A mental health problem that primarily impacts a person's emotional and behavioral state. with long periods of extreme happiness, extreme sadness or both.

Types of mood disorders can include:

  • Major depression - Less than usual interest in activities, feeling sad / hopeless or any other symptom that lasts at least 2 weeks
  • Dysthymia - A chronic, low-grade, irritable or depressed mood that lasts at least 2 years
  • Bipolar disorder - Alternating periods of depression and mania (elevated mood)
  • Mood disorder related to a health condition - Symptoms of depression triggered by a medical illness (i.e. cancer, injuries, infections, chronic illnesses)
  • Substance induced mood disorder - Symptoms of depression resulting from medicine, drug abuse, alcoholism, exposure to toxins, etc.

Triggers - The Causes

  • Genetics and hereditary
  • Trauma or a distressing event
  • Brain structure and function (bipolar disorder)
  • Use and/or abuse of medications and other substances

Symptoms - What it looks like

  • Ongoing “empty,” sad or anxious mood
  • Feeling hopeless or helpless
  • Low self-esteem / feeling worthless or inadequate
  • Self-harm 
  • Issues in relationships
  • Change in sleeping patterns
  • Change in appetite / weight Lack of energy
  • Difficulty concentrating
  • Decline in decision-making ability
  • Frequent headaches, stomachaches or tiredness
  • Aggression, irritability or hostility

Treatment - The way to healing

  • Antidepressants and other medications
  • Psychotherapy (talk therapy)
  • Brain stimulation therapies
  • Light therapy


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