Mood Disorders

Some days we feel on top of the world, and other days we feel “down” and dejected. Some fluctuations in moods are a normal part of life, as we react to the events of the day. For hospitalization and psychological assessment, significant and prolonged disturbances in mood is considered. Three major categories of mood disorders are mania, depressive disorder and Bipolar Affective Disorder (BPAD).


Mania is the mood of an abnormally, persistently elevated, irritable mood.


  • People with mania may have an excessively happy mood, typically associated with a sense of grandness. They feel unbelievably good about themselves, to the extent that they often believe they can do anything.
  • People with mania often engage in more activities than usual. This increase in activity often becomes excessive to the point of being dangerous. E.g., they may go on shopping sprees, spend money that go well beyond their means, and incur enormous levels of debt. They may drive recklessly and tend to leave responsibilities behind. They may have an increased sexual drive and may involve in sexual activities putting themselves at risk for sexually transmitted diseases and relationship conflicts.
  • When an attempt is made to stop such behaviour they become extremely irritable and might use violent methods to assault themselves or use abusive words.
  • People with mania feel highly energetic that they have a decreased need for sleep, even staying awake for days at a time and might not feel hungry for days.
  • People with mania are highly distractible and have poor concentration, as their mind races with a million thoughts (flight of ideas) and new ideas.
  • People with mania speak very quickly as others can barely get a word during his conversations. Other symptoms include; increased sociability, familiarity and impaired judgment.


This period of abnormal mood must last at least one week for hospitalization and psychological investigation. Manic episodes can last from a few weeks to a few months in length, and they are often preceded by stressful life events. While the average age for a first manic incidence is in the early twenties, some occur in the teen-age years. Those who have their first episode in their teens often have a history of behaviour problems.


Every person occasionally feels blue or sad. But these feelings are usually short-lived. When a person have depression and if it interferes with daily life and cause discomfort for both the patient and the family member (s), then they should look for hospitalization and psychological assessments.

  • People with the depressive disorder suffer from depressed or sad mood. They lose interest in things that they usually enjoy.
  • People with a depressive disorder often show low level of energy, extreme fatigue and poor concentration. They have no motivation to do their daily activities, often find themselves unable to get out of bed and unable to complete school or work assignments.
  • People with depressive disorder have low self-esteem, feel worthless and blame themselves for all that has gone wrong in their life and in the world. They also tend to feel hopeless about their future.
  • People with depressive disorder have thoughts of suicides and suicide attempts, feel changes in appetite and sleep habits.
  • People with the depressive disorder tend to withdraw socially, feel insecure in relationships and expect rejection from others.

Depressive disorder follows a recurrent course. Depression is one of the biggest risk factors for suicide; with around 15% of depressed people committing suicide. Depression affects people of all ages, including children. Early-onset predicts a worse course of depression over time, so depression in childhood and teenage years is a serious problem that can lead to ongoing difficulties throughout life.


BPAD is characterized by recurrent episodes of mania and depressive disorder in the same person at different times. These episodes can occur in any sequence. The treatment aims at preventing either manic or depressive episode. However, once the episode has started, the treatment will be focussed on treating the symptoms and simultaneously work on the remission of the symptoms. Some people may be absolutely symptoms free for months to years whereas others may relapse more frequently.