There are different types of mood disorders that can affect men, women and children of just about any age. Millions of people in the United States and around the world are affected by one or more of these disorders that often have a serious and negative impact on not only the individuals who experience them but on their loved ones, as well.
Essentially, there are two main types of mood disorders from which a person may suffer: depression and bipolar disorder. The following is some general information regarding both types.
Depression – While everyone is prone to feelings of unhappiness and sadness from time to time, there is a significant difference between feeling gloomy for a few days and being consistently melancholy for weeks, months or even years. Major depression, also known as unipolar depression, is an illness characterized by severe depressive episodes that last for a minimum of two weeks.
A person experiencing clinical depression mood disorders may exhibit certain signs and symptoms that are commonly seen with this syndrome, such as:
- Overwhelming feelings of grief or sadness
- Feeling hopeless, worthless or helpless
- Lack of interest or pleasure in activities usually enjoyed
- Reduced sex drive
- Lack of energy/constantly feeling tired
- Difficult sleeping
- Appetite change
- Decision making difficulties
- Poor concentration
- Isolation/avoiding others
Bipolar Disorder – This is another form of depression and is also known as manic depressive illness. However, what makes the bipolar condition different from depression is that the person who has this mood disorder isn’t only depressed but also experiences mania. As a result, the afflicted individual often has severe mood swings and goes through episodes of extreme highs (mania) and lows (depression).
Individuals with bipolar mood disorders will display symptoms of both depression (listed above) and mania, which may include, but is not limited to:
- Reduced sleep
- Extremely elated mood
- Incredibly short span of attention
- Quickly shifting to sadness or rage
- Unreasonably poor judgement
- Irrational optimism
It is important for an individual who is showing signs of depression to consult with a medical professional who can properly diagnose the problem and provided them with the help they need to find relief from their condition. Proper diagnosis and treatment is essential because mood disorders are serious illnesses that can interfere with your personal and professional life. They can alter the way you think and behave and even how your body functions. They can negatively impact your physical and mental health and well-being, and, in extreme cases, can even lead to attempted suicide and death.