Mood Disorders

More than just depression, lets dive into mood disorders together.


4/27/20242 min read

Mood disorders are a category of mental illness impacts an individual’s mood. This can be a lowering (like depression) or a ‘high’ (like a manic episode, which we see in bipolar, which has big lows and high, ‘highs’) in mood. Often it can be hard to be around depressed people because, well, they’re depressed! There are a number of negative associations with mood disorders, such as being lazy, not trying hard enough or selfish. But what people in these situations need most is your presence, empathy and patience. Depression isolates you, makes you feel alone and hopeless, and the more you feel that way, the more you do isolate yourself, feel alone and feel hopeless.

Some common mood disorders are: 

  1. Major Depressive Disorder (MDD): This is characterised by persistent feelings of sadness, hopelessness, and loss of interest or pleasure in most activities. It can interfere with daily functioning and quality of life.

  2. Bipolar Disorder: Formerly known as manic-depressive illness, bipolar disorder involves episodes of mood swings ranging from depressive lows to manic highs. These mood shifts can be severe and disruptive to one's life.

  3. Persistent Depressive Disorder (Dysthymia): This is a chronic form of depression where individuals experience a low mood lasting for at least two years. Symptoms may not be as severe as MDD but can still significantly impact daily functioning.

  4. Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD): SAD is a type of depression that occurs seasonally, usually in the winter months when there is less natural sunlight. Symptoms often include fatigue, social withdrawal, and increased appetite.

  5. Premenstrual Dysphoric Disorder (PMDD): PMDD is a severe form of premenstrual syndrome (PMS) characterised by mood swings, irritability, and other symptoms that occur in the week or two before menstruation.

  6. Cyclothymic Disorder: This is a milder form of bipolar disorder characterised by chronic fluctuations in mood, with periods of hypomania (mild mania) and mild depression lasting for at least two years.

  7. Disruptive Mood Dysregulation Disorder (DMDD): DMDD is typically diagnosed in children and adolescents who exhibit severe temper outbursts that are out of proportion to the situation. These outbursts occur frequently and can significantly impair functioning.

  8. Postpartum Depression (PPD): Postpartum depression is a type of mood disorder that affects new parents, typically within the first few weeks or months after childbirth. It is characterised by feelings of sadness, anxiety, and fatigue that can interfere with daily functioning and bonding with the newborn.

It is often a silent battle many face, so if you’re worried about a friend or family member, be consistent in checking in! Ask them, “how are you going? I’ve noticed you’ve been a bit ‘low’ lately.”