Mood disorders encompass several disorders that cause some form of emotional disturbances. Depressive, bipolar, manic and anxiety-related disorders fall into this category. The diagnosis mandates a thorough and meticulous patient history.
Mood changes may be a constitutive feature of several psychiatric disorders and a broad classification based on the nature of the disorder (sadness or elation) can be made into depressive and manic mood changes, each presenting with distinct clinical features  :
The diagnosis of a mood disorder can be quite challenging, having in mind the diverse clinical presentation and its variable appearance in patients. In addition, concomitant presence of anxiety disorders (social phobias, obsessive-compulsive disorders, or even panic attacks) may be noted, creating an even bigger issue to discern between the disorders . For this reason, physicians must bear in mind that a long and carefully obtained patient history is the essential component during workup, as the majority of symptoms may not be evident during the hospital visit, but more importantly, because the diagnosis is made almost solely on clinical criteria  . Not all patients will be able to describe typical changes seen in mood disorders, and some will not even admit that anything extraordinary is happening, which is why parents, close friends or even relatives can be interviewed as well. Apart from determining symptoms related to mood changes, physicians must inquire about recent use of drugs or substances that can induce such changes  , but also exclude some organic diseases that may mimic depression . Thyroid hormone levels should be measured to exclude hypothyroidism, while folate, B12 and a complete blood count are recommended in the diagnostic workup as well .