A mood disorder, also referred to as an affective disorder, is a condition impacting mood and related functions. In a mood disorder, moods range from extremely low (depressed) to extremely high or irritable (manic).
Mood disorders can lead to changes in sleeping and eating patterns. Some people, especially children, may have physical symptoms of depression, like unexplained headaches or stomachaches.
The classification of mood disorders includes the following disorders in children and adults:
American Psychiatric Association. Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, 4th Edition, Text Revision. Washington, DC: American Psychiatric Association; 2000.
Depression and Suicide in Children and Adolescents. Surgeon General's Health Report. Accessed: April 15, 2011. http://mentalhealth.about.com/library/sg/chapter3/blsec5.htm
Ralph E. Cash, PhD, NCSP, Katherine C. Cowan. Mood Disorders: What Parents and Teachers Should Know. NASP Communique, November 2006. 35(3).