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Mood swings

Everybody has mood swings and they are a natural part of most people’s lives. We get happy, we get sad. We have a period of feeling on top of the world, and then later in the same day, we feel tired, lethargic and beaten down. Small mood swings are a part of most people’s lives.

However, some people’s mood swings are so extreme, rapid or serious, that they interfere with that individual’s functioning in everyday life. Bipolar disorder is the best example of a disorder that is characterized by mood swings from manic to depressed. You can, however, have mood swings between any two moods or emotions, sad to angry, happy to contemplative, etc. etc.

Mood swings is a common term used to describe rapid and intensely fluctuating emotions people experience. It refers to rapid changes in mood. The term may refer to minor daily mood changes or to significant mood changes as seen with mood disorders such as major depression or bipolar depression. Mood swings can also occur in women who suffer from premenstrual syndrome or premenstrual dysphoric disorder.

Mood swings are often described as a “roller coaster” of feelings from happiness and contentment to anger, irritability, and even depression. The menopausal transition, specifically the time around approaching menopause or perimenopause, is associated with mood swings in some women. Mood swings can be seen with other conditions as well, including schizophreniaattention deficit hyperactivity disorderdementia, and thyroid conditions.

Signs and symptoms of mood swings

Mood swings may accompany other symptoms that vary depending on the underlying disease, disorder or condition. Conditions that frequently affect the brain may also involve other body systems. Mood swings may accompany other psychological or cognitive symptoms including:

  • Anxietyirritability or agitation
  • Boredom
  • Changes in mood, personality or behavior
  • Confusion or forgetfulness
  • Difficulty with concentration or attention
  • Difficulty with memory, thinking, talking, comprehension, writing or reading
  • Excess alcohol consumption
  • Changes in mood, personality or behavior
  • Confusion or forgetfulness
  • Difficulty with concentration or attention
  • Difficulty with memory, thinking, talking, comprehension, writing or reading
  • Hallucinations or delusions
  • Mood depression or elevation
  • Poor judgment
  • Racing thoughts and rapid speech
  • Reckless or inappropriate behaviors
  • Withdrawal or depression
  • Other symptoms that may occur along with mood swings
  • Mood swings may accompany symptoms related to other body systems including:
  • Appetite and weight changes
  • Cough that gets more severe over time
  • Fatigue
  • Incontinence, weakness, or sensory changes
  • Missed menstrual cycles
  • Nausea with or without vomiting
  • Seizures and tremors
  • Shortness of breath
  • Sleep disturbances

 

Serious symptoms that might indicate a life-threatening condition

In some cases, mood swings may be a symptom of a life-threatening condition that should be immediately evaluated in an emergency setting. Seek immediate medical care if you, or someone you are with, have any of these life-threatening symptoms including:

  • Being a danger to yourself or others, including threatening, irrational or suicidal behavior
  • Change in mental status or sudden behavior change, such as confusion, delirium, lethargy, hallucinations and delusions
  • Seizure
  • Suicidal actions including dangerous behavior, such as playing choking games or Russian roulette, or overdosing on drugs
  • Talking about or threatening to hurt oneself or another person
  • Talking about suicide, wanting to die, or not wanting to live any longer
  • Trauma, such as bone deformity, burns, eye injuries, and other self-inflicted injuries

 

Causes of mood swings

  • Bipolar Disorder
  • Sleep Deprivation
  • Low Blood Sugar
  • Stress
  • Certain Medications
  • Hormones
  • Pregnancy
  • PMS
  • Menopause
  • Dementia
  • ADHD
  • Thyroid Issues
  • Caffeine
  • Too Much Sugar

 

Other causes of mood swings

  • Cyclothymic Disorder
  • Intermittent Explosive Disorder
  • Medications

 

How to reduce the symptoms of Mood Swings

  • Purge the bad

Try and identify the moods you experience on a daily basis. Be aware of any negative thought patterns and write them down in a notebook. Also, begin taking inventory of what currently isn’t working in your life – troubling relationships, health concerns or financial struggles. Write all those down.

To release the emotional tension this may cause, take the pieces of paper with all of the negative patterns and things not working in your life and burn them. As the paper burns, allow the negativity to disintegrate with it as well.

  • Take A Moment To Chill

When you feel your mood begin to change, take a moment to pause, breathe deeply and focus. Center your attention on something in the present, such as the sound of your breathing or the feeling of the wind on your skin. By focusing your attention on something sensory you can take your mind away from negative thoughts and feelings.

If you feel overpowered during a mood swing and tend to lose rationality, sit down afterward and really think about what happened. Examine the event that changed your mood in relation to your reaction, and come up with a positive way of reacting to the same situation.

Seek Balance

Begin to assess all aspects of your lifestyle and address where you can improve.

  • Getting more exercise
  • Getting more sleep
  • Eating a balanced diet

Addressing unhealthy habits can positively impact your mood because you are in control. Nothing can stand in your way.

  • Switch It Up

Find other ways to deal with stress, anger and anxiety. Sometimes the solution is simple like reading a book while listening to classical music, or trying yoga. The important thing is making sure that you’re making a change for the better and forgetting about whatever stressors are getting you down.

When to Seek Help?

Even if your constant mood swings is due to expected hormonal changes, there is no need to suffer from the effects of mood swings. Treatment options are available to help you regain stability. If this is the case, talk to your physician or seek support through a professional counselor. There are many forms of therapy that can help if mood swings begin to overwhelm you.

 

Sources

https://www.frontiersin.org/articles/10.3389/fpsyt.2016.00174/full

https://www.verywellmind.com/what-are-mood-swings-1067178

https://www.medicinenet.com/mood_swings/symptoms.htm

https://psychcentral.com/lib/all-about-mood-swings/

https://www.webmd.com/balance/ss/slideshow-mood-swings-cause

https://centerstone.org/our-resources/health-wellness/mood-swings/

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