What Are Mood Disorders? Types, Symptoms and Treatment

Mood disorders

A mood disorder is a type of mental illness that primarily affects your emotional state. They can cause long-lasting sadness, elation, and/or anger. Mood disorders can be treated, usually through a combination of medication and psychotherapy (talk therapy).

What Is A Mood Disorder?

A mood disorder is a type of mental illness that primarily affects your emotional state. It is a condition in which you have long periods of extreme happiness, extreme sadness, or both. Other persistent emotions, such as anger and irritability, are present in certain mood disorders.

It’s natural for your mood to shift depending on the circumstances. The symptoms must be present for several years or weeks, to identify mood disorders. Mood disorders can alter your behavior and impair your ability to perform routine tasks such as work or school.

Types Of Mood Disorders 

Mood disorders include the following:

  • Depression and its various subtypes
  • Bipolar disorder and its variants
  • Premenstrual dysphoric disorder (PMDD).
  • Disorder of disruptive mood dysregulation.


Depression is considered to be the most common mental condition. Feelings of sadness or hopelessness are common depressive symptoms. The condition can also impair thinking, memory, eating, and sleeping. Symptoms of clinical depression must last at least two weeks for a person to be diagnosed.

There are various types of depression, including:

  • Postpartum depression (peripartum depression): Postpartum depression this type of depression occurs in women and people assigned female at birth during or after the end of a pregnancy (AFAB).
  • Persistent depressive disorder: This is a type of depression that lasts at least two years. During this time, symptoms may occasionally become less severe. It is less severe than major depression, but it is ongoing.
  • Seasonal affective disorder (SAD) is a type of depression that occurs during specific seasons of the year. It usually begins in late autumn or early winter and lasts until the spring or summer. 
  • Depression with psychosis: This is a severe depression that is accompanied by psychotic episodes such as hallucinations (seeing or hearing things that others do not) or delusions (having fixed but false beliefs). People who suffer from depression and psychosis are more likely to consider suicide.

Bipolar Illness

Bipolar disorder is a chronic mood disorder and mental health condition that causes extreme mood swings, energy fluctuations, thinking patterns, and behavior. There are several types of bipolar disorder, all of which involve significant mood swings known as hypomanic/manic and depressive episodes.

  • Bipolar I disorder: Individuals with bipolar I disorder have had one or more episodes of mania. Most people with bipolar I will experience both mania and depression, but a depression episode is not required for a diagnosis.
  • Bipolar II disorder: This disorder causes depression cycles similar to bipolar I. A person suffering from this illness may also experience hypomania, a milder form of mania. Manic episodes are more intense and disruptive than hypomanic ones. A person suffering from bipolar II disorder is usually capable of handling daily responsibilities. 
  • Cyclothymia disorder (cyclothymia): Cyclothymic disorder is characterized by a chronically unstable mood state. For at least two years, they suffer from hypomania and mild depression.
  • Other bipolar and related disorders: Symptoms of this type of bipolar disorder do not meet the criteria for one of the other types, but people still experience significant abnormal mood changes.

Other types of mood disorders

Among the other mood disorders are:

  • Premenstrual dysphoric disorder (PMDD): This type of mood disorder occurs seven to ten days before menstruation and resolves within a few days of the menstrual period beginning. It is an extreme case of premenstrual syndrome (PMS). Researchers believe this condition is caused by hormonal changes associated with the menstrual cycle. Anger, irritability, anxiety, depression, and insomnia are some of the symptoms.
  • Disruptive mood dysregulation disorder (DMDD): DMDD is a mood disorder that affects children and adolescents. It is characterized by frequent outbursts of rage and irritability that is out of proportion to the situation. DMDD is more severe than IED, and anger is present most of the time, usually before the age of ten.

Symptoms of Mood Disorders 

Each mood disorder has distinct symptoms and/or symptom patterns.

Symptoms of mood disorders typically affect your mood, sleep, eating habits, energy level, and thinking abilities (such as racing thoughts or loss of concentration).

Depressive symptoms in general include:

  • Sad most of the time, or nearly every day
  • A lack of energy or a sluggish feeling.
  • Feeling insignificant or hopeless.
  • Loss of interest in previously enjoyable activities.
  • Suicidal or death-related thoughts
  • Inability to concentrate or focus.
  • Sleeping too much or too little.
  • Appetite loss or overeating

Symptoms of hypomanic or manic episodes in general include:

  • Excessively energized or elated.
  • Rapid movement or speech
  • Agitation, agitation, or irritability
  • Spending more money than usual or driving recklessly are examples of risky behavior.
  • Thoughts that race.
  • Insomnia or difficulty sleeping

Causes of Mood Disorders

Several factors, according to researchers, contribute to the development of mood disorders, including:

Biological: The amygdala and orbitofrontal cortex are the brain areas in charge of controlling your emotions and feelings. On brain imaging tests, people with mood disorders have an enlarged amygdala.

Genetic: People with a strong family history of a mood disorder are more likely to develop mood disorders, indicating that mood disorders are likely genetically inherited.

Environmental factors: Stressful Life changes, such as the death of a loved one, chronic stress, traumatic events, and childhood abuse, are major risk factors for the development of a mood disorder later in life, particularly depression.


Millions of people suffer from mood disorders and are successfully treated, allowing them to live better life. Psychotherapy, also known as talk therapy, and medications to help regulate chemical imbalances in the brain can be used to treat mood disorders. A combination of therapy and medication is frequently the most effective course of action.


When you or a loved one is diagnosed with a mood disorder, it can be stressful. However, keep in mind that there are numerous resources available to assist you in coping, including therapy. If you suspect you have symptoms of a mood disorder, consult an online therapist who can diagnose you if necessary.

Seeking help is a sign of courage. Don't let self-limiting beliefs hold you back from a life you deserve. Avail online therapy to become happier and better. Learn how

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