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Top 5 Causes of Mood Swings and How to Deal with Them?

September 27, 2022 5 min read

Top 5 Causes of Mood Swings and How to Deal with Them?

Top 5 Causes of Mood Swings and How to Deal with Them?

A mood swing is a mental disorder affecting the mental state of an individual. In this article, find out the main causes of mood swings and how they can be treated.

A mood swing is a sudden change in emotions. People with mood swings can shift from being happy to feeling angry, irritable, or sad. Many factors can cause fluctuation of emotions. The condition is mostly described as a roller coaster for many people. A person can be happy in one moment and shift to feeling depressed the next moment. Mood swings can be triggered by events a person is dealing with. For example, if someone has a stressful moment at work, they can change from being happy to sad when a sudden thought of that event comes to mind. The conditions can also be triggered by an underlying mental health disorder, such as depression, anxiety, stress, or post-traumatic stress disorder.  

Causes of Mood Swings

Everyone has experienced mood swings several times. Suppose the mood fluctuations occur frequently, or they are severe to the level of interrupting your lifestyle. In that case, it is a sign of an underlying health issue that needs medical attention.

A person's mood can be influenced by the experiences they went through. However, it's not the only factor determining how a person feels; the surrounding environment also contributes. For instance, a high-stress level at home, school, or work makes your mood fluctuate.

Bipolar Disorder

This is a health condition where mood fluctuates from depression to mania and vice versa. When a person's mood is low, the symptoms may be like the ones of clinical depression. Depression fluctuates with mania episodes irregularly if you have bipolar disorder. When a person is under a manic episode, their mood is joyful, be more active, or they feel irritable.

Types of Bipolar Disorder

Bipolar I

The; level of severity of this disorder is the highest. The manic episodes were lost for as long as seven days or more. It may be worse hence calling for medical attention quickly before it escalates to life-threatening levels. After the manic episode, depression kicks in and lasts one to two weeks. In the worst cases, the patients may experience the symptoms of mania and depression simultaneously.

Bipolar II

In this disorder, the symptoms of depression cycles are the same as those of bipolar ones. The manic cases in these levels fall into hypomania. A person feels escalated, but the severity is lower than in the first case. Someone with this bipolar can handle daily activities normally without needing hospitalization.

Cyclothymia Disorder

It is a mild form of bipolar disorder. The mood swings in this disorder are irregular. A person can experience mild to moderate emotional escalation and feel mild to moderate low emotionally for a long time. Moreover, mood shifts occur quickly at any time. Therefore, someone suffering from this disorder experiences a normal mood for a short time. The symptoms must have been experienced for more than two years in adults diagnosed with this disorder. Diagnosis is needed if the symptoms have been experienced for more than a year.

Unspecified Bipolar Disorders

This criterion's symptoms don't match the three types of bipolar disorder. However, the patients still experienced abnormal mood shifts for a long time. It needs hospitalization if you notice abnormalities in your mood.

Illnesses and Injuries

Although mood swings mostly deal with emotions upfront, mood fluctuation can also be likened to acute injuries and chronic infections affecting the brain, like concussion, dementia, and stroke. Brown et al. (2020) noted that other health conditions that suddenly affect a person's mood are neurological infections such as Parkinson's disease.

Developmental Stages

Young people always have difficulty controlling their emotions as they can throw tantrums as everything gets in their way. Although mood fluctuation can characterize development in children, Losh & Gordon (2014) revealed that high frequency means an underlying mental issue exists. It can also be due to a learning disability or physical ailment; it should always be considered emotional development instead of health attention.

As a child grows, mood fluctuation becomes part of their development. When they are preteens, their emotions are driven by hormonal changes. The mood fluctuation may become intense when they reach adolescence and stabilize as they reach adulthood.

Medications

Starting or stopping medication can affect your mood. Although medications like mood stabilizers and antidepressants are required to stabilize a person's emotions, Moncrieff (2014) confirmed that the backlash may lead to mood swings. Mood swings can be a symptom of other mental health disorders. However, Ferreira et al. (2016) concluded that the medications applied to treat the underlying mental health disorder can lead to mood fluctuation as a side effect. Patients taking anabolic steroids can experience intense mood fluctuations.

Hormones

This is also may trigger mood fluctuation. The common hormone associated with mood fluctuation is estrogen. Hormonal fluctuation is normal and a well-known cause of mood swings. For example, periodic changes in menstrual cycles cause mood fluctuation in ladies. Other changes, such as menopause and pregnancy, can also affect mood swings.

How to Deal with Mood Swings

Mood fluctuation is not easy to deal with, especially if its levels of severity are high to the point of affecting your lifestyle. Visit your doctor for further health advice. Less frequent ad mild mood swings can be individually managed at home. Identify the factors that trigger mood fluctuation and then work on them. You can also cope with the situation by:

  • Changing your diet
  • Learning stress managing tactics from your therapist.
  • Addressing drug or substance abuse in your life.
  • Adjusting your night routines for better sleep.
  • Exercising regularly.

The Bottom Line

Everyone is sure to experience mood swings several times. Suppose the mood fluctuations occur frequently, or they are severe to the level of interrupting your lifestyle. In that case, it is a sign of an underlying health issue and needs medical attention. A person's mood can be influenced by the experiences they went through. However, it's not the only factor determining how a person feels; the surrounding environment also contributes to how you feel. A high-stress level at home, school, or the workplace will make your mood fluctuate. Mood fluctuation is not easy to deal with, especially if the levels of severity are high to the point of affecting your lifestyle. Visit your doctor for health advice. Less frequent ad mild mood swings can be individually managed at home.

References

Brown, E. G., Chahine, L. M., Goldman, S. M., Korell, M., Mann, E., Kinel, D. R., ... & Tanner, C. M. (2020). The Effect Of The COVID-19 Pandemic On People With Parkinson's Disease. Journal Of Parkinson's Disease, 10(4), 1365-1377.

Ferreira, B. I. R. C., Abreu, J. L. P. D. C., Dos Reis, J. P. G., & Figueiredo, A. M. D. C. (2016). Psoriasis And Associated Psychiatric Disorders: A Systematic Review On Etiopathogenesis And Clinical Correlation. The Journal Of Clinical And Aesthetic Dermatology, 9(6), 36.

Losh, M., & Gordon, P. C. (2014). Quantifying Narrative Ability In Autism Spectrum Disorder: A Computational Linguistic Analysis Of Narrative Coherence. Journal Of Autism And Developmental Disorders, 44(12), 3016-3025.

Moncrieff, J. (2014). The Medicalisation Of "Ups And Downs": The Marketing Of The New Bipolar Disorder. Transcultural Psychiatry, 51(4), 581-598.