What are mood swings?
Mood swings refer to rapid changes in the mood. The term may refer to minor daily mood changes or to the significant mood changes as seen with mood disorders such as major depression or bipolar depression. It’s normal to have days where you feel sad or days when you’re overjoyed. As long as your mood changes don’t interfere with your life to an extreme degree, they’re generally considered to be healthy.
On the other hand, you may have a medical condition if you switch from extremely happy to extremely depressed on a regular basis. If you have serious and frequent shifts in mood, you should tell your doctor about them. They can discuss the possible reasons why you’re experiencing them.
What conditions are tied to severe mood shifts?
Mental Health Conditions
Bipolar disorder. If you have bipolar disorder, your emotions range from extremely happy to extremely sad. But changes in mood associated with bipolar disorder generally only occur a few times a year, even in rapid-cycling bipolar disorder.
Cyclothymic disorder. Cyclothymic disorder, or cyclothymia, is a mild mood disorder similar to bipolar II disorder. In it, you have emotions that go up and down but are less severe than those associated with bipolar disorder.
Major depressive disorder (MDD). In MDD, you experience extreme sadness for a long period of time. MDD is also sometimes called clinical depression.
Dysthymia. Dysthymia, now called persistent depressive disorder (PDD) is a chronic form of depression.
Personality disorders. In certain personality disorders, you may experience rapid changes in mood in a relatively short period of time.
Disruptive mood dysregulation disorder (DMDD). DMDD is typically only diagnosed in children. In it, your child has outbursts that aren’t on target with their developmental stage.
2. Hormonal Conditions
Hormones can also cause shifts in mood. This has to do with hormones affecting the chemistry of the brain. Teens and women who are pregnant or going through menopause may experience shifts in mood due to the hormonal changes associated with this phase of their body’s development.
Shifts in mood can also occur due to more than just hormones. If you experience extreme mood shifts, talk to your doctor about the best treatment plan for you.
3. Substance Abuse
You may experience significant shifts in mood if you use drugs or drink alcohol. Excessive drug or alcohol use can lead to addiction, which can seriously interfere with your life. Many programs are available to help treat substance use disorders.
Substance use disorders can be hard on both the person with the disorder and loved ones. You may need to help a loved one with their disorder. Their doctor can provide helpful treatment plans to help you get them the help they need.
How to balance your mood cycle?
Regular exercise Moving and exercising are great for your physical and mental health. They can also help you treat or avoid shifts in mood. When you exercise, your body produces feel-good hormones and endorphins that can help alleviate stress and boost mood. Aim for 30 minutes of moderate exercise 5 days per week.
Avoid caffeine alcohol sugar These stimulants and depressants can alter your natural state, making mood shifts worse or causing them in the first place. Sure, caffeine can make you feel less fatigued, but it can also exacerbate anxiety and nervousness.
Practice stress management Stress and anxiety can make symptoms of several conditions, including PMS, worse. If you’re worried, taxed, or otherwise strained, learning to manage the stress can help you avoid complications, including changes in mood. Meditation, deep breathing, and yoga are all proven to help manage stress. Massage therapy or talk therapy may also be highly beneficial.
Proper sleep pattern A good night’s sleep can cure a lot of ills, including irritability and extreme changes in mood. Aim for 7 to 8 hours per night. If that seems too daunting, try to add just 30 extra minutes by turning in half an hour earlier than you normally would. When you’ve managed that, try adding 30 minutes more. The additional shut-eye will add up in healthy, beneficial ways.