Understanding Mental Illnesses 1: Mood Disorders


Moods are an important part of life, and can be described as the ongoing inner feeling experienced by an individual. Happiness, sadness, pride and anger are all examples of defining and natural parts of the human experience. However, mood disorders are defined as disturbances in these moods, making people unable to experience the full spectrum of emotion. Depression (major depressive disorder) and bipolar disorder are the two most common mood disorders. This activity will give you an understanding of depression and bipolar disorder through resource exploration and the creation of fun skits and videos. It will help you to develop an understanding of possible symptoms and various treatment options for mood disorder.


1. Check out one of the following resources on depression and bipolar disorder:

2. Develop a video, animation or skit highlighting the symptoms, definition, diagnosis and treatment for one of these disorders. The video could take the form of a scene between two people, a first-person 'point of view' video with voice over, an academic presentation or a cartoon. Try to use a variety of approaches.
Check out this online tool for free video editing and generating software:
  • Doink: An online animation generator where users can share their animations

3. Perform your skits or watch your videos in groups. You could also create an in-class competition in order to decide which group produced the best video or skit.

Optional Alternate Activity:

Watch the following short videos on After reading through the materials and watching the videos, pretend you are a film critic and write a 250-500 world analysis on the videos. Include your thoughts on the presentation, characters, artistic merit, and identify symptoms and help-seeking behaviours identified in the clips. Post your review within the Student Writing section of the classroom.

Learning Objectives

  • Learn about the general category of mood disorders
  • Develop specific knowledge about depression and bipolar disorder and how they differ from expected mood changes
  • Know about treatment options for these disorders

    Continue to Understanding Mental Illnesses 2: Anxiety Disorders »