Encyclopedia of Clinical Neuropsychology

2018 Edition
| Editors: Jeffrey S. Kreutzer, John DeLuca, Bruce Caplan

Affective Disorder

  • Joel W. HughesEmail author
Reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-319-57111-9_2112


Emotional disorder; Mood disorder

Short Description or Definition

An affective disorder is a mental disorder predominantly characterized by altered mood characterized by feelings of emptiness, irritability, or sadness for a prolonged period that results in a significant impairment in social, occupational, or another important area of functioning. Affective disorders include depressive disorders such as major depressive disorder and dysthymia, as well as manic disorders such as bipolar disorder and cyclothymic disorder. Affective disorders may be primary or caused by medical conditions or substances.


Mania and depression seem to anchor the ends of an emotional and behavioral continuum, an observation that dates from ancient times. In Hippocrates’ humoral theory, mania resulted from an excess of yellow bile and depression to an excess of black bile. In the early twentieth century, German psychiatrist Emil Kraepelin described affective disorders as belonging to a...

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References and Readings

  1. Allen, L. B., McHugh, R. K., & Barlow, D. H. (2008). Emotional disorders: A unified protocol. In D. H. Barlow (Ed.), Clinical handbook of psychological disorders: A step-by-step treatment manual (4th ed., pp. 216–249). New York: Guilford Press.Google Scholar
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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing AG, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of PsychologyKent State UniversityKentUSA