Mood disorders are composed of depressive and manic states that can be conceptualized as unipolar or bipolar conditions and/or along an affective spectrum. Clinical experience with mania and melancholia date to the Hippocratic school, were preserved and connected to humane treatment of the mentally ill in the Middle Ages and Enlightenment, and were systematized in the nineteenth century, culminating in the Kraepelinian nosology. After a de-emphasis of the medical disease model during the psychoanalytic period of influence in the mid-twentieth century, the current nosology has returned to a neo-Kraepelinian structure that is better supported by empirical research. Meanwhile, this nosology has proven useful in targeting new medications produced in the ongoing psychopharmacology revolution.

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