Why It Matters: Mood Disorders

Why learn about mood disorders?

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Everyone feels down or euphoric from time to time, but this is different from having a mood disorder such as major depressive disorder or bipolar disorder. Mood disorders are extended periods of depressed, euphoric, or irritable moods that in combination with other symptoms cause the person significant distress and interfere with their daily life, often resulting in social and occupational difficulties.

In this module, we describe major mood disorders, including their symptom presentations, general prevalence rates, and how and why the rates of these disorders tend to vary by age, gender, and race. In addition, biological and environmental risk factors that have been implicated in the development and course of mood disorders, such as heritability and stressful life events, are reviewed. Finally, we provide an overview of treatments for mood disorders, covering treatments with demonstrated effectiveness, as well as new treatment options showing promise. Mood disorders is an umbrella term that describes any sort of psychological state that alters the mood. The DSM-5-TR does not use the terminology “mood disorder” but categorizes these types of disorders into two sections: Bipolar and Related Disorders and Depressive Disorders.

Watch IT

Watch this video for a good overview of the types of mood disorders covered in this module.

You can view the transcript for “Depressive and Bipolar Disorders: Crash Course Psychology #30” here (opens in new window).