What is Affective Spectrum?


The affective spectrum is a spectrum of affective disorders (mood disorders).

It is a grouping of related psychiatric and medical disorders which may accompany bipolar, unipolar, and schizoaffective disorders at statistically higher rates than would normally be expected.

These disorders are identified by a common positive response to the same types of pharmacologic treatments.

They also aggregate strongly in families and may therefore share common heritable underlying physiologic anomalies.


Affective spectrum disorders include:

The following may also be present as co-morbidities for affective mood disorders:

  • Chronic pain.
  • Intermittent explosive disorder.
  • Pathological gambling.
  • Personality disorder.
  • Pyromania.
  • Substance abuse and addiction (includes alcoholism).
  • Trichotillomania.
  • Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS).
  • Fibromyalgia.
  • Hypersexuality.
  • Migraine.
  • Cataplexy.

Also, there are now studies linking heart disease.

Many of the terms above overlap. The American Psychiatric Association’s definitions of these terms can be found in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM).