This is your brain…on a pogo stick.

The anxiety disorders fascinate me. So do the mood disorders. And given the fact that so many of us suffer from both, I’ve decided to place a lot more emphasis on the mood disorders as we move forward with the blog.

How ‘bout we get things rollin’ with the first in a series of posts about all things mood (get your mood rings out).

First of all, just what are the mood disorders? Well, it seems to me a good place to start would be in the traditional world of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, Fourth Edition, Text Revision (DSM-IV-TR). According to the shrinks at the American Psychiatric Association, the DSM-IV-TR’s publisher, the mood disorders include…

  • The Bipolar Disorders
  • Cyclothymic Disorder
  • The Major Depressive Disorders
  • Dysthymic Disorder
  • Depressive Disorder Not Otherwise Specified (NOS)
  • Mood Disorder NOS
  • Mood Disorder Due to… (eg: General Medical Condition)

For the record, you’ll find three formal diagnoses within the bipolar disorders that feature a wide variety of mood presentations. Cyclothymic disorder is a mood cycling disorder that presents without manic, hypomanic, major depressive, or mixed episodes.

Likewise, within the major depressive disorders you’ll find many distinctions based upon frequency of episodes, severity, and the presence of psychotic features. Dysthymic disorder is a depressive presentation without the occurrence of major depressive episodes.

Now, please understand these diagnoses are structured in a very rigid manner. But, of course, we know in the real-world, precise conformity to such structure is a bit unrealistic.

And that’s why more and more psych professionals are considering the mood disorders within the context of a spectrum, as opposed to cut and dried criteria.

Well, that gets us off to a good start. I haven’t decided just yet how many posts we’ll include in the series; however, I can tell you the next post will discuss what mood disorders look like.

The anxiety and mood disorders are for sure two peas in a pod. Will you stop by again and learn how this applies to your life?