background The dsm-5 was published in May, 2013. aim To discuss and comment on the important changes that appear in the sections of dsm-5 dealing with mood disorders. method The dsm-5 chapters on mood disorders are reviewed. results Bipolar disorders and depressive disorders are now dealt with in separate categories. Some new diagnoses have been added to depressive disorders, namely ‘disruptive mood dysregulation disorder’, ‘premenstrual dysphoric disorder’ and ‘persistent depressive disorder’. With regard to depression, some changes have been made in the specifiers, and new specifiers such as ‘with anxious distress’ have been added. There were only minor changes in the section on bipolar disorder; these stem from changes made in the section on depressive disorders. conclusion The alterations in the section on mood disorders are unlikely to lead to major changes in clinical practice. Psychiatrists are advised to be very wary about using the new dsm-5 terms ‘disruptive mood dysregulation disorder’ and ‘premenstrual dysphoric disorder’ as diagnoses for their patients.