What is a mood disorder?

Mood disorders are a group of mental health conditions that affect a person’s emotional state. These disorders can cause extreme or prolonged changes in mood, which can interfere with a person’s ability to function in daily life.

Symptoms of mood disorders can vary depending on the specific disorder, but can include feelings of sadness or hopelessness, changes in appetite or sleep patterns, loss of interest in activities, and difficulty concentrating.

Examples of mood disorders

One of the most common mood disorders is major depression. This condition is characterised by feelings of sadness, hopelessness, and loss of interest in activities that used to bring pleasure. People with major depression may also experience changes in their sleep and eating patterns, as well as a lack of energy and difficulty concentrating. These symptoms can last for weeks or even months and can be severe enough to interfere with a person’s ability to work, study, or maintain relationships.

Another type of mood disorder is bipolar disorder, which is characterised by extreme changes in mood. People with bipolar disorder may experience periods of elevated mood, known as mania, followed by periods of depression. During manic episodes, a person may feel highly energized and have racing thoughts, while during depressive episodes they may experience the same symptoms as someone with major depression. Bipolar disorder can be difficult to diagnose because the symptoms can be like other mental health conditions, such as ADHD or anxiety.

Seasonal affective disorder (SAD) is a type of depression that occurs during certain seasons of the year, typically in the winter months. This condition is thought to be related to changes in sunlight and the body’s internal clock. Symptoms of SAD can include feelings of sadness, hopelessness, and low energy, as well as changes in sleep and eating patterns.

Treating mood disorders

Treatment for mood disorders often includes a combination of medication and therapy. Medication can help to regulate mood and improve symptoms, while therapy can provide support and help a person to understand and manage their condition.

When a person experiences mood swings that are so strong it causes distress or a change in their day-to-day life, it may be a sign of a mood disorder. Mood disorders can affect anyone. However, women and teenagers are most likely to experience a mood disorder and can often go undiagnosed for long periods.

It’s important to remember that mood disorders are common and treatable. If you or someone you know is experiencing symptoms of a mood disorder, it’s important to seek help from a qualified mental health professional. With the right treatment, it is possible to manage mood disorders and improve quality of life.

We hope this blog post has helped you understand what a mood disorder is, the possible symptoms and how to get help. For more information, please contact Community Counselling and Care at (08) 8725 1843.