Mood disorders are characterized by disturbances in mood or prolonged emotional state, sometimes referred to as affect. Mood disorders are characterized by depression and/or mania. While "mood" is extremely subjective and often used interchangeably with "feeling" or "emotion," the psychiatric profession classifies mood disorders as a group of defined mental disorders. In some people with mood disorders, this range is greatly restricted. They seem stuck at one or the other end of the emotional spectrum either consistently excited or euphoric or consistently sad whatever the circumstances of their lives. There are several ...view middle of the document...
Mania typically occurs as a symptom of bipolar disorder (a mood disorder characterized by both manic and depressive episodes). Individuals experiencing a manic episode often have feelings of self-importance, elation, talkativeness, sociability, and a desire to embark on goal-oriented activities, coupled with the less desirable characteristics of irritability, impatience, impulsiveness, hyperactivity, and a decreased need for sleep. Mania can be induced by the use or abuse of stimulant drugs such as cocaine and amphetamines. It is also the predominant feature of bipolar disorder, or manic depression, an affective mental illness that causes radical emotional changes and mood swings. Mania is usually diagnosed and treated by a psychiatrist and/or a psychologist in an outpatient setting. However, most severely manic patients require hospitalization. In addition to an interview, several clinical inventories or scales may be used to assess the patient's mental status and determine the presence and severity of mania. An assessment commonly includes the Young Mania Rating Scale (YMRS). The Mini-Mental State Examination (MMSE) may also be given to screen out other illnesses such as dementia. Along with depression and mania, suicide or suicidal thoughts or behavior can be attributed with mood disorders. Scientists believe that depression and bipolar dis order are caused by an imbalance of brain chemicals called neurotransmitters. Some of these chemicals related to mood disorders are serotonin, dopamine, and norepinephrine. Most medications used to...