What Causes A Mood Disorder?

A mood disorder is characterized by low or high level of neurotransmitters in the brain resulting in a high or low mood. Mood disorder is not a single disease but it is a group of symptoms and is further classified into depression and bipolar disorders in a broader light. A person suffering from mood disorder can identify their symptoms by careful analysis. Such patients are easy to get irritated, will be very aggressive and hostile. Depressed people tend to eat more or will have reduced appetite resulting in either increase or decrease in weight. There will be changes in sleep patterns and depressed people seem to sleep for long periods and find it difficult to concentrate on any topic.

The sadness if prevailed will continue for long period and the person will be anxious most of the time. A mood disorder impairs the ability of individuals to concentrate on work or perform daily chores.

What Causes A Mood Disorder?

What Causes A Mood Disorder?

A mood disorder is expected to affect approximately 20% of the population at any point in a lifetime. In the United States, it is estimated that 17% of the population suffers from depression and the consensus for bipolar disorder is only one person. In many instances, the symptoms of mood disorders go unnoticed, and what exactly causes this order is not known. A combination of environmental, biological, genetic and psychological factors is attributed to can cause mood disorder. The alternations in levels of neurotransmitters which are present in the brain seem to be a major contributing factor for elated or depressed mood. A mood disorder is most common in women than in men. Especially depression is more common in women than in men whereas bipolar disorder can affect both men and women equally. The exact cause of the disease is not known, a number of factors contribute to the disease and if untreated can result in chronic mood disorders.

An episode of sadness or grief produces stress in life such as loss of a loved one, loss of job, or going to a low phase of life due to family or friends puts the people at risk of developing mood disorders. Stressful events in the life increase the level of cortisol, an adrenal hormone which results in an alteration in serotonin levels and ultimately resulting in depression. Children, who have been sexually exploited or had physical abuse, later develop mood disorder in life. The symptoms should go away with time but if the same if the ongoing phase continuous then the person should seek medical help.

Genetics. If a family member, parent or sibling have got a mood disorder then it is more likely that the person can suffer from mood disorder later in life. The risk of developing mood disorder increases in such patients.

Using certain drugs such as anticonvulsants, stimulants, benzodiazepines, corticosteroids and beta blockers can result in mood disorders. Sometimes even the prescription drugs have the tendency to develop mood disorders.

People who use drugs or alcohol are at increased risk for the development of depression and bipolar disorder. Substance abuse can result in fluctuations of mood and can result in psychosis and the treatment option for such persons would be an elimination of the substance from the body and stopping its further usage.

Diseases such as thyroid disorder, Addison’s disease, and liver disease also produced depressive symptoms

People suffering from chronic or terminal illness also tend to have depressive episodes


A mood disorder is characterized by fluctuations in sleep, unexpected weight loss or weight gain, trouble sleeping and loss of interest in activities. There are a number of factors which causes depression including but not limited to sad events of life, genetics, certain medications and diseases, chronic ailments, drug abuse, and alcohol. Attention from family and friends can help in overcoming mood disorders to a significant extent.

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Pramod Kerkar, M.D., FFARCSI, DA
Pramod Kerkar, M.D., FFARCSI, DA
Written, Edited or Reviewed By: Pramod Kerkar, M.D., FFARCSI, DA Pain Assist Inc. This article does not provide medical advice. See disclaimer
Last Modified On:November 26, 2021

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