Mood Disorders Versus Personality Disorders: What’s the Difference?

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On the surface, these two terms sound similar – mood and personality – in the world of psychology and mental disorders, they must be related, right? Somewhat, yes. While there are some overlapping symptoms associated with each, there are some key differences that are important to recognize if optimal treatment is to be received. If you haven’t been diagnosed but you think you may have a mood or personality disorder, learning some key differences may help you explain your experiences to your doctor.

Mood disorders are based on the relationship a person has with their emotions. While all of us experience ups and downs when it comes to mood, a person with a mood disorder may experience these ups and down in much more severity and for longer or shorter durations. For example, one common mood disorder is bipolar disorder (BPD), which is often characterized as having manic and/or depressive episodes. Mania consists of feelings of elatedness – feeling “on top of the world” and a person with BPD may make large financial decisions or engage in risky behaviors while feeling this way. Depression, on the other hand, involves feelings of utter sadness and hopelessness, causing people who have this to no longer enjoy activities they once loved.

Personality disorders are characterized as major differences between an individual person and other people regarding how they deal with emotion, how they interact with others, how they think about problems and how they interpret situations. There are 3 main subcategories of personality disorders: Type A, Type B, and Type C:

Type A: The individual relates to others in a way that is considered odd. For example, paranoid personality disorder is based on a person’s mistrust and suspicions of others.

Type B: Has difficulty regulating moods, often switching rapidly between high and low moods. For example, borderline personality disorder often involves unstable moods and at times, self-harm.

Type C: Feelings of fear and anxiety dominant this person’s perception. For example, a person with avoidant personality disorder may avoid any situation that may cause them anxiety of rejection.

It’s understandable how one could have confused mood with personality disorders. However, these differences place focus on whether a person should be diagnosed simply on the way they relate to their emotions, or whether they exhibit this relation in social aspects as well. If you have been struggling with a mental disorder, make the decision to seek out help at a reputable treatment center today.

If you’re seeking treating for mental illness or substance abuse, call us today at 855-545-9124. Avalon Malibu is a world-renowned, California state-licensed treatment center with licensed, experienced professionals who care about your recovery. Our dedicated healthcare team will work with you to ensure that you get the help that you need. Make the decision to place your health and happiness as top priority and call us for a consultation.

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