Everyone feels sad from time to time whether it’s because of a loss (e.g., break up with a partner), set-back (e.g., failing a course), or tragedy (e.g., losing a loved one). When someone is suffering from a mood disorder their emotions feel out of control and they experience severemoods that are long lasting, and interfere with their ability to function on a day-to-day basis.
There are 2 main types of mood disorders: depressive disorders (i.e., major depression, post-partum depression, & season affective disorder) & bipolar disorder.
What Causes Clinical Depression?
There isn’t a single cause of depression but instead it’s usually a combination of many different biological, psychological, and social factors including:
- Family history
- Childhood trauma (e.g., abuse or neglect)
- Harassment, bullying, discrimination, or oppression
- Distressing event (e.g., death of a loved one, loss of job, etc.)
- Another mental disorder (e.g., anxiety disorder)
- Changes in hormone levels
- Lack of exposure to bright light in winter months
- Substance-use problem (e.g., alcohol, drugs)
What Causes Bipolar Disorder?
While it’s not totally understand what causes bipolar disorder, it’s believed to be influenced by the following factors:
- Genetic factors
- Brain chemical imbalance