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Analysis of Major Mood Disorders: Major Depressive Disorder and Bipolar Disorder

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Is it possible for an emotionally traumatized person to develop some physical pain? The answer is yes, moreover, most of the physical pain such as stress is highly related to brain function, which contains our thoughts, emotions, and behaviors. Furthermore, our emotions and mood changes within the normal range, but it is possible to be dysfunctional and create some moods disorders. Mood disorders, additionally recognized as mood affective disorder, can defined as bothering emotions that can affect one’s mind, which will lead to disturbing one’s ability to function well and feel discomfort, or can be both. Mood disorder can classified into two categories: manic which can be defined as an emotional state of having elevated mood, euphoric, or restlessness that resulting in hyperactivity. In addition, depression, which is also, an emotional state but ones is going to have intense sadness, and feelings of worthlessness, and withdrawal from society. This essay will discuss the Mood Disorders such as major depressive disorder and bipolar disorder, symptoms, diagnostic criteria, and how it can develop [1,2].

Major depressive disorder (MDD) is one of the most common mental illnesses that affect humans referring to Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders Fifth Edition, the prevalence of major depressive disorder among the United States is 5% of the populations. Furthermore, major depressive disorder is defined as a chronic feeling of sadness, emptiness, hopeless, and a sense of despair. Due to its complications, MMD is a serious mental illness. For example, a chronic feeling of emptiness and sadness for one’s life view will lead him or her to self-harm or even committing suicide [1,2].

There are two major symptoms that are obviously seen for someone who is suffering from major depressive disorder. The first symptoms of MMD is chronic sadness. Moreover, persistent feeling of sadness leads to despair feeling and hopelessness. Although sadness is a temporary feeling and can be changed with some cheering up actions, chronic sadness cannot be help with the same methods as the usual sadness [1,2].

Another symptom of major depressive disorder is suicidal thoughts. Suicidal thought is defined as annoying thoughts and ideas that aim to end someone’s life by making him or her believes that being dead is the reliever of this pain. Furthermore, this suicidal thought symptom is considered one of the most serious symptoms a depressed patient can develop [5].

Like every disorder, the major depressive disorder has a specific diagnostic criterion. One of the diagnostic criteria is the existence of five or more of the following symptoms which are depressed mood nearly every day, emptiness, hopelessness, insomnia or hypersomnia, significant weight loss, loss of energy, and recurrent thoughts of death. Moreover, these symptoms must be appearing in a period of two weeks continuously or more [1,2].

MDD has many risk factors that develop from, which are temperamental, environmental, and genetic and physiological. Each one of these risk factors has a characteristic and specific method to develop depressive episodes. First, the temperamental factor is considered as a risk factor due to its response to stressful life events. The second risk factor is the environmental factor, which affected by childhood experiences and traumas in one's life. Lastly, major depressive disorder has some genetic features that it can appears from. For example, a parent who is suffering from MDD, his children have a higher risk to diagnose with major depressive disorder [3].

Major depression contains a couple of subtypes such as melancholia, seasonal pattern, and peripartum onset. Furthermore, every subtype has its own characteristics. First, melancholia, which is a subtype of depression, describes a particularly severe type of depression. Second, seasonal pattern which is defined as an onset of depressive episodes that a cause from seasonal changes. The last subtype is peripartum onset, this subtype occurs during pregnancy in women or within four weeks after birth delivery [3].

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Another major mood disorder is bipolar disorder. Bipolar disorder previously was called manic depressive disorder due to its characteristics which are being in an extreme happiness mood with impulsive behaviors that called mania and extreme depressive episodes with suicidal thoughts that called depression. Moreover, there are two types of bipolar disorder, which are bipolar 1 that contain mania and depression, and bipolar 2 which has hypomania and depression [3,4].

In the beginning, bipolar disorder has multiple characteristics that affect someone’s life and behaviors and may expand to effects the patients' surroundings such as his family or friends. The first important characteristic of bipolar disorder is manic or hypomanic episodes. In addition to that, manic episodes is a mental illness marked by periods of great excitement or euphoria, delusions, and overactivity. Another characteristic is depressive episodes, which explained previously as chronic sadness, severe despair, and loss of hope [4].

To identify these characteristics for patients they must go with specific diagnostic criteria. For mania, there must be a presence for three or more of the following symptoms at least for a week or more (decreased need for sleep, inflated self-esteem, distractibility, highly energetic, irritability of mood). On the other hand, depression diagnostic criteria are must contain five or more of the following symptoms for two weeks continuously (depressed mood, sadness, despair, loss of interest, significant weight loss, and feeling tired) [4].

Bipolar disorder has a couple risk factors. One of the risk factors is environments; in high-income countries has a higher chance of having bipolar disorders in the community than lower-income countries. Moreover, separated or divorced individuals have higher rates of developing bipolar disorder. Another risk factor is genes and physiology. A family history of bipolar disorder 1 or bipolar disorder 2 is associated with a higher risk chance for individuals than those who have a nonfamily history for bipolar disorders. Lastly, the chance of gender associations with bipolar disorder makes female has a higher risk than males to develop one of the two types of bipolar disorders [3,4].

One of the major complications for bipolar disorders is suicidal risk and dysfunctional life tasks. Suicide risk may develop in bipolar patients in their depressive episodes, but dangerous attitudes in their mania episodes may lead to death or severe health conditions. In addition to that, many life tasks may be dysfunctional due to the impulsivity in patent's manic episodes or loss of interest in patents' depressive episodes [3,4].

In brief, for these illnesses, we have two types of treatments, either psychotherapy or pharmacotherapy. Psychotherapy can be classified to many things that psychiatric patient can treat with, but the most common and effective one is Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, which aims to reduce the emotional disturbance by changing and treating the cognitive and behavioral aspects for the psychiatric patient, another one is transcranial magnetic stimulation, deep brain stimulation, psychodynamic therapy, and vagal nerve stimulation. Another method is pharmacotherapy, which falls under the scope of antidepressant medications, such as Selective Serotonin reuptake inhibitor, Serotonin non-epinephrine reuptake inhibitor, and tricyclic antidepressants. For those psychiatric patients who diagnosed with major depressive disorder, we need to start with psychotherapy then pharmacotherapy, on the other hand, for those psychiatric patients with the bipolar disorder we need to start with pharmacotherapy at first [4].

In conclusion, mood disorder has a variety of illnesses. Major depressive disorder, bipolar 1, bipolar 2 which are the most significant and common mental disorders. In addition to that, both of them can fall under the scope of mania (euphoria) for bipolar disorders, or depression (dysphoria) for major depressive disorder. Both of these illnesses have a higher mortality rate for those patients who not treated. Therefore, everyone needs to be aware of when he or she is dealing with those psychiatric patients. In brief, the treatment is essential for those patients to get good prognosis and good outcomes.

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Analysis of Major Mood Disorders: Major Depressive Disorder and Bipolar Disorder. (2022, August 25). Edubirdie. Retrieved December 3, 2023, from
“Analysis of Major Mood Disorders: Major Depressive Disorder and Bipolar Disorder.” Edubirdie, 25 Aug. 2022,
Analysis of Major Mood Disorders: Major Depressive Disorder and Bipolar Disorder. [online]. Available at: <> [Accessed 3 Dec. 2023].
Analysis of Major Mood Disorders: Major Depressive Disorder and Bipolar Disorder [Internet]. Edubirdie. 2022 Aug 25 [cited 2023 Dec 3]. Available from:
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