What Are Mood Disorders?
Mood disorders refer to a general emotional state that is distorted or inconsistent with your life circumstances and interferes with daily functioning. People who experience mood disorders may be extremely depressed most of the time, lacking energy or enjoyment. Alternately, some individuals have mood disorders that cycle between periods of depression and periods of intense happiness or relentless energy (mania). Approximately 9.5% of adults over the age of 18 have a mood disorder. Major depressive disorder is the leading cause of disability in Americans between the ages of 15 to 44 and females are 70% more likely to experience depression than males. Since the 1980’s, we have learned a great deal about mood disorders in children. Mood disorders often run in families. Neurotransmitter imbalances in the brain, coupled with environmental stressors, are believed to cause most mood disorders.
Subtypes of Mood Disorders
- Major Depressive Disorder
- Disruptive Mood Dysregulation Disorder
- Persistent Depressive
- Postpartum Depression
- Premenstrual Dysphoric Disorder
- Bipolar I
- Bipolar II
- persistent feeling of sadness
- noticeable decrease in interest or pleasure in usual activities
- constant anger
- feeling hopeless or helpless
- sleep disturbances
- changes in appetite or weight
- suicidal thoughts or attempts
Diagnosis and Treatment
Mood disorders are usually diagnosed by a mental health professional such as a psychiatrist, psychologist, or psychiatric nurse practitioner. The assessment entails an extensive clinical interview, review of rating scales by significant others (such as spouses, partners, or parents) or teachers who know the individual well. Formal testing can also be used to evaluation the nature and severity of the disorder. Treatment typically entails a combination of medications and therapy. The medication can help bring neurotransmitter functioning to a more normal state. Psychotherapy (such as cognitive-behavioral therapy and/or interpersonal therapy) can help the person develop healthier ways to think about themselves and respond to stressors.
We are here to help you find a specialist to meet your needs. Click the button below to see a listing of our providers.
At CRG we offer a variety of webinars, events and articles that will help you find the information you need. Click the button below for a complete listing of related resources.
Watch Dr. Julie Steck’s webinar, Mood Disorders 101: A Primer for Recognizing and Intervening with Children with DMDD, by clicking here.