Mood Disorders in the Modern World

A persistent internal emotion that interferes with a person’s daily activities and that they must endure is referred to as their mood. Mood disorders are explained by marked emotional disruptions that include extremely high and low emotional episodes. As per the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, Fifth Edition i.e., DSM-5, Mood disorders can be classified into two broad categories which are bipolar disorders and depressive disorders (Sekhon, 2022).

Bipolar disorders consist of bipolar I, bipolar II, and cyclothymia. And depressive disorders include major depressive disorder, persistent depressive disorder, premenstrual dysphoric disorder, seasonal affective disorder, etc. (Sekhon, 2022).


Mood disorders are caused by a variety of causes, including biological, genetic, hormonal, psychological, and neuroimmunology aspects (Sekhon, 2022).

Biological factors:

Serotonin and norepinephrine as neurotransmitters play a significant role in mood disorders. The levels of serotonin and norepinephrine are decreased in depressive episodes. Certain medical conditions can also lead to mood disorders such as brain tumors, CNS syphilis, influenza, encephalitis, cancer, AIDS, hypothyroidism, multiple sclerosis, etc. Certain drug medications like amphetamines, cocaine, steroids, etc., stimulate mood disorders (Sekhon, 2022).

Genetic factors:

As per studies, certain genes are responsible for mood disorders. It is also seen that it can be inherited by the parents to the children. A positive family history of mood disorders increases the risk of developing mood disorders in the upcoming generations (Sekhon, 2022).

Psychosocial factors:

Stressful situations like the loss of a person, any traumatic experience, or child abuse also have a substantial risk of developing mood disorders (Sekhon, 2022).

Neuro-immunological factors:

According to research, altered neuroactive cytokines are released which are IL-1 beta, Il-6, TNF-alpha, etc., due to mood disorders. Another study shows that patients suffering from mood disorders have altered levels of NO (Nitric oxide) in them.


After the diagnosis, the first step is to choose an appropriate treatment for the patient’s safety and level of functioning. The therapies used are as follows:

  1. Pharmacotherapy for Bipolar Disorder
  2. Pharmacotherapy for unipolar depression or dysthymia
  3. Psychotherapy
  4. Brain Stimulation therapy
  5. Health Lifestyles

Psychotherapy for individuals diagnosed with depressive and other mood disorders used mindfulness-based cognitive therapy (MBCT), Interpersonal Psychotherapy, Cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT), Dialectical behavioral therapy, etc. (Sekhon, 2022).

What is Emotional Regulation?

Emotional regulation can be seen as the active efforts of an individual to manage their emotional state. According to Mauss & Tamir, emotional regulation is considered as an altering process of current emotions into desired emotions (Keshky, 2018).

Emotional Dysregulation:

The imbalance in emotional regulation can lead to many chronic psychological difficulties for individuals suffering. The difficulties can vary from anxiety to borderline personality disorders or substance use disorders. It is commonly seen that individual has problems in emotional regulation if they suffer from any mental illness. Variety of disorders connect with varying levels of emotional dysregulation. For example, Emotional dysregulation is seen in anorexia and bulimia nervosa globally because of its presence in multiple dimensions (Keshky, 2018).

Emotional regulation consists of the selection and application of emotion-regulating strategies, which is seen as beneficial for achieving goals for an individual. These strategies can be of two types which are intrinsic and extrinsic. Emotional dysfunctional emotional reactivity is observed in different forms in mood disorders (Keshky, 2018).

People diagnosed with bipolar disorders have increased positive emotional reactivity which may be observable at the physiological level. Whereas in individuals diagnosed with severe anxiety and depressive disorders show poor reactions toward every emotion. Also, regulation of a wide range of emotions is seen to be poor (Keshky, 2018).

Dysfunctional Strategies

Usually, minimal or absence of emotional control is present in mood disorders. In order to regulate emotions dysfunctional strategies are used most of the time. Negative emotions and their regulation are crucial for a person’s growth and maturation. Regulation of negative emotions is tightly linked with mood disorders. Strategies of regulating negative emotion are sub-divided into two categories which are cognitive and behavioral. Concerns occurring for negative emotions is mainly because of acceleration of prefrontal activation and reduced amygdala activation (Keshky, 2018).

Changes like psychological and physiological are caused by positive emotions. The changes due to positive emotions also involve increased metabolic activities and acceleration in neurotransmission. For the processing of positive emotions two opposing strategies are considered (Keshky, 2018).

  1. Rumination – which is constantly thinking about one’s positive qualities. It results in strengthening positive emotions.
  2. Dampening – it includes highlighting the negative aspect of positive emotions by reducing the positive emotional state.

Wide spectrum of disorders and clinical and non-clinical depression are very much linked with dampening. Rumination is used to describe episodes of mania, whereas dampening is used to describe episodes of depression. Fascinatingly, dampening intensifies the manic episodes even if it is associated with depressive e   . Many factors influence emotional dysregulation. The factors are emotional regulation, emotional awareness, and strategies applied to achieve emotional regulation (Keshky, 2018).

Factors and Classification of Mood Disorders

As per WHO i.e., World Health Organization, unipolar depression is in the top three prevalent disorders. And according to the U.S national research, most diagnosed is depression diagnosed for lifetime. It is prevalent about twelve-month episodes (Keshky, 2018).

Mood disorders are caused by biological, genetic, hormonal, psychosocial, and neuroimmunology factors, and can be classified into two broad categories: bipolar and depressive disorders. Treatment options include pharmacotherapy, psychotherapy, and mindfulness-based cognitive therapy. Emotional regulation is the active effort to manage emotions. Emotional regulation is essential for a person’s growth and maturation, and dysfunctional emotional reactivity is seen in mood disorders. Regulation of negative emotions is linked to mood disorders, and two strategies are used to process positive emotions: rumination and dampening. According to the World Health Organization, unipolar depression is one of the top three prevalent disorders. Also, depression is the most diagnosed disorder for lifetime in the U.S.

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