Friday, January 31, 2014

Mood Descriptors

We all get moody, right? It's a feeling we own that often feels different from others. During a Mental Status Exam Social Workers use specific words to describe the mood of the person we are trying to help. It's great to honor the person's unique experience by using direct quotes from them like: "I felt like a black cloud moved across my mind" or "I was so happy that I was walking on puffy clouds". 

Take a look at these mood description terms:

Euthymic- normal mood
Anxious- nervous
Dysphoric- unhappy
Angry- upset/mad
Apathetic- uninterested
Alexithymic- unable to describe mood
Anhedonia-unable to experience pleasure

Remember that mood and affect are two different things. A person's mood is internal and feels unique to them. A person's affect is evaluated by nonverbal behaviors. 


  1. Perhaps someone out there has a solution. I failed the ASWB scam exam by 4 pts. I honestly believe it's their way to make more money. I studied for 3 months, paid for their overpriced practice test, purchased flashcards, bought 2 study guides and gathered information from the web. I felt so good during the exam to only be screwed. Now my wife is close to leaving me because I can't get a descent job. Time for a new career?

  2. James, I'm so very sorry to hear that you didn't pass the first time. I honestly know at least 5 people that were in your very shoes!!! I also know that when they took the exam a second time, most of them passed. Instead of throwing in the towel, just think of that last exam as a crazy expensive practice test. I always felt like my MSW program did not prepare me for clinical work and I had to get a lot of hands-on experience before I felt prepared for the exam. Some of us aren't good test takers and I believe that should be taken into consideration (as in allowing free re-testing). Please don't give up hope. Give yourself some time and retake it, you'll be glad you did.

  3. I also failed the ASWB exam by 6 points back in November, 2013 and I was devastated! I am not used to failing and I spent lots of time and money studying. I had to adjust my thinking and go back and try again, which is tomorrow May 15, 2014. And I have to add how much your blog has helped me with my studying. I feel much more confident this time. Fingers crossed!