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I'm confused by the term "mood disorder" (yeah I'm kinda dumb.) I googled it (thats the extent of my researching capabilities) and some sources define it as bipolar or depression only, others include more.  I got some kind of definition that was like "disorders affecting an individuals mood" but to me that seems to include almost all mental illnesses.  So within the spectrum of mental illness (like the various illnesses/disorders that have individual boards) what is and is not a mood disorder?

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I'm pretty sure that "mood" disorders are just a subset of all psychiatric conditions - the ones that affect mood. So depression and bipolar disorder are all "mood" disorders.

There's also at least one diagnostic code for "mood disorder." I'm guessing it's used when a specific diagnosis hasn't been made or isn't required.

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I've always taken "Mood Disorders" to include depression, bipolar, posttraumatic stress disorder, anxiety, and phobias.  I also include eating disorders and obsessive compulsive disorder under that umbrella.

Then there are Personality Disorders (like borderline, etc.), Dissociative Disorders (such as multiple personality disorder), and Psychoses (like schizophrenia).

I'm not sure where ADD and sleep disorders fall.  I think things like autism and seizure disorders are in a whole other category.

I'm really just guessing, though.

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There are LOTS AND LOTS of varieties of mental disorders. Conscious brains are prone to breakdown. Here's a quick list of disorders from the DMS-IV:

- Cognitive

- Psychotic

- Mood

- Substance

- Anxiety

- Personality

- Dissociative

- Sexual

- Sleep

- Eating

- Adjustment

- Child

All of the above have long lists of diagnostic criteria that must be met.

Depression, bipolar, dysthymia and all their special variations comprise the Mood Disorder category. Anxiety includes GAD, agoraphobia, panic attacks, OCD, etc.

To make it more complicated, all these are grouped into axes.

Axis I: All disorders except personality disorders and mental retardation

Axis II:  Personality disorders and mental retardation

Axis III: Physical and medical problems

Axis IV:  Psychosocial and environmental problems

Axis V: Global assessment of functioning.

Google will have gajillions of sites where you can dig into more of this stuff. It kind of feels like you've dropped into the rabbit hole, but it's fascinating.


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Mood Disorders is a classification on the DSM-IV, on axis one.

There are 16 catagories of disorders on axis one, which are "Clinical Disorders; Other Conditions That May Be a Focus of Clinical Attention". This is hwat you get diagnosed with, I guess.

As Greenyflower poseted the others, they are more to do with why the person might have such disorder. Someone may meet the criteria in axis one for major depression, but on axis 3, they have anemia, which explains the depression. Or, on axis 2, they might have something like avoidant personality disorder (sorry, don't know too much about personality disorders) to explain the depression. On axis 4, maybe they had just lost a family member, so they are under environmental stress. Or, on axis 5, maybe the fact that the patient has major depressive disorder doesn't stop them from functioning - it doesn't bother them.

Anyway, these are the mood disorders:

Mood Episodes: Major Depressive Episode | Hypomanic Episode | Manic Episode | Mixed Episode

Depressive Disorders: Dysthymic Disorder | Major Depressive Disorder: Single Episode | Recurrent | Depressive Disorder NOS (311)

Bipolar Disorders: Bipolar I Disorder | Bipolar II Disorder | Cyclothymic Disorder | Bipolar Disorder NOS 296.80

Mood Disorder Due to a General Medical Condition with: Depressive Features | Manic Features | Mixed Features

Substance-Induced Mood Disorder

Mood Disorder NOS (296.90)

(copied from behavenet.com)

The NOS is not otherwise specified. It means the person does not meet the criteria, but the clinician thinks they have the disorder. Anxiety, even though I thought it would be mood disorder, has its own little section.

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Here is a site with some of the information from the DSM IV.  As stated above, the only things classifed as mood disorders are in general major depression and bipolar, and all the subsets thereof.  Anxiety, personality disorders, schizophrenia, etc., have their own classifications within the DSM IV separate from mood disorders.  I've also listed the main site/home page where the I got the DSM IV information.  The site is Dr. Ivan's Depresson Central which has lots of good info and links on it.

Here is the one with the DSM IV mood disorders criteria:

a silver lining

Here is Dr. Ivan's home page:

Dr. Ivan's Depression Central

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