There are four basic mood disorders that impact the U.S. population: major depression, cyclothymia (a mild form of bipolar disorder), seasonal affective disorder and mania (euphoric, hyperactive, unrealistic optimism).

One survey reported 17% of the population experienced major depression at some point in their lifetime.  Bipolar disorder is less common, impacting about 1% of the general population.

Factors that Impact Mood Disorders

  • Psychiatric disorder – people with serious psychiatric disorders have almost as high a chance of developing major depression as those who have experienced major depression before
  • Personality – People who are withdrawn, unreasonably self-critical, irritable, impulsive and hypersensitive to loss are more likely to suffer from depression. People with anxiety also may have a tendency to experience depression.  Chronically anxious people may also medicate themselves with alcohol or drugs that can cause depression.
  • Physical illness – about 25 % of hospitalized patients exhibit depressive symptoms with 5% suffering from major depression.  Medical conditions associated with depression include: heart disease, cancer, vitamin deficiencies, diabetes, hepatitis and malaria.  Depression is also a common effect of neurological disorders, including Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s disease, multiple sclerosis, strokes and brain tumors.  Even moderate depressive symptoms are associated with a higher than average rate of arteriosclerosis, heart attacks, and high blood pressure.

If you or someone you love is suffering from symptoms of a mood disorder and would like more information, please schedule an appointment with an iTherapy counselor to discuss your concerns.

See Also

  • Self-Assessment