Affective disorder

What is affective disorder?

Affective disorders are a group of mental disorders, also known as emotional disorders.

The main types of affective disorders are depression and bipolar disorder. Symptoms vary from person to person, ranging from mild to severe.

A psychiatrist or other well-trained mental health professional can diagnose emotional disorders. This is done through mental assessment.

Emotional disorders can ruin your life. However, there are effective treatments available, including medications and psychotherapy.

Types of affective disorders

The two main types of affective disorders are depression and bipolar disorder. Each includes changes in subtype and severity.


Depression is a medical term that describes a constant feeling of extreme sadness and despair. This is not just a day or two of depression.

If you suffer from depression, you may experience episodes that last for days or even weeks.

It is estimated that more than 264 million people worldwide suffer from depression, and depression may take many forms.

The most common types of depression include:

  • Major Depressive Disorder (MDD). MDD was formerly known as clinical depression and includes long-term and persistent episodes of depression, despair, fatigue, and other symptoms.
  • Persistent depression. Also known as dysthymia, this type of depression is characterized by mild depressive symptoms that last at least 2 years.
  • Major depression with seasonal patterns. Commonly called seasonal affective disorder (SAD), this subtype of depression most often occurs in winter when there is less sunlight.

Due to hormonal changes at different life stages, women also experience certain types of depression.

Examples include perinatal depression during pregnancy and postpartum depression after birth. Some women also experience depression and other symptoms of premenstrual dysphoria (PMDD).

Men may also experience postpartum depression, although this has nothing to do with women’s hormonal changes.

Sometimes depression can also develop into a secondary condition to an underlying medical problem. Some issues include:

  • Chronic pain syndrome
  • diabetes
  • Thyroid disease
  • heart disease
  • lupus
  • Rheumatoid Arthritis
  • Multiple sclerosis
  • Parkinson’s Disease

Bipolar disorder

Bipolar disorder is a mental health condition in which extreme changes in a person’s mood can occur.

These mood changes may include depressive episodes and manic or hypomanic periods.

There are many types of bipolar disorder. They include:

  • Biphasic I. Biphasic I is defined as a manic episode that lasts at least 7 days. You may also experience a depressive episode that lasts 2 weeks or more, but people with bipolar type I may not experience depression.
  • Bipolar two. This type includes depressive episodes that last at least 2 weeks and a milder form of mania called hypomania.
  • Arrhythmia. This mild bipolar disorder still includes periods of depression and hypomania, but there is no clear timetable for each episode. Also called cyclic mental disorder, if you have cyclic hypomania and depression for 2 years or more, you may be diagnosed.

Symptoms of affective disorder

The symptoms of affective disorders can vary greatly. However, for each major type, there are some common signs.


  • Long sorrow
  • Irritability or anxiety
  • Drowsiness and lack of energy
  • Lack of interest in normal activities
  • Major changes in eating and sleeping habits
  • Difficulty concentrating
  • Guilt
  • Unexplainable pain
  • Suicidal thoughts
  • Abnormal and chronic mood changes
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Bipolar disorder

During a depressive episode, symptoms may be similar to those of major depression.

During mania, you may encounter:

  • Need less sleep
  • over confidence
  • irritability
  • aggression
  • Self-importance
  • impulse
  • reckless
  • Delusions or hallucinations

Causes of affective disorders

The cause of affective disorder is not fully understood.

Neurotransmitters or brain chemicals play an important role in affecting emotions. When they are unbalanced in some way, or fail to signal your brain correctly, they can cause emotional disturbances. What caused the imbalance is not entirely clear.

Life events can cause emotional disorders. Traumatic events or personal losses can cause depression or other emotional disorders. The use of alcohol and drugs is also a risk factor.

There seems to be a genetic factor. If someone in your family has one of these diseases, then you are at greater risk of developing this disease. This means they are inherited.

However, this does not guarantee that you will suffer from an emotional disorder because a family member has an emotional disorder.

Diagnosis of affective disorder

There is no medical test to diagnose affective disorders.

To make a diagnosis, a mental health professional can give you a mental assessment. They will follow the established guidelines.

You should expect to be asked about your symptoms. Some tests may be performed to look for underlying medical conditions.

Treatment of affective disorders

There are two main treatments for affective disorders: medication and treatment. Treatment usually involves a combination of the two.

There are many antidepressants available. You may need to try multiple methods before you can find a way to help relieve symptoms without too many side effects.

In addition to medication, psychotherapy is also an important part of treatment. It can help you learn to cope with your illness and may change the behaviors that cause the illness.

In addition to treatment and medication, complementary methods can also be used to help treat certain types of depression. These include vitamin D supplements and light therapy, which are provided by special lamps.

Please consult your doctor before taking any over-the-counter supplements for your condition.

Your doctor may also recommend certain lifestyle changes, including regular exercise, a consistent sleep schedule, and healthy eating. These can help supplement your medical care, but they should not replace them.

Outlook for Affective Disorders

With proper and long-term treatment, the prospects for rehabilitation of affective disorders are good.

It is important to understand that, in most cases, these are chronic diseases. In most cases, they must receive long-term treatment.

Although some conditions are serious, most people with affective disorders who are receiving treatment can lead normal lives.