Chapter 3: Mood Disorders

Chapter 3 Introduction

Jorden A. Cummings

Sadness and euphoria are two very human experiences. We have all felt down, blue, sad, or maybe even deep grief before. Likewise, all of us have been at one time or another elated, joyful, thrilled and excited. But as intense as these experiences might feel, they are very different from clinical mood disorders. In this chapter you’ll learn about both depression and mania, and the variety of mood disorders that are marked by these experiences. Although “depressed” is a phrase that gets used often, feeling down is not the same as being diagnosed with depression. In addition, the mood disorders consist of many more symptoms than just feeling down or elated.

In this chapter we’ll discuss all of the symptoms of depressed, manic, and hypomanic episodes as well as the diagnostic criteria for both the unipolar and bipolar mood disorders. We’ll also review the rates and vulnerabilities for both and the etiologies hypothesized to underly them. Last, we’re going to discuss how mood disorders are treated with both biological and psychological interventions.



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