Depression Wiki

Mood disorders (also called affective disorders) are a group of mental disorders whereby the prevailing emotional mood of a person is distorted or inappropriate to the circumstances. People who suffer from a mood disorder may suffer from constant or interspersed intensified moods. A person's mood generally means their emotional state or the general tone of their feelings. Examples of commonly experienced moods include: sadness, happiness, anger, irritability, depression, mania, hypomania, euphoria, dysphoria or elation. Mood disorders are commonly understood in terms of different types of mood episodes that are experienced.

Mood episodes[]

Mood disorders are described by the DSM by outlining the following types mood episodes:

Mood disorders[]

The DSM describes a few mood disorders that people may experience, including the following:

Depressive (or unipolar) disorders[]

Bipolar disorders[]

Other mood disorders[]

Episode specifiers[]

Each mood episode can be further described in the DSM with certain specifiers, such as:

Course specifiers[]

The course of a mood disorder is further described in the DSM with certain specifiers, such as:

  • Longitudinal - whether or not a person is able to fully recover between episodes
  • Seasonal pattern - when mood episodes regularly occur at a certain time of year
  • Rapid cycling - when bipolar disorder (I or II) cycles rapidly between different types of mood episodes


Schizoaffective disorder is a vaguely-defined term (probably at the psychotic end of the bipolar spectrum) that describes patients that show symptoms of both schizophrenia and one of the mood disorders.

Basic and clinical psychiatric research is increasingly showing that unipolar and bipolar mood disorders are continuous entities within the complete mood spectrum. This spectrum runs continuously from unipolar depression to schizo-bipolar disorder with anxiety disorders running across the gamut. However, many professionals contest this claim. Some maintain that bipolar disorder, for example, may actually be biochemically closer to schizophrenia than (unipolar) depression.

There are also forms of mood disorder that are specific to women, related to physiological events such as pregnancy, childbirth or menopause - these include Premenstrual dysphoric disorder and Postpartum depression.

The professionaly-accepted definitions of all of the mood disorders can be found in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM) and the International Statistical Classification of Diseases and Related Health Problems (ICD).

See also[]

External links[]

Mood disorders as diagnosed by the DSM edit
Mood episodes: Major depressive episode Manic episode Mixed episode Hypomanic episode

Depressive disorders: Major depressive disorder Dysthymic disorder Depressive disorder NOS (PMDD)

Bipolar disorders: Bipolar I disorder Bipolar II disorder Cyclothymic disorder Bipolar disorder NOS

Other mood disorders: Mood disorder due to a general medical condition Substance-induced mood disorder Mood disorder NOS

Episode specifiers: Severity Psychotic Remission Chronic Catatonic Melancholic Atypical Postpartum

Course specifiers: Longitudinal Seasonal (SAD) Rapid cycling