Psychological Solutions

Mood Disorders

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Mood disorders will be discussed in this article. Mood disorders are the leading causes of unstable mood, crying spells, flat affects and sad dispositions. It is very important to know how to define mood disorders, so that you can be your own detector, as well as, observe specific behaviors in others.

What is a Mood Disorder?

A mood disorder may consist of Bipolar 1; Bipolar II; Major Depressive Disorder and/or anxiety disorders. Bipolar I Disorder is a manic depressive mood disorder, which is usually confused with Bipolar II Disorder (American Psychiatric Association, 2013). Bipolar I consists of irritable mood. In order to be diagnosed with Bipolar I disorder, symptoms of manic episodes and major depressive episodes must be present. Bipolar II Disorder must include Hypomanic episodes and major depressive episodes. What defines a Bipolar II Disorder is having at least one hypomanic episode. In other words, a person suffering from depression will be diagnosed with major depressive disorder, until one hypomanic episode presents. Once a hypomanic episode occurs, Bipolar II is assigned as a diagnosis. Once a hypomanic episode occurs, there is chance that another may also occur in the near future. Major Depressive Episodes consist of five or more of the following symptoms and have been present for at least two weeks.
The five symptoms of Major Depressive Disorder are those as follows:
1) Depressed mood most of the day, nearly every day. Feelings of sadness, emptiness or hopelessness.
2) Diminished interest or pleasure in some or all activities, every day or nearly every day.
3) Significant weight loss, without dieting and or weight gain. Indicators will show 5% in body weight in a month.
4) Insomnia or hypersomnia nearly every day.
5) Psychomotor Agitation. (American Psychiatric Association, 2013,pg125).
A person must have at least five traits to be diagnosed with Major Depressive Disorder (MDD). Other symptoms included in MDD include fatigue, loss of energy, feelings of worthlessness, inability to concentrate or make decisions, and/or recurrent thoughts of death (American Psychiatric Association 2013,pg125).

General Anxiety Disorder (GAD) consists of excessive anxiety and worry, also known as, anticipated expectation, which occurs most days, lasting at least six months about a number of events or activities. A person with GAD has difficulty controlling their worry and has difficulties in three or more areas, including restlessness, fatigue, difficulty concentrating, irritability, muscle tension, and sleep disturbance, (American Psychiatric Association, 2013).

What Are Manic Episodes?

A manic episode is a distinctly abnormal period involving a persistently elevated and irritable mood. Being manic is like having an increase in goal- directed activities or energy. Manic episodes may also consist of inflated self-esteem or grandiosity. People with manic episodes may also have a decreased need for sleep, for example, feeling rested after three hours of sleep. Individuals may have pressured speech or are more talkative during a manic episode. Individuals may also have a flight of ideas, which is indicative of racing thoughts. Distractibility and inability to stay focused is another symptom. Involvement in risky behaviors is another key factor of manic episodes, for example spending sprees, dangerous sexual behaviors, unintelligent investments etc. These behaviors must last a week and be present every day or nearly every day, (American Psychiatric Association, 2013, p124.).

Hypomanic episodes consists of persistently elevated or irritable moods, increased activity or energy, lasting most of the day or nearly every day. An Inflated mood; decreased need for sleep; feeling rested after three hours; more talkative with pressured speech; flight of ideas or racing thoughts; distractibility; attention to unimportant things; increased goal direction; increased goal directed activity and risky behaviors. These behaviors must be last 4 days and 3 nights, most of the day, nearly every day.

If you would like to work with me as your mental health coach, contact me at 626-789-5441


American Psychiatric Association. (2013). Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (5th ed). Washington DC.

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