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Mood Disorders

Mood disorders are characterized by depressive, hypomanic and/or manic episodes. Symptoms may be severe, causing significant suffering for patients and their families. Patients may be diagnosed with:

  • Major depressive disorder
  • Dysthymic disorder
  • Bipolar disorders
  • Mood disorders due to general medical condition

Depression Symptoms

Depression is characterized by most or all of the symptoms listed below. Symptoms typically are evident for several weeks or more.

  • Sad; frequent crying spells
  • Lack of interest or inability to enjoy previously enjoyable activities
  • Changes in appetite that result in weight loss or gain unrelated to dieting
  • Insomnia or oversleeping
  • Loss of energy or increased fatigue
  • Restlessness or irritability
  • Feelings of worthlessness or persistent guilt
  • Difficulty thinking, concentrating, remembering, or making decisions
  • Ongoing body aches and pains, or problems with digestion that are not caused by physical disease
  • Increased drinking, cigarette smoking, or using prescription or illicit drugs
  • Thoughts of death, suicide or attempted suicide — if this is the case, seek help immediately 

Manic Symptoms

Manic disorders are characterized by most or all of the symptoms listed below. Symptoms typically are evident for several weeks or more.

  • Extremely elevated or euphoric mood
  • Extreme irritability
  • Increased energy
  • Decreased need for sleep
  • Talking too fast; difficult to interrupt
  • Impulsive, including spontaneous travel, with no concern for consequences
  • Poor judgment. Examples include excessive spending or gambling, increased sexual activity, driving too fast, drug use 

Seasonal Affective Disorder Symptom

Symptoms of Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) are similar to symptoms of depression, but they occur in a seasonal pattern. Symptoms usually occur and go away at the same times every year. SAD symptoms often appear during late fall or early winter and go away during late spring and summer. You may have the opposite pattern, developing SAD with the onset of spring or summer.

Additional Resources

Mood and Anxiety Disorders