Watson, et al. (2008) states that a superclass of mood and anxiety disorders should be given a nonspecific label, such as ‘emotional disorders’.
They stated that this superclass
can be decomposed into three subclasses: the distress disorders (major depression, dysthymic disorder, generalized anxiety disorder, posttraumatic stress disorder), the fear disorders (panic disorder, agoraphobia, social phobia, specific phobia), and the bipolar disorders (bipolar I, bipolar II, cyclothymia).
There have been different remits put forward in Neurophysiology, Psychology and Psychopathology journals to define what constitutes an emotional disorder.
Goldberg, et al. (2009) says they include:
generalized anxiety disorder (GAD), unipolar depression, panic disorder, phobic disorders, obsessional states, dysthymic disorders, post‐traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and somatoform disorders. We have also included neurasthaenia, as this diagnosis is commonly made in many parts of the world, and is in the ICD‐10. We have preferred the term ‘emotional’ because we include somatoform disorders in the group.
yet, Baek (2014) says:
Typical emotional disorders are anxiety disorder, depression, and bipolar disorder
Sung, et al. (2016) pointed out that
The term ‘emotional disorders’ is not a clearly defined medical term, but is commonly used to refer to psychological disorders (e.g., generalized anxiety disorders and major depressive disorders) that appear to affect the emotions. ‘Emotional disorders’ in this study refers to the symptoms of anxiety and depression
Where there are moves to improve the diagnostic procedures for mental disorders through systems such as HiTOP (Stony Brook Medicine, 2017; Kotov, et al., 2017) — see also my answer to How does a person know if he should seek treatment for depression since feeling moody is unavoidable? — has there been any attempt since 2016 to put together definitive criteria to determine what constitutes an emotional disorder?
Baek, S. B. (2014). Psychiatric rehabilitation of emotional disorders. Journal of Exercise Rehabilitation, 10, 205–208. 10.12965/jer.140143
Goldberg, D. P., Krueger, R. F., Andrews, G., & Hobbs, M. J. (2009). Emotional disorders: Cluster 4 of the proposed meta-structure for DSM-V and ICD-11. Psychological Medicine, 39, 2043–2059. 10.1017/S0033291709990298
Kotov, R. et al., 2017. The Hierarchical Taxonomy of Psychopathology (HiTOP): A dimensional alternative to traditional nosologies. Journal of Abnormal Psychology, 126(4), pp. 454-477. doi: 10.1037/abn0000258
Stony Brook Medicine (2017). The Hierarchical Taxonomy Of Psychopathology (HiTOP). [Online]
Available at: https://medicine.stonybrookmedicine.edu/HITOP/publications
Sung, C. W., Chen, K. Y., Chiang, Y. H., Chiu, W. T., Ou, J. C., Lee, H. C., ... Wang, J. Y. (2016). Heart rate variability and serum level of insulin-like growth factor-1 are correlated with symptoms of emotional disorders in patients suffering a mild traumatic brain injury. Clinical Neurophysiology, 127, 1629–1638. 10.1016/j.clinph.2015.08.006
Watson, D., O'Hara, M. W., & Stuart, S. (2008). Hierarchical structures of affect and psychopathology and their implications for the classification of emotional disorders. Depression and Anxiety, 25(4), 282–288. 10.1002/da.20496