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Mental Status Exam


March 4th, 2023


Mood is the patient's subjective assessment of their emotional status.
Ask about their mood, and whether they have been happy or sad over recent months.


  • Interpretation

  • Euphoria / Ecstatic / Elevated mood: exaggerated positive moodMania, intoxication
  • Euthymia: normal mood, neither depressed nor elevated.
  • Dysphoria: feelings of sadness.Classically associated with depression

Reactivity of Mood

  • Interpretation

  • Reactive mood - mood brightens when good events occur.Normal behaviour
  • Non-reactive mood - mood does not brighten at all, even when very good events occur.Associated with depressive disorder


Explosive - outbursts of anger that are disproportionate to the situation.
Irritable - agitation with minimal stimulus.
Calm - lack of agitation.
  • Causes of Irritability

  • Stress
  • Anxiety
  • Depression
  • Mania
  • Delirium
  • Dementia
  • Psychosis
  • Intoxication
Assessment of irritability is more useful in the context of assessing risk than for diagnosis.

Stability of Mood

Stable: mood does not fluctuate
Labile: mood fluctuates spontaneously, with time of day or with environment
  • Causes of Labile Mood

  • Mania
  • Depression
  • Psychosis
  • Borderline personality disorder
  • Delirium
  • Post-stroke disorder
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