A mood disorder affects your mood, energy levels, thoughts, and other related functions. Consequently, mood disorders can cause emotional and behavioral disturbances that can disrupt your daily life and lead to overwhelming feelings of stress, anger, irritability, or sadness. Boynton beach mood disorders specialists often use a combination of antidepressants, therapy, and support to treat these symptoms. In the medical world, mood disorders are a mental health class used to broadly identify the different types of bipolar disorders and depression. Here is a breakdown of the five most common types.

Depression (Clinical or Major)

Depression can be major – major depressive disorder – or clinical. This condition is characterized by prolonged and severe periods of overwhelming sadness, low mood, a sense of doom, or irritability. When you have depression, you may find it difficult to enjoy pleasurable activities, including those you previously enjoyed. You may also have trouble sleeping, eating, thinking, and remembering things. Usually, a clinical depression diagnosis requires that you experience these symptoms for at least two weeks. There are multiple diagnoses that can be made under depression, including seasonal affective disorder (SAD), postpartum depression, depression with psychosis, and more.

Bipolar Disorder

Bipolar disorder is a chronic mental health condition that causes intense and severe shifts in behavior, thinking patterns, energy levels, and mood. Like depression, there are several types of bipolar disorder, each characterized by alternating periods of mania, hypomania, and depression in different degrees. During a manic episode, you may feel extremely happy, elevated, and energetic. Patients in mania can also be impulsive and drawn to risky behavior. During a depressive episode, you may feel hopeless, low, and suicidal. Bipolar I is characterized by cycles of mania, while bipolar II is more synonymous with depression cycles interspersed with hypomanic episodes.


Also known as persistent depressive disorder (PDD), dysthymia is a mental health condition characterized by extended periods of mild depression. This is about one year in teenagers and adolescents and two years in adults. Unlike major depression, the symptoms of PDD are mild but last longer.

Substance-Induced Mood Disorder

Drugs, alcohol, and some medications can cause mood imbalances. Called a substance-induced mood disorder, this is a condition that develops when you experience persistent depressive or bipolar symptoms following substance use, withdrawal, or a dosage reduction. Common types of this illness include substance-induced bipolar disorder and substance-induced depressive disorder.

Health-Condition-Induced Mood Disorder

Underlying medical conditions can cause changes in your mood, among other symptoms of depression or bipolar disorder. This type of mood disorder is called a Health-condition-induced mood disorder and may accompany a diagnosis of HIV, cancer, or other serious medical conditions. To get a diagnosis, doctors must confirm that the disturbances in your mood are a direct physiological outcome of your medical condition, not a mental condition.

Get Professional Help for Distressing Symptoms

If you have worrying symptoms that you believe signal a mood disorder, you should make an appointment with a mental health provider or your primary doctor as soon as possible. This is especially important if you feel that your emotions are affecting your work, education, social life, relationships, and other areas of your life or are experiencing problems with drugs or alcohol. In the event you have suicidal thoughts, seem immediate help from a professional or someone you trust. Mood disorders rarely resolve on their own, and the earlier you seek help, the better your recovery outlook.

By Alexander James

Beau Alexander James: Beau, a mental health advocate, shares personal stories, coping strategies, and promotes mental health awareness and understanding.