Mood swing is an extreme abrupt change in emotional state or mood. Is it normal to have mood swings? Mood swings are normal occurrences in certain periods of human existence, but mood swings can also be a sign of a significant disorder that requires medical attention.
When your mood swings become excessive, all-consuming, and interfere with daily activities, it is time to see your doctor and ask for professional help.
Causes of mood swings
- Hunger: Not eating on time or overconsumption of sugar can trigger a change in moods.
- Stress: physical, emotional, mental, and psychological pressure from any problematic life situations can trigger a period of extreme sadness and a short burst of happiness. The best way to manage stress is to slowly heal the underlying cause such a chronic illness, change of job, work-life balance, and building healthy relationships to combat emotional stress that may be arising from relationships in your life.
- Post-traumatic stress disorder: is a mental disorder that develops after a person experiences a traumatic event such as war, sexual assault, child abuse, e.t.c.
- Premenstrual syndrome (PMS): it is a group of symptoms that occur between ovulation and menstruation in women. It is due to hormonal changes during the menstrual cycle. PMS manifests as irritability, food cravings, fatigue, mood swings (happy one moment and crying the next moment), breast tenderness, and depression.
- Substance abuse: psychoactive substances such as alcohol, cocaine, cannabis, Nicotine, caffeine, or ketamine triggers change of mood. Excessive intake of them can lead to erratic behaviors and lead to physical, social, or emotional harm. It can also lead to outbursts of energy for about a period and a sudden decline of energy after a moment of euphoria.
- Clinical depression: it is a mental health disorder that is characterized by consistent episodes of sadness and lack of interest in activities that used to bring joy.
- Premenstrual dysphoric disorder: is a severe extension of premenstrual syndrome. It causes destabilization that only resolves when menstruation starts.
- Bipolar disorder: Is a mental disorder that is characterized by periods of depression and abnormally elevated moods; that’s why bipolar was previously called manic depression. During mania, the individual behaves unusually energetic, happy, does not feel the need to sleep, or becomes irritable without the ability to keep a proper train of thought. The person will make poor decisions without considering apparent consequences. During depressive periods, the person becomes excessively sad, cries all the time, or does not see the good of life.
- Epilepsy: This is a group of neurological disorders identified by recurrent seizures.
- Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD): is a mental disorder of the neurodevelopmental type that is characterized by difficulty paying attention, excessive activities, impulsivity, and forgetfulness.
- Autism: it is a developmental disorder characterized by difficulty with social interaction, communication, restrictive behaviors, and repetitive pattern of actions.
- Celiac disease
- Alzheimer’s disease
- Parkinson’s disease
- Multiple sclerosis
- Huntington’s disease: it is an inherited disorder that results in the death of brain cells. The earliest symptom is mood swing and mental decline.
- Pregnancy: Mood swings throughout pregnancy can be caused by physical stresses, changes in body metabolism, and fatigue.
How do you deal with mood swings?
It is impossible to avoid mood swings altogether. However, if they interfere with your day-to-day life, you need to make changes to your diet, do regular exercise, try to live a more active lifestyle, and have proper rest. You can interact with family and friends to help reduce your stress. Also, talk to your doctor to prescribe sedatives or offer some course of behavioral therapy to help you feel good.