Module 5 - Mood Disorders

Types of Mood Disorder

If a person experiences recurrent episodes of mood disorder then the description of their illness will depend upon the mixture of episodes of mood disorder they have experienced.

Recurrent (Unipolar) Depression

When a person experiences repeated episodes of low mood this is called recurrent depression. If there are only episodes of low mood then this is sometimes referred to as unipolar depression.

Bipolar Affective Disorder

Bipolar Affective Disorder is described as a recurrent mood disorder where the person has experienced at least one manic in addition to depressive episodes. Depressive episodes do not always occur. Other names for this recurrent mood disorder include bipolar depression and manic depression.

Schizoaffective Disorder

When a person presents with both mood symptoms and symptoms suggestive of schizophrenia then the episode may be diagnosed as a schizoaffective episode.

Adjustment Disorders

Adjustment disorders are episodes where a person experiences mood symptoms following a stressful event. They are a normal or exaggerated emotional response and represent a period of emotional ‘adjustment’ for the individual. The symptoms are not as severe as other disorders and do not last longer than 6 months. There are no psychotic symptoms. Usually the symptoms resolve by themselves with reassurance and support, occasionally more intensive treatment such as counselling or medication may be needed.
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