All people have days when they feel blue or irritable. However, if someone has a negative mood that lasts for many days in a row it may reflect a depressive disorder. Additionally, some people have dramatic shifts between depressed mood lasting for several weeks to expansive moods. Although much less common than depressive disorders, bipolar disorder affects college students. Bipolar disorder involves periods of depressive episodes and manic or hypomanic episodes. Below you will find a description of the common symptoms of clinical depression and of mania. You will also find a link to a depression screening. If you think you or one of your friends may be suffering from a mood disorder, the Counseling Center is available to help.
Diagnostic Criteria for Major Depressive Episode (DSM-IV)
A. Five (or more) of the following symptoms have been present during the same 2-week period and represent a change from previous functioning:
B. The symptoms cause clinically significant distress or impairment in social, occupational, or other important areas of functioning.
C. The symptoms are not due to the direct physiological effects of a substance (e.g., a drug of abuse, a medication) or a general medical condition (e.g., hypothyroidism)
D. The symptoms are not better accounted for by bereavement, i.e., after the loss of a loved one
Diagnostic Criteria for Manic Episode (DSM-IV)
A. A distinct period of abnormally and persistently elevated, expansive, or irritable mood, lasting at least 1 week.
B. During the period of mood disturbance, three (or more) of the following symptoms have persisted and have been present to a significant degree:
C. The mood disturbance is sufficiently severe so as to cause marked impairment in occupational functioning or in usual social activities or relationships with others, or to necessitate hospitalization to prevent harm to self or others, or there are psychotic features.
D. The symptoms are not due to the direct physiological effects of a substance (e.g., a drug of abuse, a medication, or other treatment) or a general medical condition (e.g., hyperthyroidism)
National Institute of Mental Health brochure Depression and College Students