What Causes Mood Disorders?

Have I Done Something Wrong?

No, definitely not. Mental disorders are a physical illness caused by chemical imbalances in your brain.

You see, the brain is divided into regions called “control centers” that direct every activity the body does, including thinking. It is important to realize that forming a thought is as physical an event as blinking an eye or moving your arm. Nerve cells in the brain allow you to form thoughts in the same way that they permit movement. We only have full control of our thoughts when all the nerve cells are working properly to give us that control. This process is subject to malfunction like any other part of the body. We can lose voluntary control of our thoughts if we have an internal neurological malfunction or an imbalance of nerve transmitter chemicals even though we may have the best of intentions to control our thoughts.

Mood control centre

The mood control center is a place in the brain where thought content and thought speed are regulated. This center controls what you think about and how fast you think about it. It therefore controls your mood and ability to concentrate. Unfortunately, we don’t know where this control center is located in your brain as it is more of a function than a location. If your nerve cells are working correctly in this center, your mood and concentration will always be kept within the normal range. It is technically impossible to measure mood but we define normal as being relaxed, content, feeling in control, able to concentrate, clear headed and coping with stress. No one, however, is “normal” 100% of the time.

When the control center is functioning well, your mood will always return to the normal range (eventually) regardless of the degree of negative or positive stress in your life. It works much like a top or gyroscope that will always return to the vertical position as long as it is spinning.


There are very specific chemical substances called neurotransmitters that are produced by brain cells to regulate these control functions. If anything happens to disrupt the production of these chemicals, then the control center will malfunction, your mood will fluctuate outside of the normal range and you will lose the ability to control your thoughts. If for example, there is a chemical imbalance, you would find your thoughts going much faster and it would be harder to control what you were thinking about. If something exciting happened, your thoughts could race uncontrollably in ecstasy or if something bad happened you could race with depressive thoughts. You would have lost the ability to put brakes on these thoughts.

What do I do next?

We have lots of resources to help you assess yourself for depression, anxiety or mood swings. These resources will also help you understand the conditions so you can help a loved one.

First do the self assessment checklists which you can even take to your doctor. Just click here.

Throughout my medical career I noticed that Christians suffered from depression differently than non Christians. You can download my article that describes this difference and why it happens in  How depression affects Christians.

Personal coaching appointments are available where we can meet online or by phone. I will answer your questions about mood disorders and explain the recovery process.

Emotionally free

Emotionally Free – The first third of the book explains the nature and treatment of mood disorders from a Christian perspective and includes the symptom checklists for self assessment. The rest of the book explains problems with our personality and spirit.



Have a look at these DVDs/CDs/direct downloads – watch 5 minute previews online

Depression, the path to recoveryDepression, The Path to Recovery As 2 disc of 10 TV interviews with Dr. Mullen where he explains a Christian understanding of depression, anxiety and mood swings. Our most popular DVD.


Moods, what Christians should know... Moods, what Christians should know about depression, anxiety and mood swings Christians are often very confused and misinformed about the nature and treatment of mental illnesses. They are also very suspicious of psychiatric treatments, so many are suffering needlessly from correctable conditions. This presentation will remove the mystery and confusion about the diagnosis and treatment of depression, anxiety and mood swings.

Fear, when trust is lost Fear, When Trust is Lost You will get the tools to overcome and take control of the worries and fears that disrupt your life.


Free Q&A videos

Why do I feel so far from God when I’m depressed?
How do I know if I need medications for my mood?
How do I know if my depression has been healed?
How long do I need to stay on antidepressants?
What is the ultimate cure for worry?

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One comment on “What Causes Mood Disorders?

  1. HDB Plumber Service on

    This design is spectacular! You most certainly know how to keep a reader entertained.
    Between your wit and your videos, I was almost moved to start my own blog (well, almost…HaHa!) Wonderful job.
    I really loved what you had to say, and more than that, how you presented it.
    Too cool!


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