Mood and emotion add depth and meaning to our lives and to our interactions with other people. Our moods change from day to day, sometimes quite unexpectedly. We all suffer from “the blues” occasionally, and it is hoped we all experience periods of blissful happiness. It is important, however, to differentiate between mood disorders, formerly known as affective disorders, and normal mood fluctuations.
The purpose of this chapter is to provide an overview of current as well as historical conceptualizations of mood disorders. Diagnostic criteria, etiological theories, and treatment strategies are discussed.
Consider the following individuals. Which of them appear to be suffering from a mood disorder?
Jon, 21, was arrested and charged with careless and reckless operation of a motor ...