Home » Blogs » Coping with Depression » Mood Disorders vs Personality Disorders

Mood Disorders vs Personality Disorders

mood disorders vs. personality disordersIntroduction

According to, “Distinguishing between mental health disorders is generally more difficult than distinguishing between medical conditions, so for somebody untrained in psychology, understanding the difference between a personality disorder and a mood disorder can be challenging. Many of the symptoms have a definite overlap, but there are unique features of both personality and mood disorders that can help you understand the differences between them.” With that said, it is not uncommon for individuals to have a mood disorder and a personality disorder. However, what distinguishes the two types of disorders? This article will describe what a personality disorder is and what a mood disorder is. The differences between a personality disorder and a mood disorder will also be mentioned in this article.

What Is A Personality Disorder?

What is a personality disorder? What makes a personality disorder a personality disorder? According to, “Personality disorders are characterized by fundamental differences between the individual and most other people. These differences may be related to how the individual deals with or experiences emotion, but they may also extend to differences in how they interact with others, think about problems and interpret situations. Personality disorders often occur alongside other conditions such as depression, and are also associated with substance abuse. These issues may co-occur, but they are clinically distinct from the personality disorder.” Therefore, personality disorders may co-occur alongside mood disorders but are different, as well.

What Is A Mood Disorder?

What is a mood disorder? What makes a mood disorder a mood disorder? According to, “Mood disorders—as the name suggests—are solely related to the individual’s relationship with emotion. Everybody experiences highs and lows of mood, but these are usually easy to manage and extremely short-lived. When these experiences become more intense and last for longer periods of time, this is when a mood disorder may be to blame. The most common and well-known mood disorder is depression, which is characterized by feelings of hopelessness and worthlessness, and an inability to enjoy activities that used to bring joy.” Therefore, mood disorders have to do with an individual’s relationship to their emotions.

What Distinguishes A Personality Disorder From A Mood Disorder?

What distinguishes a personality disorder from a mood disorder? What are the distinguishing factors? According to, “There are some differences between the two conditions; for one, bipolar disorder suffers generally have more severe and long-lasting bouts of depression. This, however, is arguably the most difficult distinction to make, and in most cases the primary difference between the two types of conditions is that personality disorders are typically more ever-present. Somebody with a personality disorder is likely to have significant problems interacting with others because he or she is fundamentally different from most people, whereas with a mood disorder, a period of intense happiness or sadness is the only real departure from the norm.” With that said, individuals with a personality disorder may experience difficulty interacting with others, while individuals with a mood disorder may experience shifts in moods.


To conclude this article, even though a personality disorder and a mood disorder may co-occur together. There are differences between the two disorders. Particularly, individuals with a personality disorder have difficulty interacting with others, while individuals with a mood disorder experience shifts in moods.


Mood Disorders vs Personality Disorders

Lauren Walters

My name is Lauren Walters. I am currently heading into my final semester of graduate school for Mental Health Counseling in the Spring of 2016. Through my own experiences with mental illness, I love to inspire others through my writings and reassure them that they can live healthy, productive lives, despite mental illness. I hope you enjoy my articles. Feel free to comment. I will be sure to respond to you questions and/or comments in a prompt manner. Enjoy!

12 comments: View Comments / Leave a Comment



APA Reference
Walters, L. (2016). Mood Disorders vs Personality Disorders. Psych Central. Retrieved on September 28, 2020, from


Last updated: 18 Jun 2016
Statement of review: Psych Central does not review the content that appears in our blog network ( prior to publication. All opinions expressed herein are exclusively those of the author alone, and do not reflect the views of the editorial staff or management of Psych Central. Published on All rights reserved.