Disorders of mood include Depression and Bipolar Disorder. These conditions share in common disturbance of mood as a prominent feature. Mood disorders are typically treated with medication and psychotherapy, and sometimes require hospital or transitional living care.
Depressive Disorders include several different diagnoses that share in common depressed mood as a prominent feature and the absence of a manic episode. Major Depressive Disorder is a serious condition in which the patient has experienced acute depression, or loss of pleasure or enjoyment in daily activities, for two weeks or longer, accompanied by several of the following symptoms: sleep disturbance, appetite disturbance, difficulties with attention, concentration, and decision making, chronic exhaustion, agitation or lethargy, very low self-esteem or extreme guilt, and/or suicidal thoughts or actions. Some patients with Major Depression experience psychotic symptoms, which involve a break with reality. Patients with Major Depression may need to be hospitalized if their symptoms become too severe.
Dysthymic Disorder is a condition in which the patient has chronic depressive symptoms for two years or longer accompanied by some symptoms of Major Depression. Depressive Disorder NOS (not otherwise specified) is diagnosed when the patient has symptoms of a depressive disorder but does not meet the criteria for any specific Depressive Disorders diagnosis.
Bipolar Disorders are characterized by any lifetime episode of mania or hypomania. Mania is a serious condition involving sudden onset of euphoric, expansive, or irritable mood accompanied by several of the following: inflated self-esteem, insomnia, distractibility, very rapid thoughts, very rapid speech, excessive involvement in pleasurable activities with a high potential for painful consequences, such as spending, drugs, gambling, excessive sexual activity, or thrill seeking, and/or increased goal directed activities such as excessive work, new projects, and tasks, or agitation.
Bipolar I Disorder involves the presence of manic symptoms for at least one week. The symptoms are so pervasive as to interfere with work, school, or social functioning. Some patients with Bipolar I require hospitalization to prevent suicide, aggression toward others, or stabilization in a protected environment. Most patients with Bipolar I Disorder have significant periods of depression in addition to manic episodes. Some patients with Bipolar I Disorder can become psychotic, which is a break with reality.
Bipolar II Disorder is less severe than Bipolar I Disorder. In this disorder, patients have a hypomanic episode in which mood disturbance lasts at least a few days, but less than a week. Work, school, or social functioning is not significantly impaired, and the patient does not require hospitalization. Patients with Bipolar II Disorder do not experience psychotic symptoms. Patients with Bipolar II Disorder are likely to experience depression in addition to hypomanic episodes.
Cyclothymic Disorder occurs when the patient has two or more years of continuous hypomanic and depressive symptoms that are not so severe as to fit Bipolar I Disorder or Bipolar II Disorder. Bipolar Disorder NOS (not otherwise specified) is diagnosed when the patient has symptoms of a depressive disorder but does not meet the criteria for any specific Depressive Disorders diagnosis.