A mood disorder is a mental health class we use to broadly describe all types of depression and bipolar disorders.

Children, teens, and adults can have mood disorders. However, children and teens don’t always have the same symptoms as adults. It’s harder to diagnose mood disorders in children because they aren’t always able to adequately express how they feel.

These are the most common types of mood disorders:

  • Major depression:

    Having less interest in usual activities, feeling sad or hopeless, and other symptoms for at least 2 weeks may indicate depression.

  • Dysthymia:

    This is a chronic, low-grade, depressed, or irritable mood that lasts for at least 2 years.

  • Bipolar disorder:

    This is a condition in which a person has periods of depression alternating with periods of mania or elevated mood.

  • Mood disorder related to another health condition:

    Many medical illnesses (including cancer, injuries, infections, and chronic illnesses) can trigger symptoms of depression.

  • Substance-induced mood disorder:

    Symptoms of depression that are due to the effects of medication, drug abuse, alcoholism, exposure to toxins, or other forms of treatment.

  • Suicide and Self Harm:

    Characterised by thoughts of killing yourself or actively physically harming yourself.

Mood Disorder Treatment Cape Town | Dr Kerryn Armstrong

Many factors contribute to mood disorders. They are likely caused by an imbalance of brain chemicals, although stressful life changes may also contribute to a depressed mood.

Anyone can feel sad or depressed at times. However, mood disorders are more intense and harder to manage than normal feelings of sadness. Children, teens, or adults who have a parent with a mood disorder have a greater chance of also having a mood disorder. However, life events and stress can expose or worsen feelings of sadness or depression, making the feelings harder to manage.

Sometimes, life's problems can trigger depression. Being fired from a job, getting divorced, losing a loved one, death in the family, and financial trouble, to name a few, all can be difficult and coping with the pressure may be troublesome. These life events and stress can bring on feelings of sadness or depression or make a mood disorder harder to manage.

If you feel like you may be suffering with a mood disorder, contact Dr. Kerryn Armstrong. Her guidance and support will improve your quality of life and help you manage your disorder.