Feeling in a “black mood” does not necessarily mean being sick with depression. How are mood disorders characterized, and how are they treated?


Most people who seek psychological or psychiatric support describe themselves as depressed and, consequently, believe they ” have depression “.

However, the symptoms reported are for the most part nonspecific, such as fever in the internist field: just as fever can have many causes, from sunstroke to cancer, even the symptom “depression” can be registered in completely different clinical conditions, not always labeled as a depressive illness, and therefore require different therapeutic strategies.
To successfully treat these pathologies, the first essential step is therefore an accurate  diagnosis .


The  mood disorders  are also often defined disturbances of chronobiological rhythms as their cause, though largely unrecognized, seems closely linked to  hormone-organic rhythms . This is precisely the fundamental characteristic that distinguishes them from other depressions.

They are pathologies that manifest themselves with phases characterized by typical symptoms such as  feeling sad and dejected  (deflected mood),  rapid and sudden emotional changes  ( emotional lability),  lack of energy  and the  lack of desire  to act even things that would normally cause pleasure to the affected subjects.

The appearance of the phases is linked to the seasons, with more frequent manifestations in autumn and spring, although each affected individual can identify its own seasonality, with episodes not necessarily linked to the so-called change of season, but perhaps to the heat of summer, rather than to the greyness and darkness of winter.

Another important element in mood sickness is  polarity , which consists in the recurrence of  depressive episodes  ( depressive disorder), or the alternation of depressive syndromes with phases of opposite sign, euphoric or manic ( bipolar disorder ).


The phases are closely related to the trend of  hormonal cycles , including sexual ones: women who are affected, for example, complain of   monthly premenstrual phases that are particularly intense also from an emotional point of view; the  pregnancy , the  postpartum  and  menopause  may be times when the disease begins and still has most likely to give a sign of self or, conversely, sometimes positively affected by the hormonal rhythm.
The phases of the disease, by their intrinsic nature, can recur as they are several times in a person’s life, even years after a complete remission of the previous episode.


Not all conditions of “black” mood, although potentially a source of extreme subjective suffering, are necessarily depressions intended as mood diseases; it is essential to distinguish these types of discomfort with extreme effectiveness, because basically  only mood-sickness depressions are positively affected by the use of antidepressants,  which, on the other hand, may not have the desired beneficial effects when they are given in a non -specific way in cases where the depressive discomfort is referred to it is not a true depression, and therefore does not benefit from antidepressant therapies, but from  other therapeutic strategies such as psychology or psychotherapy .

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