|Other names||Affective disorder|
|A depressive man standing by a country pond in the pouring rain|
|Types||Bipolar disorder, cyclothymia, disruptive mood dysregulation disorder, dysthymia, major depressive disorder, premenstrual dysphoric disorder, seasonal affective disorder|
|Medication||Antidepressants, mood stabilizers|
A mood disorder, also known as an affective disorder, is any of a group of conditions of mental and behavioral disorder where a disturbance in the person's mood is the main underlying feature. The classification is in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM) and International Classification of Diseases (ICD).
Mood disorders fall into seven groups, including; abnormally elevated mood, such as mania or hypomania; depressed mood, of which the best-known and most researched is major depressive disorder (MDD) (alternatively known as clinical depression, unipolar depression, or major depression); and moods which cycle between mania and depression, known as bipolar disorder (BD) (formerly known as manic depression). There are several sub-types of depressive disorders or psychiatric syndromes featuring less severe symptoms such as dysthymic disorder (similar to MDD, but longer lasting and more persistent, though often milder) and cyclothymic disorder (similar to but milder than BD).
In some cases, more than one mood disorder can be present in an individual, like bipolar disorder and depressive disorder. If a mood disorder and schizophrenia are both present in an individual, this is known as schizoaffective disorder. Mood disorders may also be substance induced, or occur in response to a medical condition.
English psychiatrist Henry Maudsley proposed an overarching category of affective disorder. The term was then replaced by mood disorder, as the latter term refers to the underlying or longitudinal emotional state, whereas the former refers to the external expression observed by others.
A minority of people with bipolar disorder have high creativity, artistry or a particular gifted talent. Before the mania phase becomes too extreme, its energy, ambition, enthusiasm and grandiosity often bring people with this type of mood disorder life's masterpieces.
A mood disorder can be classified as substance-induced if its etiology can be traced to the direct physiologic effects of a psychoactive drug or other chemical substance, or if the development of the mood disorder occurred contemporaneously with substance intoxication or withdrawal. Also, an individual may have a mood disorder coexisting with a substance abuse disorder. Substance-induced mood disorders can have features of a manic, hypomanic, mixed, or depressive episode. Most substances can induce a variety of mood disorders. For example, stimulants such as amphetamine, methamphetamine, and cocaine can cause manic, hypomanic, mixed, and depressive episodes.[unreliable source?]
High rates of major depressive disorder occur in heavy drinkers and those with alcoholism. Controversy has previously surrounded whether those who abused alcohol and developed depression were self-medicating their pre-existing depression. But recent research has concluded that, while this may be true in some cases, alcohol misuse directly causes the development of depression in a significant number of heavy drinkers. Participants studied were also assessed during stressful events in their lives and measured on a Feeling Bad Scale. Likewise, they were also assessed on their affiliation with deviant peers, unemployment, and their partner's substance use and criminal offending. High rates of suicide also occur in those who have alcohol-related problems. It is usually possible to differentiate between alcohol-related depression and depression that is not related to alcohol intake by taking a careful history of the patient. Depression and other mental health problems associated with alcohol misuse may be due to distortion of brain chemistry, as they tend to improve on their own after a period of abstinence.
Benzodiazepines, such as alprazolam, clonazepam, lorazepam and diazepam, can cause both depression and mania.
Benzodiazepines are a class of medication commonly used to treat anxiety, panic attacks and insomnia, and are also commonly misused and abused. Those with anxiety, panic and sleep problems commonly have negative emotions and thoughts, depression, suicidal ideations, and often have comorbid depressive disorders. While the anxiolytic and hypnotic effects of benzodiazepines disappear as tolerance develops, depression and impulsivity with high suicidal risk commonly persist. These symptoms are "often interpreted as an exacerbation or as a natural evolution of previous disorders and the chronic use of sedatives is overlooked". Benzodiazepines do not prevent the development of depression, can exacerbate preexisting depression, can cause depression in those with no history of it, and can lead to suicide attempts. Risk factors for suicide and suicide attempts while using benzodiazepines include high dose prescriptions (even in those not misusing the medications), benzodiazepine intoxication, and underlying depression.
The long-term use of benzodiazepines may have a similar effect on the brain as alcohol, and are also implicated in depression. As with alcohol, the effects of benzodiazepine on neurochemistry, such as decreased levels of serotonin and norepinephrine, are believed to be responsible for the increased depression. Additionally, benzodiazepines can indirectly worsen mood by worsening sleep (i.e., benzodiazepine-induced sleep disorder). Like alcohol, benzodiazepines can put people to sleep but, while asleep, they disrupt sleep architecture: decreasing sleep time, delaying time to REM sleep, and decreasing deep sleep (the most restorative part of sleep for both energy and mood). Just as some antidepressants can cause or worsen anxiety in some patients due to being activating, benzodiazepines can cause or worsen depression due to being a central nervous system depressant—worsening thinking, concentration and problem solving (i.e., benzodiazepine-induced neurocognitive disorder). However, unlike antidepressants, in which the activating effects usually improve with continued treatment, benzodiazepine-induced depression is unlikely to improve until after stopping the medication.
In a long-term follow-up study of patients dependent on benzodiazepines, it was found that 10 people (20%) had taken drug overdoses while on chronic benzodiazepine medication despite only two people ever having had any pre-existing depressive disorder. A year after a gradual withdrawal program, no patients had taken any further overdoses.
Just as with intoxication and chronic use, benzodiazepine withdrawal can also cause depression. While benzodiazepine-induced depressive disorder may be exacerbated immediately after discontinuation of benzodiazepines, evidence suggests that mood significantly improves after the acute withdrawal period to levels better than during use. Depression resulting from withdrawal from benzodiazepines usually subsides after a few months but in some cases may persist for 6–12 months.
"Mood disorder due to a general medical condition" is used to describe manic or depressive episodes which occur secondary to a medical condition. There are many medical conditions that can trigger mood episodes, including neurological disorders (e.g. dementias), metabolic disorders (e.g. electrolyte disturbances), gastrointestinal diseases (e.g. cirrhosis), endocrine disease (e.g. thyroid abnormalities), cardiovascular disease (e.g. heart attack), pulmonary disease (e.g. chronic obstructive pulmonary disease), cancer, and autoimmune diseases (e.g. multiple sclerosis).
See also: DSM-IV codes
Mood disorder not otherwise specified (MD-NOS) is a mood disorder that is impairing but does not fit in with any of the other officially specified diagnoses. In the DSM-IV MD-NOS is described as "any mood disorder that does not meet the criteria for a specific disorder." MD-NOS is not used as a clinical description but as a statistical concept for filing purposes. The diagnosis of MD-NOS does not exist in the DSM-5, however the diagnoses of unspecified depressive disorder and unspecified bipolar disorder are in the DSM-5.
Most cases of MD-NOS represent hybrids between mood and anxiety disorders, such as mixed anxiety-depressive disorder or atypical depression. An example of an instance of MD-NOS is being in minor depression frequently during various intervals, such as once every month or once in three days. There is a risk for MD-NOS not to get noticed, and for that reason not to get treated.
Meta-analyses show that high scores on the personality domain neuroticism are a strong predictor for the development of mood disorders. A number of authors have also suggested that mood disorders are an evolutionary adaptation (see also evolutionary psychiatry). A low or depressed mood can increase an individual's ability to cope with situations in which the effort to pursue a major goal could result in danger, loss, or wasted effort. In such situations, low motivation may give an advantage by inhibiting certain actions. This theory helps to explain why negative life incidents precede depression in around 80 percent of cases, and why they so often strike people during their peak reproductive years. These characteristics would be difficult to understand if depression were a dysfunction.
A depressed mood is a predictable response to certain types of life occurrences, such as loss of status, divorce, or death of a child or spouse. These are events that signal a loss of reproductive ability or potential, or that did so in humans' ancestral environment. A depressed mood can be seen as an adaptive response, in the sense that it causes an individual to turn away from the earlier (and reproductively unsuccessful) modes of behavior.
A depressed mood is common during illnesses, such as influenza. It has been argued that this is an evolved mechanism that assists the individual in recovering by limiting their physical activity. The occurrence of low-level depression during the winter months, or seasonal affective disorder, may have been adaptive in the past, by limiting physical activity at times when food was scarce. It is argued that humans have retained the instinct to experience low mood during the winter months, even if the availability of food is no longer determined by the weather.
Much of what is known about the genetic influence of clinical depression is based upon research that has been done with identical twins. Identical twins have exactly the same genetic code. It has been found that when one identical twin becomes depressed the other will also develop clinical depression approximately 76% of the time. When identical twins are raised apart from each other, they will both become depressed about 67% of the time. Because both twins become depressed at such a high rate, the implication is that there is a strong genetic influence. If it happened that when one twin becomes clinically depressed the other always develops depression, then clinical depression would likely be entirely genetic.
Bipolar disorder is also considered a mood disorder and it is hypothesized that it might be caused by mitochondrial dysfunction.
Mood disorders, specifically stress-related mood disorders such as anxiety and depression, have been shown to have differing rates of diagnosis based on sex. In the United States, women are two times more likely than men to be diagnosed with a stress-related mood disorder. Underlying these sex differences, studies have shown a dysregulation of stress-responsive neuroendocrine function causing an increase in the likelihood of developing these affective disorders. Overactivation of the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis could provide potential insight into how these sex differences arise. Neuropeptide corticotropin-releasing factor (CRF) is released from the paraventricular nucleus (PVN) of the hypothalamus, stimulating adrenocorticotropic hormone (ACTH) release into the blood stream. From here ACTH triggers the release of glucocorticoids such as cortisol from the adrenal cortex. Cortisol, known as the main stress hormone, creates a negative feedback loop back to the hypothalamus to deactivate the stress response. When a constant stressor is present, the HPA axis remains overactivated and cortisol is constantly produced. This chronic stress is associated with sustained CRF release, resulting in the increased production of anxiety- and depressive-like behaviors and serving as a potential mechanism for differences in prevalence between men and women.
The DSM-5, released in May 2013, separates the mood disorder chapter from the DSM-TR-IV into two sections: Depressive and related disorders and bipolar and related disorders. Bipolar disorders fall in between depressive disorders and schizophrenia spectrum and related disorders "in recognition of their place as a bridge between the two diagnostic classes in terms of symptomatology, family history and genetics" (Ref. 1, p 123). Bipolar disorders underwent a few changes in the DSM-5, most notably the addition of more specific symptomology related to hypomanic and mixed manic states. Depressive disorders underwent the most changes, the addition of three new disorders: disruptive mood dysregulation disorder, persistent depressive disorder (previously dysthymia), and premenstrual dysphoric disorder (previously in appendix B, the section for disorders needing further research). Disruptive mood dysregulation disorder is meant as a diagnosis for children and adolescents who would normally be diagnosed with bipolar disorder as a way to limit the bipolar diagnosis in this age cohort. Major depressive disorder (MDD) also underwent a notable change, in that the bereavement clause has been removed. Those previously exempt from a diagnosis of MDD due to bereavement are now candidates for the MDD diagnosis.
There are different types of treatments available for mood disorders, such as therapy and medications. Behaviour therapy, cognitive behaviour therapy and interpersonal therapy have all shown to be potentially beneficial in depression. Major depressive disorder medications usually include antidepressants; a combination of antidepressants and cognitive behavioral therapy has shown to be more effective than one treatment alone. Bipolar disorder medications can consist of antipsychotics, mood stabilizers, anticonvulsants and/or lithium. Lithium specifically has been proven to reduce suicide and all causes of mortality in people with mood disorders. If mitochondrial dysfunction or mitochondrial diseases are the cause of mood disorders like bipolar disorder, then it has been hypothesized that N-acetyl-cysteine (NAC), acetyl-L-carnitine (ALCAR), S-adenosylmethionine (SAMe), coenzyme Q10 (CoQ10), alpha-lipoic acid (ALA), creatine monohydrate (CM), and melatonin could be potential treatment options. In determining treatment, there are many types of depression scales that are used. One of the depression scales is a self-report scale called Beck Depression Inventory (BDI). Another scale is the Hamilton Depression Rating Scale (HAMD). HAMD is a clinical rating scale in which the patient is rated based on clinician observation. The Center for Epidemiologic Studies Depression Scale (CES-D) is a scale for depression symptoms that applies to the general population. This scale is typically used in research and not for self-reports. The PHQ-9 which stands for Patient-Health Questionnaire-9 questions, is a self-report as well. Finally, the Mood Disorder Questionnaire (MDQ) evaluates bipolar disorder.
According to a substantial number of epidemiology studies conducted, women are twice as likely to develop certain mood disorders, such as major depression. Although there is an equal number of men and women diagnosed with bipolar II disorder, women have a slightly higher frequency of the disorder.
The prevalence of depressive symptoms has increased over the years with recent generations reporting a 6% increase in symptoms of depression compared to individuals from older generations.
In 2011, mood disorders were the most common reason for hospitalization among children aged 1–17 years in the United States, with approximately 112,000 stays. Mood disorders were top principal diagnosis for Medicaid super-utilizers in the United States in 2012. Further, a study of 18 States found that mood disorders accounted for the highest number of hospital readmissions among Medicaid patients and the uninsured, with 41,600 Medicaid patients and 12,200 uninsured patients being readmitted within 30 days of their index stay—a readmission rate of 19.8 per 100 admissions and 12.7 per 100 admissions, respectively. In 2012, mood and other behavioral health disorders were the most common diagnoses for Medicaid-covered and uninsured hospital stays in the United States (6.1% of Medicaid stays and 5.2% of uninsured stays).
A study conducted in 1988 to 1994 amongst young American adults involved a selection of demographic and health characteristics. A population-based sample of 8,602 men and women ages 17–39 years participated. Lifetime prevalence were estimated based on six mood measures:
Kay Redfield Jamison and others have explored the possible links between mood disorders – especially bipolar disorder – and creativity. It has been proposed that a "ruminating personality type may contribute to both [mood disorders] and art."
Jane Collingwood notes an Oregon State University study that
In Liz Paterek's article "Bipolar Disorder and the Creative Mind" she wrote
The relationship between depression and creativity appears to be especially strong among poets.
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