What Are the Warning Signs of Mood Disorders?
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.
Signs and symptoms 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.
The “low” moods associated with mood disorders 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
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
The “high” moods associated with mood disorders 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
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.
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
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.
Treatment 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.