression is debilitating. It can prevent you from performing simple daily tasks. But not all depression is equal: Some people may only have one episode of major depression, while others battle it their entire lives.

For some, depression is seasonal?such as during the weather changes in winter. For others, hormonal changes bring on depression. This is common amongst new mothers and is referred to as postpartum depression.

Dysthymic Disorder, or Persistent Depressive Disorder, is a less intense form of depression. Those who suffer from this type of mood disorder can usually function a little better than those with severe or major depression.

Bipolar Disorder

One of the most dangerous of mood disorders is bipolar disorder. This is because it can affect a person's energy levels. It can destabilize them or drive them to maniacal activities. It may be hard to diagnose at first, as some people who suffer from bipolar disorder do not seem depressed or have intense episodes of depression.

They may appear completely mentally stable on most days. Their changing moods may range from intense highs to extreme lows. Bipolar disorder is not that uncommon; in fact, it affects over five million Americans today.

Substance-Induced Mood Disorders

Many people who suffer mood disorders often turn to substance intoxication and substance abuse. They crave a certain substance to either help them deal with the depression. But the vicious cycle causes reoccurring disorders.

Once the effects of the substance wear off, they may experience intense withdrawals and retreat back into a depressed state of mind.

What are the most common mood disorder signs?

While the symptoms differ from individual to individual, you should look out for the following signs of mood disorders:

Physical Symptoms:

  • extreme fatigue
  • digestive problems
  • bodily pains
  • loss of memory
  • loss of appetite
  • insomnia
  • oversleeping

Emotional Symptoms:

  • Suicidal thoughts
  • Suicidal attempts
  • Anxiety
  • Panic attacks
  • Loss of self-worth
  • Disinterest in past pleasant activities
  • Loss of social interest
  • Extreme sadness
  • Risky behavior

Seeking Professional Help

Remember that each person's case will be different. He or she may only experience a few of the symptoms mentioned above. When more of the combined symptoms arise, they may cause danger. It is imperative to seek mental health treatment immediately.

If you are unsure whether you or your loved one is suffering from a mental illness or a mood disorder, it's not too late to seek help.

At Affinity Treatment Centers, we provide the highest level of 24-hour care. No matter which mood disorders you are struggling with, call us today. We offer therapeutic, effective programs to help stabilize your life.