A mood disorder is a condition which impacts ones mood and the functions associated with it. The term Mood disorder is a broader term which is used to include all the different types of disorders that we are aware of. These may vary from conditions which cause a person to feel extreme lows or extreme highs or in some cases – both.
It is widely understood that within the field of psychology and mental health, mood disorders are categorised into two distinct fields – Bi-polar and Depressive disorders.
Types of Mood Disorders
Bi-polar I Disorder (Mania)
One would experience both euphoric and irritable moods with increased energy or activity which may sometimes become detrimental to themselves and those around them.
Bi-polar II Disorder
One would have had to of experienced Hypomania (less severe form of mania) and episodes of Depression to fall into the Bipolar ll category, but with no history of any manic episodes. (Bi-polar l)
Seasonal Affective Disorder
A form of Depression associated with lack of sun and short days. (Environmentally induced)
Major Depressive Disorder
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A less extreme form of Bi-polar disorder which falls somewhere between Hypomania and Depression.
Disruptive Mood Dysregulation Disorder
Categorised for children up to 18 years of age who suffer from persistent irritability and episodes of extreme behavioral dysfunction. They may often exhibit actions of violent and uncontrollable social behavior without provocation or immediate cause.
Persistent Depressive Disorder
This disorder encompasses both chronic Major Depressive Disorder and Dysthymia (a low-grade form of Depression) for a sustained period of time – at least two years.
There are many other forms of Depression or Bi-polar Disorder’s that are attributed to the use of medications, drugs, substances, or are a direct result of medical conditions, illnesses or traumatic life experiences.
Symptoms may include
Loss of interest in activities one once enjoyed
Unusual eating habits
Unusual sleeping patterns
Loss of inspiration or drive
Feeling isolated sad, hopeless, and worthless
Difficulties making simple decisions
Feelings of guilt
Thoughts of dying and/or suicide
Excessive substance use
The medical profession has yet to understand the exact causes of mood disorders, however, there are a variety of factors which seem to contribute to them.
Chemical imbalances, Life experiences, environmental and hereditary factors may play apart. If there already exists a genetic component, then stressful life events like divorce, death or trauma could trigger breaks in ones psyche and cause depression and other mood disorders. Many spiritual and religious beliefs lean towards the understanding that external energies effect ones spirit and cause these disorders and many others like them.
Treatments may include lifestyle changes, counselling, developing techniques to cope, acquiring information and working towards a solution and taking certain medications and monthly checkups.
*** If you have experienced one or more of the symptoms above for more than two weeks,(especially if suicidal thoughts are present), it may be in your best interest to reach out to someone and not battle through it alone***