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Mood Disorders Symptoms & Signs

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

  • 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

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
  • 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.

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.

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