Mood Disorders

Mood Disorders

What are Mood Disorders?

If you experience serious changes in your mood over a long period of time then you may have a mood disorder. Mood disorders are one category of mental illness and include depression, bipolar disorder and seasonal affective disorder (SAD). Mood disorders, especially depression, often co-occur with physical illness.

How Common are Mood Disorders?

According to Mental Health America, mood disorders are fairly common in the United States. They report that about 20% of the U.S. population reports at least one depressive symptom in a given month, and 12% report two or more in a year. A survey conducted in 1992 found rates of major depression reaching 5% in the previous 30 days, 17% for a lifetime. Bipolar disorder is less common, occurring at a rate of 1% in the general population, but some believe the diagnosis is often overlooked because manic elation is too rarely reported as a symptom.


Depression is a brain condition that requires medical treatment. Without professional help, depression can shatter the lives of individuals living with the illness, as well as their families. Depression can manifest differently in different people, but for most, it affects their ability to go to work, attend school, maintain important relationships and enjoy life.

Fortunately, depression is entirely treatable and with proper diagnosis and treatment, many individuals can and do recover. Learn more about depression.

Bipolar Disorder

Some more common methods of NSSI include skin cutting, head banging or hitting and burning. Other forms of self-harm can be excessive scratching, self-punching, infecting oneself, inserting objects into their body, drinking something destructive (such as cleanser, bleach or detergent), and breaking bones purposefully. Many people who self-harm injure themselves in more than one way. Source: Mental Health America.

Learn more about bipolar disorder.

Mood Disorders and Physical Illness

Mood disorders such as depression is associated with physical illness as well. Some 25% of hospitalized medical patients have noticeable depressive symptoms and about 5% are suffering from major depression. Chronic medical conditions associated with depression include heart disease, cancer, vitamin deficiencies, diabetes, hepatitis, and malaria. Depression also is a common effect of neurological disorders, including Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s diseases, multiple sclerosis, strokes, and brain tumors. Even moderate depressive symptoms are associated with a higher than average rate of arteriosclerosis, heart attacks, and high blood pressure. Depression can mimic medical illness and any illness feels worse to someone suffering from depression.

Click here for the diagnostic criteria and types of mood disorders according to the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-5).

Call us today (281) 383-9366 to find out about the treatment programs The Woodlands Psychiatry and Counseling offers for mood disorders.

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