The Clinical Classification and Symptoms of Mood Disorders
The Clinical Classification and Symptoms of Mood Disorders

The Clinical Classification and Symptoms of Mood Disorders

What Are Mood Disorders?

A mood disorder is a psychological ailment that causes the afflicted individual to experience unpredictable moods or spontaneous and extreme mood changes. There are many types of mood disorders, some of which are quite common - especially in the case of teenage boys and girls.

Among the most common of these particular subsets of disorders are anxiety, bipolar, and major depressive disorder. What's more, psychiatric researchers say that most teens who suffer from a mood disorder typically experience more than one classification at a time - such is the case with the dual diagnosis of anxiety and bipolar disorder which are commonly linked more often than individually diagnosed.

Unfortunately, these relatively common,l dually-diagnosed mood dysfunctions can make life problematic for both teens, who, of course,  carry an all too heavy burden of experiencing complex and irregular emotions caused by more than one type of stigmatized mental illness, and parents, who - although loving and caring - are oftentimes ill-equipped and less than knowledgeable in the clinical nuances that are necessary for effectually supporting their child’s serious mental health issues. 

Millions of teens (30% of teenage mood disorder-sufferers) who experience one or more mood disorders may also suffer from one or more conditions that are known as, disruptive disorders.  These disorders typically consist of two types, oppositional defiant disorder (ODD), and conduct disorder. Common symptoms of these two disruptive disorders include anger management issues, antisocial behaviors (Lying, cheating in school, stealing, etc.), and blatant defiance of authority. For the parents of said teens, life can be hectic and stressful.

Often times, the undiagnosed or untreated dual diagnoses of disruptive and mood disorders in a teen put such stress on a family that it splinters their entire familial dynamic. Consequently, due to the family-disruptive nature of this dual diagnosis, mood, and disruptive disorder, it is recommended that afflicted teens and their families receive treatment, together.

What are the Potential Causes of Mood Disorder? 

As is the case with most mental illnesses, several potential factors could lead to the development of a mood disorder. 

Genetics, being the most prevalent contributing factor in mood disorder diagnoses (genetic predisposition accounts for 50% of mood disorders), is just one of several potential contributing factors. For instance, t

Genetic and Environmental Developmental Factors 

Parents also need to be particularly conscious of their parenting styles and methods which, if ineffective and unsupportive, could easily lead to their child's development of a mood disorder. This strong parental influence is mainly because teens learn how to manage and navigate emotions from their parents. If a child is already genetically predisposed to develop a mood disorder and their parental support is lacking or ineffectual, it will almost certainly lead to the development and worse, the exacerbation of multiple potential mood disorders, such as anxiety and mild to major depression. 

In short, parenting with the knowledge and understanding of their child's mood disorder is a parent's most formidable tool in assisting the necessary healing of their child's mental illness. Without an efficient support system, afflicted teens will almost certainly look to self-medicating to cope with their underappreciated, severe psychological condition. Teens who turn to self-medicating often use drugs, self-harm, or uncontrolled emotional outbursts to deal with their unimaginably isolating, mental hell. 

Does your child suffer from one or more mood disorders? Here are common signs to watch out for: 

  • Disrupted or continuously changing sleep patterns
  • Eating disorders (binging, purging, or dangerously minimal amount of eating) 
  • Irritability and/or anger or agitation
  • Lethargic disposition, constant lacking of energy
  • Mood swings, such as unprovoked crying 
  • Sudden and successive bouts of depression  
  • Sudden and uncharacteristically cynical or pessimistic worldview
  • Increasingly impulsive behavior
  • Racing thoughts
  • Erratic speech 
  • And in severe cases, hallucinations