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The word mood is defined in the dictionary as:
1) a temporary state of mind or feeling, or
2) an angry, irritable, or sullen state of mind.

In other words, a mood is a temporary emotional state that can be described as good (positive) or bad (negative). Moods are usually affected by events or environment. A person might wake up in a good mood, but that instantly changes due to traffic on their way to the office.

Mood can also be affected by a person’s personality traits or temperament. A person with the personality trait neuroticism will be more likely to be moody and experience feelings of anxiety, worry, frustration, etc. Long-term mood disturbances may lead to clinical depression. Mood disorders are a category of illnesses that describe a serious change in mood.

So what types of mood disorders are there? Some of them are listed below:

1. Major depression
Major depression is the most common mood disorder. Major depression causes mental anguish and physical ailments and it often prevents normal daily functioning.

2. Bipolar disorder
Previously known as manic depression, this disorder is less common. Bipolar disorder is a combination of elevated mood (which is known as mania) and depression. This disorder is dangerous if not treated and managed by medications. Bipolar disorder causes a person’s mood, activity and energy levels to shift unexpectedly. People with bipolar disorder will have many highs and lows, but usually also have some periods of partial or full stability.

 3. Dysthymia/Persistent depressive disorder
This disorder usually gets diagnosed when a person suffers from depression for two or more years. It is not as debilitating as major depression, but can prevent normal day-to-day activities. People diagnosed with dysthymia may also experience episodes of major depression.    

Emotional symptoms of mood disorders are not the same for everyone. Emotional symptoms of depression include:

* Thoughts of and attempts at suicide
* Loss of interest in activities that were previously enjoyable
* Persistent anxiety and sadness

* Feelings of worthlessness or guilt
* Feelings of hopelessness or pessimism

Emotional symptoms of mania include:

* Extended periods of elation
* Restlessness
* Irritability, agitation or excessive energy
* Feelings of unrealistic superiority
* Impulsive and/or risky behavior

The same as with emotional symptoms, physical symptoms of mood disorders may differ from person to person. Physical symptoms of depression include:

* Decreased energy or fatigue
* Persistent headaches, body aches, pain or cramps
* Difficulty making decisions or concentrating
* Loss of appetite or overeating
* Excessive sleeping or insomnia    

Physical symptoms of mania include:

* Racing thoughts
* Pressured or rapid speech
* Easily distracted
* Insomnia

 People with mood disorders tend to alienate friends and family. These people usually get into trouble in school or at work and have difficulty keeping a job. Those with mania tend to have problems with authority figures and people with depression are at a high risk for suicide. With mania comes the risk of death, injury or trauma, caused by reckless and dangerous behaviour.

The abovementioned mood disorders are a lot more serious than your usual PMS or waking up on the wrong side of the bed. It is always advisable to discuss these feelings with your doctor.

Stay stress-free,

Author’s note:

All information in this blog was researched for this blog, and is not intended for self-diagnosis or to be used as medical advice. All medical questions should be directed to a healthcare professional such as a doctor or pharmacist.

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