Startling Signs of Mood Disorders

Mood disorders are often characterized by the common person as someone that is either depressed or anxious which will usually show by such behaviors as not wanting to get up in the morning, crying for no reason, or biting their nails. However, there are small signs that most people do not realize and since most individuals that suffer from some type of mood disorder, have conditioned themselves to control the signs when possible so they seem like nothing is wrong, it can be even harder for family and friends to notice anything out of the ordinary.

There are more mood disorders besides anxiety and depression which include seasonal affective disorder, cyclothymic disorder, dysthymic disorder, and bipolar disorder, among others and the way in which the disorder presents itself can be different from one person to another. Every person is unique; therefore, the signs of a mood disorder can be very different as well.

The startling signs that you may not realize are below. Even these can be signs that a friend or loved one may be suffering from a mood disorder. If you or a loved one are showing signs of a mood disorder, you may wish to speak with a Lowell, AR therapist.

Slow Movement

Physically a person with a mood disorder, such as depression, may actually walk at a slower pace, speak slower, and have decreased cognitive function. In the Progress in Neuro-Psychopharmacology and Biological Psychiatry journal, this is known as psychomotor retardation.

Abrupt Changes in Sleep Patterns

When an individual is suffering from a mood disorder, their hormones and neurotransmitters are also fluctuating, which can lead to abrupt changes in the amount of sleep the person gets every night. Some individuals will sleep more while others have a hard time going to sleep or may not be able to sleep all night long without interruptions.

Sudden Changes in Eating Patterns

Those with a mood disorder may begin to eat less or even eat more. This behavior does not point to one disorder as some individuals may eat more when depressed while others may eat more. The same goes for those with anxiety. Every individual is different as explained above, so the symptoms can vary as well.


Through research, a link has been found between bipolar disorder and depression and severe migraines. For a person that is experiencing more headaches as well as frequent ups and downs, then you may have a mood disorder.

Lack of Personal Hygiene

Some people change their personal hygiene habits according to the way they feel such as not taking showers or other changes that are noticeable. If a woman always wears makeup, but suddenly, stops or if a man never leaves the house unshaven, but just begins to not shave, these are warning signs.

Becomes Less Social

Some people with a mood disorder, begin to start staying at home or not attending social functions which can go as far as not answering their telephone. This is usually seen with depression as most individuals just feel like doing nothing and the desire to be alone is often strong.

Impulsive Shopping

Those suffering from bipolar disorder have lows and highs. During the highs known as manic, many turns to impulsive behavior such as spending more or not even thinking but buying things on a whim. During the lows, they often feel lonely and isolated.

Physical Pain

Depression and anxiety can bring on physical pain often in the way of back pain. The reason is that when tension is held inward, it often shows through the back where the person may feel stiff or have pains in the lower back, upper back or neck.

Reduced Concentration

You may look at a person and think they must have their minds on too many things at once as they seem like they are disorganized. This could be a sign of depression as they may have problems with concentration instead of disorganization.

Being Cranky

Teenagers often show signs of irritability. This can be from problems sleeping which will, of course, cause a person to not be able to hold their temper. If a person gets upset quickly over small things and begins to perform more physical activities, this can also be a sign of a mood disorder.

If you or a loved one, have any of the above signs, you may wish to talk with an experienced mood disorder counselor. The sooner, you seek help from a professional, the better the chances are for the person to begin living a normal life through counseling and in some cases, medications to help with the symptoms of the mood disorder.