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Mood Disorder Symptoms

Mood disorders are psychological conditions characterized by mood changes. In particular, individuals with mood disorders have extremely elevated (high) mood or depressed (low) mood — or both.

Mood disorders — including major depressive disorder, bipolar disorder, persistent depressive disorder, cyclothymia, and seasonal affective disorder — are complex illnesses, but effective treatment is available.

Mood disorders have a genetic link. You may be more likely to be diagnosed with a mood disorder if a close relative also has a mood disorder.

Signs of mood disorders

The signs and symptoms of mood disorders are different for each individual. The symptoms are often severe enough to cause problems at work, school, and home.

Mood disorder "lows" may include the following symptoms

Sadness or crying more than usual

Lack of interest in things one used to enjoy

Inability to concentrate

Feelings of guilt or worthlessness

Social withdrawal

Having trouble concentrating or feeling indecisive

Irritability, anger, anxiety, pessimism or even indifference

Changes in energy, sleep, weight or appetite (sleeping or eating more or less than normal)

Persistent thoughts of death or suicide

Mood disorder "highs" may include the following symptoms

Having much more energy than usual

Having racing thoughts or talking faster than normal

Needing less sleep but not feeling more tired

Feeling grandiose, important, highly confident, or “special” in some way

Feeling impulsive, irritable, aggressive or reckless

Having poor judgment

In severe cases, having delusions or hallucinations

Health risks of mood disorders

Individuals with serious mental illnesses, like mood disorders, face an increased risk of chronic health problems, including:

  • High blood pressure
  • ​Heart attack
  • Heart disease
  • Diabetes
  • Arteriosclerosis

Adults living with serious, untreated mental illnesses die, on average, 25 years earlier. They are also more likely to be hospitalized. Untreated, individuals with mood disorders face a high risk of suicide mortality.

Help is available for mood disorders

Mood disorders are serious illnesses. Most people with mood disorders respond best to collaborative treatment that includes both medication and talk therapy. People respond differently to different medications and interventions, underscoring how important it is to commit to finding the most effective, long-term treatment.

It is important to seek professional help if you, or someone you love, are experiencing the signs and symptoms of mood disorders listed above. Professional mental health treatment offers the best chance for stabilization and recovery.

At Insight Behavioral Health Centers, we provide comprehensive medical, psychiatric, and psychotherapeutic treatment to help patients achieve a full and lasting recovery from mood disorders.

If you have questions about depression, bipolar disorder or other mental health concerns, please call us at (877) 711-1878. We offer free, confidential consultations with Master’s-level clinicians.