Moods vs emotions, bipolar disorder, anxiety, PTSD

My name is Xanthe Wyse and I have been making videos sharing some of my experiences and insights mainly to do with mental health.

I observe many people confuse moods and emotions. I have been diagnosed with a mood disorder called bipolar disorder. It is not primarily an emotional dysregulation disorder (which could be part of borderline personality disorder depending what else is going on).

Moods are like the energy state that affects everything – activity levels, productivity, sleep, libido, appetite. Mood episodes are extremes of mood with bipolar which generally last at least a week or more. Very high energy (elevated) mood episodes – hypomania or mania. Very low energy mood episodes (depression). These are much more extreme than the usual ups and downs that most people experience. Mania can feel euphoric or irritable.

Emotions are more fleeting and people may call them happy, sad, jealous, angry etc.

I have been diagnosed with the childhood presentation of PTSD with avoidance and shutdowns. I generally have my emotions shutdown which all come flooding out intensely when I’m manic. So I don’t feel emotions strongly most of the time and have trouble identifying which emotion. I struggled naming emotions with CBT – cognitive behavioural therapy.

I actually find it more useful to express the emotions without needing to find names for them. That’s why I find music, visual arts, movement helpful.

I get more anxious when I am avoiding emotions. Moving is a bit of a release valve for my anxiety.

Source: Youtube