Mood Disorder FAQs

Mood disorders are complicated and learning about them can be overwhelming, but we’re here to help answer some of the questions you might have. Here are some of the most frequently asked questions about mood disorders.

What causes mood disorders?

Several factors contribute to the development of mood disorders, and there’s usually no single cause. Mood disorders are likely caused by an imbalance of brain chemicals, which can be related to physical illness or the use of certain medications. Life events (such as trauma or stressful life changes) may also contribute to a depressed mood. 

When do mood disorders often begin?

Mood disorders can begin at any point in your life, and when symptoms start depends on a variety of causes. The start of your mood disorder may be linked to life events or stress which can expose or increase feelings of sadness or depression.

Serious illness can also trigger symptoms of depression.

Some people experience depression because of medicine, drug abuse, alcoholism, exposure to toxins or as the byproduct of other forms of medical treatment.

Are mood disorders genetic?

Mood disorders may be hereditary as they often run in families, but no genes have yet been linked to them.

Once a person has been diagnosed with depression, their siblings and children are at higher risk of the same diagnosis.  Additionally, family members of people with depression are also at increased risk for bipolar disorder.

The same is true for someone diagnosed with bipolar disorder, and family members of someone with bipolar disorder have a higher risk of depression.

What's the difference between mood & personality disorders?

A mood disorder is a mental health condition that mainly affects a person’s emotional state. People with mood disorders experience long periods of extreme sadness, extreme happiness or both.

Personality disorders, on the other hand, affect how someone interacts with other people. Personality disorders are more consistent than mood disorders, as moods can change but personality disorders tend to remain consistent throughout life. 

What is a mood stabilizer?

Mood stabilizers are medications often prescribed to patients with bipolar disorder. They help stabilize your mood, balancing out the highs and lows that make up bipolar disorder. 

What is an affective disorder?

An affective disorder is another term for a mood disorder. They’re sometimes called affective disorders because they affect how you think and feel.

Can mood disorders be cured?

Mood disorders can be treated and many people find that their symptoms go away after a period of treatment. However, some patients might have chronic or recurring mood disorders and their treatment will focus on managing their symptoms instead of curing the disorder.

What are the most common mood disorders?

The two most common mood disorders are depression and bipolar disorder. There are a few disorders that fall under the category of depression, with persistent depressive disorder and seasonal affective disorder being the most common.

Mood Disorder Information

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