Skip to main content

Mood Disorders


What is a mood disorder?

A mood disorder, or affective disorder, is a condition that causes your mood or emotions to be out of control. Your mood can affect your personality and how you act. It can also affect how you feel about yourself and life in general.

What increases my risk for a mood disorder?

  • A major change in your life
  • Chemical changes in your body
  • A family member with a mood disorder
  • Age between 25 to 44 years
  • Alcohol or substance abuse

What are the signs and symptoms of a mood disorder?

  • You have changes in your eating habits, energy level, weight, or sleeping patterns.
  • You start to not care about yourself or your future.
  • You have a lack of sex drive.
  • You start to not care about other people.
  • People may have trouble getting along with you.
  • Work or other activities suffer because you lose interest or cannot find answers to your problems.

How is a mood disorder diagnosed?

Your healthcare provider will ask about your history and if you drink alcohol or use drugs. He will ask if you have ever wanted to hurt yourself or others. Tell him if you have people in your life who support you. Tell him about your behaviors, feelings, and relationships with others.

How is a mood disorder treated?

Medicines can help control your moods.

How can I manage my symptoms?

  • Try to get 6 to 8 hours of sleep each night. Contact your healthcare provider if you have trouble sleeping.
  • Manage your stress. Learn new ways to relax, such as deep breathing or meditation.
  • Talk to someone about how you feel. Join a support group. Talk to your healthcare provider, family, or friends about your feelings. Tell them about things that upset you.
  • Exercise regularly. Ask about the best exercise plan for you. Most healthcare providers recommend 30 minutes each day, 5 days a week. Exercise helps to lower stress and manage your moods.

When should I contact my healthcare provider?

  • You are depressed.
  • You feel anxious or worried.
  • You begin to drink alcohol, or you drink more than usual.
  • You take illegal drugs.
  • You take medicines that are not prescribed to you.
  • Your medicine causes you to feel drowsy, keeps you awake, or affects how much you eat.
  • You have questions or concerns about your condition or care.

When should I seek immediate care or call 911?

  • You have severe depression.
  • You want to hurt yourself or others.

Care Agreement

You have the right to help plan your care. Learn about your health condition and how it may be treated. Discuss treatment options with your healthcare providers to decide what care you want to receive. You always have the right to refuse treatment. The above information is an educational aid only. It is not intended as medical advice for individual conditions or treatments. Talk to your doctor, nurse or pharmacist before following any medical regimen to see if it is safe and effective for you.

© Copyright IBM Corporation 2021 Information is for End User's use only and may not be sold, redistributed or otherwise used for commercial purposes. All illustrations and images included in CareNotes® are the copyrighted property of A.D.A.M., Inc. or IBM Watson Health

Learn more about Mood Disorders

Associated drugs

Further information

Always consult your healthcare provider to ensure the information displayed on this page applies to your personal circumstances.