Mood disorders are a more prevalent health concern than many people may realize. Approximately 26% of American adults in any given year suffer from a diagnosable mental disorder. With a significant portion of the U.S. being affected by mood disorders and other mental health concerns, it’s important to know the signs that you’re coping with one.
Understanding Mood Disorders
Mood disorders are a type of mental health condition that mainly impacts a person’s emotions. With a mood disorder, individuals may experience extended periods of extreme emotions, whether that be sadness, happiness, or a combination of the two. Someone with a mood disorder may experience fluctuating levels of depression, apathy, anxiety, and irritability. Depression and bipolar disorder are among the most common mood disorders.
- Depression is a mental disorder involving prolonged sadness and lost interest in activities. People with depression can develop various emotional and physical issues.
- Bipolar disorder is a mental condition characterized by mood swings between depression and mania. Depressive episodes involve symptoms of clinical depression, while manic episodes can involve elation, increased activity, and/or irritability.
These are only two of the many mood disorders that people can experience. Other known mood disorders include substance-induced disorders, premenstrual dysphoric disorder, and intermittent explosive disorder.
Signs That You May Have a Mood Disorder
Common signs that you may be suffering from a mood disorder include:
- Lost interest in activities that you once enjoyed
- Persistent low levels of energy
- Overeating or having no appetite
- Prolonged feeling of sadness
- Mood swings
- Frequent irritability
- Using drugs or alcohol to cope with negative emotions
- Frequent feeling of apathy
- Difficulty focusing on daily activities and tasks
- Prolonged lack of motivation
- Periods of euphoria, agitation, and/or poor judgment
The only way to definitively know that you have a mood disorder is to schedule an appointment with a mental health professional for a diagnosis.