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Overview of Mood Disorders

By

William Coryell

, MD, University of Iowa Carver College of Medicine

Last full review/revision Aug 2021| Content last modified Aug 2021
CLICK HERE FOR THE PROFESSONAL VERSION

Mood disorders are mental health disorders that involve emotional disturbances consisting of long periods of excessive sadness (depression), excessive joyousness or elation (mania), or both. Depression and mania represent the two extremes, or poles, of mood disorders.

Mood disorders are sometimes called affective disorders. Affect (emphasis on the first syllable) means emotional state as revealed through facial expressions and gestures.

Sadness and joy are part of the normal experience of everyday life and differ from the depression and mania that characterize mood disorders. Sadness is a natural response to loss, defeat, disappointment, trauma, or catastrophe.

Grief or bereavement is the most common of the normal reactions to a loss or separation, such as the death of a loved one, divorce, or romantic disappointment. Usually, bereavement and loss do not cause persistent, incapacitating depression except in people predisposed to mood disorders. In some people, loss of a loved one causes more persistent and disabling depression, which has been termed prolonged grief disorder Prolonged grief disorder A short discussion of prolonged grief disorder. Depression is a feeling of sadness and/or a decreased interest or pleasure in activities that becomes a disorder when it is intense enough to... read more .

Did You Know...

  • About 30% of people who visit a doctor say they feel depressed, but fewer than 10% have severe depression.

A mood disorder is diagnosed when sadness or elation is overly intense, is accompanied by certain other typical symptoms, and impairs the ability to function physically, socially, and at work.

About 30% of people report depression as one of their symptoms when they see their doctor. But fewer than 10% actually have severe depression. Nearly 4% of the U.S. population have a bipolar disorder.

More Information

The following are some English-language resources that may be useful. Please note that THE MANUAL is not responsible for the content of these resources.

NOTE: This is the Consumer Version. DOCTORS: CLICK HERE FOR THE PROFESSONAL VERSION
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Skin Picking Disorder
Skin-picking disorder is a mental health condition in which people injure their skin by picking at it. They feel compelled to pick and usually have great difficulty stopping, even when they want to. During which of the following phases of life does skin-picking disorder usually begin?
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