The Various Types of Mood Disorders

Depressed Woman
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A mood disorder also referred to as an affective disorder, is a condition that impacts mood and its related functions. If you are struggling with a mood disorder, your moods may range from extremely low (depressed) to extremely high or irritable (manic).

Impact on Life

Mood disorders can lead to changes in sleeping and eating patterns. Some people, especially children, may have physical symptoms of depression, like unexplained headaches or stomachaches. The various types of mood disorders, however, and they can have very different effects on your lifestyle.

Classifications of Mood Disorders

With the most recent update of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-V), mood disorders are now separated into bipolar disorder and depressive disorders.

There are three new depressive disorders included in the DSM-V:

  1. Disruptive mood dysregulation disorder. This new depressive disorder was added to the DSM-V for children up to 18 years of age who exhibit persistent irritability and frequent episodes of extreme behavioral dyscontrol (a pattern of abnormal, episodic, and frequently violent and uncontrollable social behavior in the absence of significant provocation).
  2. Persistent depressive disorder. This includes both chronic major depressive disorder and what was previously known as dysthymic disorder.
  3. Premenstrual dysphoric disorder. This diagnosis is based on the presence of specific symptoms in the week before the onset of menses, followed by the resolution of these symptoms after onset. The symptoms must include one or more of the following: affective lability, irritability or anger, depressed mood or hopelessness, and anxiety or tension, as well as one or more of an additional seven symptoms, with a total of at least five symptoms.

The number of bipolar disorders remains the same. They are:

  1. Bipolar I. Also referred to in the past as "manic-depressive," a person with mania must present with elated and/or irritable moods and increased energy or activity. The involvement of these activities must have a high potential for painful consequences.
  2. Bipolar II. To be diagnosed with this, you must have had at least one episode of current or past hypomania, and at least one episode of current or past major depression, with no history of an episode of mania.
  3. Cyclothymic disorders. Diagnosis requires a two-year history of many episodes of not-quite hypomania and not-quite major depression.
  4. Bipolar disorder due to medications, drugs, or a medical condition. 

The criteria for episodes of maniahypomania, and major depression remain the same. Mood disorders should be properly evaluated and treated by a trained professional.

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View Article Sources
  • "Highlights of Changes from DSM-IV-TR to DSM-5." American Psychiatric Association. 
  • "DSM-5 and Psychotic and Mood Disorders." George F. Parker, MD. J Am Acad Psychiatry Law 42:182–90, 2014.