You are currently viewing Mood Disorder vs. Personality Disorder

Mood Disorder vs. Personality Disorder

Mood disorders and personality disorders affect millions of people in the United States and throughout the rest of the world. When you understand the features, similarities, and differences between a mood disorder vs. a personality disorder, you will be best prepared to get help for yourself or for someone else who develops one of these conditions.

What Are Mood Disorders?

Mood disorders are a group of mental health concerns that impact a person’s emotional state, attitude, and energy levels. This category includes disorders that involve periods of mania and/or depression. The disorders that are typically included in the mood disorder category include:

  • Major depressive disorder
  • Persistent depressive disorder
  • Premenstrual dysphoric disorder
  • Postpartum depression
  • Seasonal affective disorder (SAD)
  • Disruptive mood dysregulation disorder 
  • Bipolar I disorder
  • Bipolar II disorder
  • Cyclothymic disorder

What Are Personality Disorders?

As described in the fifth edition of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-5), a personality disorder is “an enduring pattern of inner experience and behavior that deviates markedly from the individual’s culture, is pervasive and inflexible, has an onset in adolescence or early adulthood, is stable over time, and leads to distress or impairment.”

The DSM-5 includes criteria for 10 distinct personality disorders, which are further categorized into three clusters.

Cluster A Personality Disorders

The common thread among the Cluster A personality disorders, according to the DSM-5, is that people who have them are often considered to be “odd or eccentric.” The three Cluster A personality disorders are:

  • Paranoid personality disorder
  • Schizoid personality disorder
  • Schizotypal personality disorder

Cluster B Personality Disorders

The DSM-5 reports that Cluster B personality disorders cause people to appear to be “dramatic, emotional, or erratic.” This subcategory contains four disorders:

  • Antisocial personality disorder
  • Borderline personality disorder
  • Histrionic personality disorder
  • Narcissistic personality disorder

Cluster C Personality Disorders

The DSM-5 identifies Cluster C personality disorders as causing people to be overcome with anxiety or fear. The three disorders in Cluster C are:

  • Avoidant personality disorder
  • Dependent personality disorder
  • Obsessive-compulsive personality disorder (OCD)

Similarities & Differences Between Mood Disorders & Personality Disorders

When comparing mood disorders vs. personality disorders, it is important to address their commonalities as well as the ways that they differ.

Similarities Between a Mood Disorder vs. a Personality Disorder

  • Mood disorders and personality disorders can both be sources of considerable distress.
  • Both types of disorders can undermine a person’s ability to live a full and satisfying life.
  • Both types of disorders can negatively impact the quality of a person’s relationships.
  • Both types of disorders can increase a person’s risk for co-occurring mental health concerns and substance use disorders (addictions).
  • Both mood and personality disorders may be treated with medication and therapy.

Differences Between a Mood Disorder vs. a Personality Disorder

  • Mood disorders are much more common than personality disorders.
  • Mood disorders primarily impact emotions and feelings, while personality disorders are most strongly associated with behaviors and relationships.
  • Symptoms of mood disorders often occur in episodes that are separated by asymptomatic periods. Symptoms of personality disorders are often more persistent and continuous.
  • Among the general public, there seems to be a greater awareness of mood disorders vs. personality disorders.

How Common Are Mood Disorders vs. Personality Disorders?

As noted in the previous section, one key difference between mood disorders vs. personality disorders is how frequently they occur. Some mood disorders are among the most common mental illnesses, while personality disorders affect far fewer people.

The National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH) has reported the following statistics about mood disorders in the United States:

  • The lifetime prevalence of mood disorders among adults ages 18 and above is 21.4%. This means that about one of every five American adults will have a mood disorder at some point in their life.
  • The past-year prevalence of mood disorders among U.S. adults is 9.7%. This means that just under one in 10 adults had symptoms of a mood disorder in the past 12 months.
  • The past-year prevalence of mood disorders is higher among women (11.6%) than among men (7.7%).
  • Among adults who had mood disorders in the past year, about 45% experienced serious impairment and 40% were moderately impaired, as scored on the Sheehan Disability Scale.
  • The lifetime prevalence of mood disorders among adolescents ages 13-17 is 14.3%. This statistic includes 18.3% of adolescent girls and 10.5% of adolescent boys.

The NIMH has reported that the lifetime prevalence of personality disorders among U.S. adults is about 9.1%. This means that personality disorders occur less than half as often as mood disorders. NIMH data also indicates that borderline personality disorder is the most common personality disorder, with a lifetime rate of about 1.4%.

A study that was published by the British Journal of Psychiatry included the following statistics about the global impact of personality disorders:

  • The worldwide rate of personality disorders is estimated to be about 7.8%.
  • Cluster A personality disorders affect about 3.8% of adults throughout the world.
  • About 2.5% of the global population will likely develop a Cluster B personality disorder.
  • Experts estimate that about 5% of people will have a Cluster C personality disorder.

Find Treatment for Mood Disorders or Personality Disorders in Nashville

If you or someone in your family has developed a mood disorder or a personality disorder, Arbor Wellness is here to help. 

Our mental health treatment center is a trusted provider of personalized care for adults in the Nashville, Tennessee, area who have been living with depression, bipolar disorder, borderline personality disorder, and related conditions. We also serve adults whose struggles with mood disorders and personality disorders are accompanied by co-occurring addictions. 

We offer a full continuum of customized services, including residential treatment, a partial hospitalization program (PHP), and an intensive outpatient program (IOP). At each of these levels, our patients are cared for by a team of skilled professionals within a safe and highly supportive environment.

To learn more or to schedule a free assessment, please visit our Admissions page or call us today.