Mood swings can be applied to rapid and abrupt change in mood with or without awareness of the underlying cause. Mood changes can be called as part of being a human, with everyday lows or highs, where one day a person can be happy and jovial and the next day with unexpected traumatic news can be sad and depressed, in addition to feelings of irritability and anger. No person is immune to mood changes and it is very much normal. However, mood changes become problematic when they become too frequent, persistent, intense, and rapid and start affecting a person’s life in a deleterious manner. Mood swings can also occur in conjunction with some mental health conditions or mood disorders such as depression or bipolar disorder.
Why Do I Have So Many Mood Swings?
People can experience mood swings due to various reasons. Although, the cause may not be apparent at first, there is always a cause for mood swings. Some of the causes that can alter a person’s mood are listed below.
The prime and most common cause of a person experiencing varied moods can be attributed to their mental health condition. Depression is one form of mood disorder in which the sufferer feels utterly sad and beaten. Along with depression, they may also have accompanying symptoms of tiredness, sleep difficulty, hopelessness, loss of appetite or excessive binge eating, lack of concentration and focus, loss of interest in activities that previously interested the person, thoughts of suicide or self harm, indecisiveness, slowed speech or jibing. Bipolar disorder is another form of disorder in which the mood of patient fluctuates from excessively depressed to manic. Depressed stage is state of sadness and hopelessness while manic stage is excessively high spirited and happy and feeling on top of the world. The patient in manic state can have symptoms of increased morale, positivity, talkativeness, elated energy, showing impulsive and risky behavior and engaging in risky activities, being edgy and restless, irritable, insomnia and extremely active. Both depression and bipolar can vary from mild to severe.
Hormonal imbalance is another cause of mood swings, especially when it comes to women; however, men are not exempted from mood swings related to hormonal imbalance. Mood swings in women can be related to ever changing hormonal levels in their body throughout their lives, be it during premenstrual phase in the form of PMS symptoms, peri-menopause or menopause and at the time of pregnancy. The hormones related to mood swings in women are estrogen and progesterone while in men that can lead to mood swings is testosterone.
Alcohol, substance use and medication are also common factors that might lead to changes in mood. All these affect each individual differently and to varied intensity. Excessive use of drugs (cocaine, heroin, LSD, marijuana), alcohol and even steroids can affect the mental status of an individual. Even certain medications can have side-effects that might lead to mood swings.
Other possible behaviors and triggers that might lead to mood swings are stress and anxiety (family stress, PTSD, job stress), fatigue, sleep disturbance, food and diet, dehydration, caffeine intake, and nutrient deficiency (magnesium deficiency). All these factors affect a person’s mood to varied degree. A person should be wary of all the conditions that might affect their mood and if their mood swings become too frequent and intense, they should overcome their fear of social stigma and reach out for help.
The cause of some mood swings can be overcome by a patient on their own by taking proper nutrition and following a healthy diet, sleep hygiene, taking proper sleep and rest, staying hydrated, keeping alcohol consumption in check, giving oneself the needed rest and break and exercising regularly. However, there are certain conditions and problems that are beyond the control of an individual for which they should consult their health care professional, so that they can be given the desired help, medication and counseling.