Mood Disorders

Moods are our emotions. They affect us ever day. Sometimes we are sad, other times we’re happy. Sometimes people’s moods can get “stuck” on sad. Or moods might change a lot or become extreme. When this happens, it might be caused by a group of mental illnesses called mood disorders

Mood disorders are a group of mental illnesses that affect how you feel and think about yourself, other people and life in general. There are a few different types of mood disorders: depression, dysthymic disorder and bipolar disorder.

Depression leaves you feeling sad or depressed. Some people experience depression as feeling “nub” or having no feeling. Depression can also make you feel irritable, hopeless and guilty. Many people living with depression lose interest in things they used to enjoy and often isolate themselves from family and friends.

Dysthymic disorder (also called dysthymia) is similar to depression. With dysthymic disorder, your symptoms of depression are milder but last for a longer period of time.

Bipolar is made up of three different parts: depression, mania and normal feelings. The depression in bipolar disorder is like depression in any mood disorder. Mania is what makes bipolar disorder different. Some people experience this as feeling very happy, but others feel very irritable or angry during an episode of mania. Common symptoms of mania include feeling very powerful, not needing much sleep and having racing thoughts. Bipolar can look different in each person depending on how long the mania and depression episodes last.