Mood disorders

Feeling sad and unhappy is a normal response to situations of loss and disappointment in our lives. However, young people who struggle with depression do not just feel ‘unhappy’ for a long time. Depression is a condition that greatly affects how we feel, think and behave.

Common symptoms of depression include a combination of the following:

  • Feeling extremely hopeless and pessimistic about the future
  • Not being able to experience joy and pleasure any more
  • Physical symptoms, such as low energy and fatigue, or aches and pains in the body
  • Sleeping too little or too much; eating too little or too much
  • Extreme self-blaming ideas of guilt and shame
  • Feeling anxious, irritable, and sad many times during a day

Another type of mood disorders are bipolar disorders. People with bipolar disorders fluctuate between periods of intense low mood and energy (depression) and period of intense euphoria and high energy (called ‘mania’ and ‘hypomania’).

It is not uncommon for people to struggle with mood disorders for many years before receiving support. Because of this, mood disorders are considered a ‘hidden burden’ by the World Health Organisation.

Could I be depressed? Click here for an NHS brief self-assessment of depression.