Types of Mood Disorders
Depression (major depressive disorder):
Depression is common but few seek help to fix it. People tend to feel ashamed about feeling “weak” that leads them to hide their emotional pain, deny the seriousness of the problem, and put off getting help.
Depression is treatable.
Depression is when you feel persistent, intense sadness and ongoing feelings of low motivation, and low energy. Depression can cause a disturbance in thoughts, feelings, behaviours, and physical health that can limit your quality of life, affect relationships, and limit your ability to get things done. Depression is more than being sad or feeling grief after a loss. There are subtypes of depression, like seasonal affective disorder (see below), dysthymia (a longer lasting and sometimes less “intense” form of major depression) or postpartum depression (a mood disorder associated with becoming a new parent).
Your mental health care provider will identify the type of depression you have and explain how to treat it.
If someone has an ongoing pattern of experiencing polar opposites of mood - like cycling between extremely high mood (mania or manic stage), followed by an extremely low mood (depressive stage), they might have a form of bipolar disorder. The changes in mood can be sudden and are extreme enough that they interfere with a person’s ability to live their life. There are often periods of stability between episodes, and the frequency and speed of mood changes will be different for each person and the type of disorder they have. Information on bipolar.
Seasonal affective disorder (SAD):
When someone has episodes of depression that have a pattern of low mood that occurs in the winter in the northern hemisphere and the symptoms typically go away after the season is over, they might have seasonal affective disorder. Seasonal affective disorder is a type of depression and is also referred to as 'seasonal depression,' 'winter depression,' or 'major depression with a seasonal pattern.'. Information on SAD.
Mood disorders are not:
Simply feeling sad or low - everyone feels sad or low at times.
The result of any actions or personal failures of the individual.
A sign or result of low intelligence or weakness.
All the same. Symptoms differ between disorders and people.