Mood disorders are emotional disturbances consisting of prolonged periods of excessive sadness, excessive joyousness, or both. Mood disorders can occur in children and adolescents
Sadness and joy are part of everyday life. Sadness is a universal response to defeat, disappointment, and other discouraging situations. Joy is a universal response to success, achievement, and other encouraging situations. Grief, a form of sadness, is considered a normal emotional response to a loss. Bereavement refers specifically to the emotional response to death of a loved one.
A mood disorder is diagnosed when sadness or elation is overly intense and persistent, is accompanied by a requisite number of other mood disorder symptoms, and significantly impairs your capacity to function. In such cases, intense sadness is termed depression, and intense elation is termed mania. Depressive disorders are characterized by depression; bipolar disorders are characterized by varying combinations of depression and mania.