What are mood disorders?

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

Mood and anxiety disorders cover a wide range of conditions that fall under the umbrella of mental health disorders.

Common mood disorders include:

  • Depression. Depression can take many forms and is characterized by feelings of sadness or hopelessness. In some cases, it can be related to substance abuse, changing seasons, or other factors. If symptoms last for two weeks or longer, this can indicate depression.
  • Bipolar disorder. If periods of depression alternate with periods of elevated mood or mania, this may be an indication of bipolar disorder.
  • Dysthymia. This is a chronic form of depression that lasts for two years or longer. It’s also known as persistent depressive disorder.
  • Premenstrual dysphoric disorder (PMDD). This mood disorder is like a more severe form of PMS. Mood changes and irritability typically begin during the premenstrual phase and last until menses begins.
  • Disruptive mood dysregulation disorder (DMDD). This is a childhood mood disorder characterized by irritability and outbursts. Often, it involves behavior that is not consistent with the child’s age.

How are mood disorders detected?

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. However, when it persists for most days, for weeks, interferes with sleep, causes difficulty concentrating or makes the child/adolescent irritable and easy to upset, an anxiety state is diagnosed. There are several types of anxiety disorders which include generalized anxiety disorder (GAD), panic disorder, separation anxiety, social phobia, obsessive compulsive disorder, and others.

Reviewed by: Jack Wolfsdorf, MD, FAAP

This page was last updated on: 1/29/2019 3:21:13 PM

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