The recent news that Representative Jesse Jackson Jr. has taken a leave from his duties as state representative to seek treatment for a mood disorder, has raised many questions. Mood disorders vary in both their severity and the length of time they affect an individual. Some individuals who suffer from mood disorders may find it difficult to function in society and perform work duties. These individuals may qualify for disability benefits.
A mood disorder is characterized by disturbances in how an individual feels. While it’s estimated that between 20 to 40 percent of individuals in the United States will suffer a bout of depression at some point during their lifetime, those with mood disorders often experience depressive symptoms with far more frequency and severity.
Often those who suffer from mood disorders are not able to control their feelings which often range from extreme states of depression to potential episodes of euphoria. Individuals who experience extreme feelings on both ends of the spectrum are typically diagnosed as being bi-polar. Those who only have depressed feelings are categorized with having severe depression or unipolar depression.
For individuals suffering from mood disorders, feelings associated with their disorder last for extended periods of time and often interfere with their ability to socialize and hold a job. Severely depressed individuals may feel frightened, anxious and down. They do not find pleasure doing things they once enjoyed and may suffer from various physical ailments.
Source: CNN, “What do we know about mood disorders?,” Dr. Charles Raison, July 13, 2012