Mood Disorder - Symptoms, Risk factors and Treatment

Mood disorder is a mental health condition in which a person experiences different moods such as happiness or sadness for a long time.


Everyone experiences slight changes in mood depending upon the situation, but persistent periods of low mood or extreme happiness indicate a mood disorder and need to be reviewed by a psychotherapist.


What causes mood disorders?


The common causes of mood disorders are depression and bipolar disorder. These conditions can greatly affect a person’s mood and how they feel.


Depression:


Major or clinical depression: During the major depression, the energy levels of a person become very low and the world around them feels to collapse and shatter. There are feelings of extreme sadness and anger.


Symptoms of depression:


Depression can display its symptoms in different ways, such as feeling low all the time. The person loses interest in activities that previously used to excite them. Doing a simple small task feels like a big thing to accomplish, and the person may sleep for longer than usual periods. Feelings of low self-esteem and worthlessness begin to take over a person, and they may even get suicidal thoughts.

If depression is not treated on time, it may lead to serious consequences, such as suicide.


Bipolar Disorder:


Bipolar disorder, previously known as a manic disorder, is a condition in which the person has two extreme phases of mood. It includes both sadness and happiness.

At one phase, they become sad, depressed, and feel low. While having another mood, they are very happy, full of energy and passion. It may also cause euphoria- a feeling of immense happiness. 


The symptoms of bipolar disorder include extreme mood swings, mainly mania, hypomania, and major depression.


Mania: During manic episodes, a person feels emotionally high and energized. It includes euphoria- a feeling of immense happiness. During this state, a person may become very excited and ambitious.  In severe cases, the person gets psychotic symptoms, such as the feeling of superiority (grandiosity) and other delusions or hallucinations. 


Hypomania: Hypomania is similar to mania, but it is less intense than mania and psychotic symptoms like delusions and hallucinations are absent. It also lasts for less time than mania.


Major depressive episode: During major depressive episodes, the signs and symptoms are those of depression as discussed above.


Types of bipolar disorder:


Bipolar type I: This type of bipolar disorder is defined by the occurrence of a manic episode for a minimum of one week, or severe mania which requires medical care. This episode of mania may be preceded or followed by hypomania or a major depressive episode. This type is equally common in both men and women.


Bipolar type II: This type of bipolar disorder is less severe than bipolar type I, and the person does not experience a full-blown manic episode. But for the diagnosis of bipolar type II, there should be a history of at least one major depressive episode and one episode of hypomania. This type is more common in women.


Cyclothymic Disorder (Cyclothymia): In this type, there are symptoms of hypomanic and depressive episodes for at least:


  • 1 year for children and adolescents

  • 2 years for adults


There may be many episodes of hypomania and depression, but the symptoms are mild than that of bipolar type I and type II.


Conclusion


Mood disorder is a condition that affects how a person feels. Extreme sadness and happiness are two extremes of mood disorder. With medications and psychotherapy, the mood disorder can be managed, and the symptoms can be controlled.


A person with a mood disorder may need help from others as they may not be able to help themselves out. If you notice any symptoms of mood disorder in any person, consult a psychotherapist to help them out. If left untreated, the mood disorder can significantly affect a person’s life, and they may even contemplate suicide. 

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