Mood and Anxiety Disorders

Also known as: depression, anxiety, mental health disorders, affective disorders, and others.

What are mood and anxiety disorders?

Mood and anxiety disorders cover a wide range of conditions that fall under the umbrella of mental health disorders. Common mood disorders (affective disorders) include all types of depression, bipolar disorder, seasonal affective disorder and others. Mood disorders in children/adolescents are more difficult to diagnose as they neither necessarily have the same symptoms nor express themselves as adults do. Mood disorders frequently coexist with other issues like anxiety, drug problems, and bad behavior. 

All children have fears and worries every now and then. When however it persists for most days, for weeks, interfere with sleep, causes difficulty concentrating or makes the child/adolescent irritable and easy to upset, an anxiety state is diagnosed. There are a number of types of anxiety disorders which include; generalized anxiety disorder (GAD), panic disorder, separation anxiety, social phobia, obsessive compulsive disorder, and others.

What causes mood and anxiety disorders?

The causes of mood and anxiety disorders are multiple and varied. Some combination of genetics (running in families), changes in hormone levels, environmental factors such as grief, major or unexpected life changes and stress all appear to play a role.

What are the symptoms of mood and anxiety disorders? 

While everyone feels sad or depressed at times, and symptoms can vary widely based on the specific condition. Common symptoms of mood disorders include persistent feelings of sadness, emptiness, hopelessness, a feeling of being inadequate with low self-esteem, guilt, difficulty with relationships, changes in appetite and sleep, fatigue, energy loss or irritability, hostility and aggression, lack of interest in activities previously enjoyed, frequent physical complaints  and many other symptoms.
Anxiety brings extreme worry, fear, negative thoughts, shortness of breath and other symptoms.

What are mood and anxiety disorders care options? 

Mood and anxiety disorders, depending on the diagnosis, are typically treated by alleviating a precipitating factor, with a combination of medication and psychotherapy (frequently cognitive behavioral and/or interpersonal plus family therapy).

Reviewed by: Jack Wolfsdorf, MD, FAAP

This page was last updated on: 2/14/2018 12:31:19 PM