Mood Disorders overview
The term mood disorders cover a wide range of conditions that impact your general emotional state. This typically results in unstable or variable mood and behavior, often bad enough to affect the ability to function in the world.
This means mood disorders usually have symptoms related to either anxiety, depression, mania, or some combination. One of the most significant concerns when it comes to mood disorders is the possibility that they could raise someone’s risk of suicide.
There is a wide range of specific disorders that fall under the umbrella of mood disorder. Two of the most common are major depressive disorder, which is characterized by prolonged and persistent periods of sadness and bipolar disorder, which includes alternating periods of depression and mania.
Other mood disorders include seasonal affective disorder, premenstrual dysphoric disorder, disruptive mood dysregulation disorder, cyclothymic disorder, along with many others. Another common form of mood disorders are those related to depression brought on by illness, medication, or substance use.
While the symptoms of each mood disorder will vary, the most common among them tend to be things such as ongoing depression and anxiety, feelings of helplessness, low self-esteem, and excessive guilt. Other common issues tend to go hand-in-hand with mood disorders, such as relationship problems, trouble sleeping, and leaving home.
Unfortunately, mood disorders are unlikely to resolve themselves without some form of intervention. This makes having healthcare professionals you feel comfortable being honest with very important for anyone dealing with a mood disorder.
The precise cause of mood disorders depends on the given condition, but most are relatively mysterious in nature. One thing researchers do know is that mood disorders are likely caused, in part, by an imbalance of various brain chemicals. These abnormalities may be inherited, as mood disorders are known to run in families. Traumatic life events are also known to be a cause of depression and anxiety.
As mentioned, the most common risk factors for mood disorders are either having a family history or facing a traumatic life event. While many other things can raise your risk, these are the most prevalent. Ongoing stress can also be a contributor to developing mood disorders.
According to reports, around 21 million Americans 18 and older are living with some type of mood disorder. Researchers indicate nearly 9.7% of adults faced one in the last year. Reports also indicate the risk of depression in women is almost twice as high as it is for men.
If you’re concerned that you or a loved one could be dealing with a mood disorder, you need to talk to a doctor as soon as possible. Only a trained professional can accurately diagnose any psychological disorder and provide the right path forward.