The Most Common Mood Disorders
Mood disorders can effect both men and women of all ages and backgrounds. People who suffer from mood disorders often experience changes in their moods and emotions that hinder their ability to go about daily life. These conditions may cause a person to have difficulty at school, in the workplace, or with personal relationships. Although the symptoms can be difficult to deal with, people often improve with a combination of medication and talk therapy. Two of the most common types of mood disorders are depression and bipolar disorder.
Depression is a mood disorder characterized by extreme sadness, but a depressed person may experience a wide variety of symptoms, including fatigue, insomnia, and lack of appetite. The condition is more frequently diagnosed in woman than in men, and it can occur in children, teens, and adults. There are a number of different categories that depressive disorders may fall into, including:
- Major depressive disorder – Symptoms include apathy, disruption in sleep patterns, and feelings of worthlessness. If symptoms occur for more than two weeks, a doctor may diagnose someone with this condition.
- Dysthymic disorder – This condition is a milder form of major depressive disorder. Low moods are usually persistent for two or more years.
- Season affective disorder (SAD) – Suffers experience sadness and lack of energy during the winter months, when there’s less sunlight.
Depressive disorders can be caused by many different factors which vary from person to person. For some people, genetics or hormonal imbalances may play a role. For others, depressed feelings can be brought on by a stressful life event, such as losing a job or getting divorced.
If a person sufferers from another mental disorder, it can lead to them becoming depressed. Adults with ADHD are more than twice as likely to develop depression as people without it. ADHD can make it difficult for people to be successful in the workplace or at school, which may cause feelings of worthlessness. Anxiety disorders often occur in people with depressive disorders, with the stress caused by anxiety leading to low moods and feelings of hopelessness.
When someone has bipolar disorder, they will likely experience depressive periods as well as periods of mania. A person going through a manic period may have excessive energy, behave impulsively, and feel like they don’t need to sleep. During depressive episodes, symptoms can include extreme sadness, lack of energy, and suicidal thoughts. The intensity of manic and depressive episodes can vary from person to person, but the highs and lows often cause disruptions to a person’s ability to function. With treatment, however, a person can lead a happy, productive life.
The exact cause of the disorder is still unknown, but researchers believe that genetic influences play a role in the development of the condition. Sufferers likely have an imbalance of neurotransmitters in their brains which can lead to dramatic shifts in mood. Symptoms may first appear during a person’s teenage years, and episodes can be triggered by periods stress.