Definition of a mood disorder

Many mental health issues overlap and, as such, a clear understandings of them can be lost. By definition, a mood disorder is a psychological disorder characterised by the elevation or lowering of a person’s mood, such as depression or bipolar disorder.

Symptoms associated with mood disorders:

  • Feelings of hopelessness or helplessness.
  • Fatigue or low energy levels.
  • Low self-esteem.
  • Trouble sleeping or drowsiness during the day.
  • Poor appetite or overeating.
  • Impeded ability to concentrate.
  • Observed serious fluctuations in their mood.
  • Trouble concentrating or making decisions.

A mood disorder is characterised by significant changes in mood that occur regularly, but inconsistently. They can affect all areas of life, including your frame of mind, energy levels, and ability to function. For most people, mood disorders can be successfully treated with psychotherapy and sometimes medication.

The two most common disorders are depression and bipolar disorder. Visit Depression and Bipolar pages for more information.