A mood is a temporary state of mind or feeling, which include each and every feeling human experiences. An extreme or rapid change in mood is called mood swings. This phenomenon is a common concept that is used often by humans.
People describe their mood as a ‘roller coaster’ where a lot of different ranges of emotions are experienced such as happiness, anger, contentment, irritability, etc. During a mood swing, an individual instantly switches from one emotion to another, like if the person is feeling happy, they will switch to feeling sad immediately.
The individual may or may not recognize that something has triggered a shift in their mood, but it’s also not uncommon for mood swings to occur without a cause. Mood swings can happen at any place and at any time. People do go through a wide spectrum of mood swings when they have an underlying mental health issue.
Many things can affect how an individual’s mood shifts throughout the day. For example, as a result of body rhythms, many people feel upbeat and energetic in the afternoon, whereas some tend to have negative feelings at the same time. You might be wondering are these changes normal?
The answer is ‘maybe’ – as everything depends on the individual. If the mood swings do not interfere with the person’s daily functioning then they might be normal, but because of this a person’s life is disrupted, then it is something to seek help for.
Causes of Mood Swings
Every human experiences mood swings from time to time, but if these shifts are resulting in the disruption of that person’s daily life (including relationships and work), it might be a sign that it needs treatment.
Serious mood shifts that can cause a huge disturbance in an individual’s life can be medically treated by seeking professional help. But before that, the person needs to understand what could be causing the bumpy ride of emotions, as the mild shifts can be fixed by lifestyle changes.
Internal changes like hormones take place throughout one’s life that can cause mood swings, but internal factors aren’t solely responsible for the changes in an individual’s mood. External factors like stress at work, school, or at home play a major role in influencing one’s emotions too.
· Diet: Nowadays people make their own diet plans, and sometimes these plans lack the nutrition required for the body which results in fluctuation in blood-sugar levels and malnourishment and huge mood swings. People who intake caffeine regularly, when didn’t get the body, show withdrawal symptoms that can be observed in their mood.
· Sleep: I think we all agree, that an individual’s mood is highly affected by the amount and quality of sleep. You have noticed a sleep-deprived person experiences intense mood fluctuations, whereas the well-rested individual tends to have a happy mood with high energy.
· Illness & Injury: The term ‘mood swings’ caters to the emotional roots, but this can be a result of a chronic disease or acute injuries which have an effect on the brain. Some other medical conditions resulting in severe mood swings are diabetes, multiple sclerosis, thyroid disorders, sleep disorders, etc.
· Developmental Stages: Many parents refer to their toddlers and young children as ‘moody’ as the kids throw tantrums while learning to regulate their emotions. These changes are normal and an essential part of emotional development, severe mood swings can be a sign of an underlying mental illness.
· Hormones: As the kids get older, mood swings become a normal part of their lives and their development, and as they enter the teen years the fluctuations of their mood are caused by hormones. Estrogen hormone fluctuations have a huge impact on their moods. In females, due to the menstrual cycle, and the fluctuations of hormones, the mood swings are visible and for the same reason, during pregnancy and menopause mood swings are common too.
· Medication: The beginning and end of medication can affect an individual’s mood. The medications like antidepressants and mood stabilizers do have mood swings as a side effect. Sometimes, the mood changes in an individual indicate that this isn’t the right medication for that person.
· Stress & Anxiety: Daily hassles and unexpected surprises (both good and troublesome) can have an impact on an individual’s mood. During stressful situations, some feel uneasy, worried, and fearful even which can result in mood shifts, and can lead to a diagnosis of anxiety disorder.
· Substance Abuse: People who abuse any kind of substance are more prone to experience mood swings especially when they are unable to get that particular substance. During the quitting of any substance, the person may experience extreme shifts in mood.
Due to any of the factors stated above, if a person shows sudden mood swings, acts highly irritated, or becomes suicidal, it is highly advised to seek immediate professional help.
Mood Swings in Males & Females
Hormonal shifts are one of the big factors of mood swings in females. As females tend to be more prone to the symptoms of hormonal changes than males, the mood swings are visible at the time of menstruation, pregnancy, and menopause. Males’ mood swings are predominantly controlled by the hormone testosterone, and it can be a major cause of depression in males.
There are some of the common mood altering situations that affect all the sex in the same way, which are:-
1. Bipolar Disorder: In this an individual experiences periods of extreme emotional highs (mania) and lows (depression). These highs or lows might rarely occur, but according to the National Institute of Mental Health, 4.4 percent of adults experience bipolar disorder at some point in their lives.
2. Major Depressive Disorder (MDD): In this mental disorder, people experience persistent feelings of sadness, loss of interest, increased or decreased diet, etc. Depression has an impact on an individual’s mood, everyday life, and relationships. People experience several episodes of low moods, and they may have periods of happiness and good mood in between.
3. Borderline Personality Disorder (BPD): In this condition, an individual experiences intense mood swings along with self-image issues. Individual with BPD has an intense fear of abandonment and have trouble in their relationships too.
4. Cyclothymia: It is also known as Cyclothymic Disorder, in which an individual goes through emotional highs and lows but they tend to be less severe than bipolar disorder.
5. Other Mental Health Conditions: Apart from these above-mentioned conditions, there are others that can contribute to mood swings, which are Schizophrenia, Attention-Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD), Disruptive Mood Dysregulation Disorder (DMDD), etc.
What Can You Do?
Mood Swings can be challenging to deal with, especially if they are interfering with an individual’s day-to-day life. If the changes are frequent and intense, they should primarily be discussed with a mental health professional. However, there are a few changes that can help you manage mild, uncomfortable, and annoying mood swings, which are:-
· Getting Regular Exercise
· Considering the nutrition body requires and planning the diet accordingly.
· Adjusting routine to improve sleep.
· Keeping a journal to track changes in mood and understand the potential triggers for them.
· Maintaining active social life by connecting with friends and family regularly.
· Prioritizing yourself, giving time to those things which make you feel better, like listening to music, drawing, etc.
· Addressing any substance use issue in your life.
What Can BluetoYellow Do About Your Mental Health?
Mood swings are a normal part of every individual’s life, but when it hinders your job, relationships, and/or other parts of your life, you can seek professional help by contacting us. BluetoYellow is working towards providing quality online counseling sessions to the young population at affordable prices.
Our dynamic therapists follow a client-centric approach that creates a safe and confidential space for you to express your emotions and thoughts without any judgment.
If you are suspecting that mood swings are interfering with your well-being, or if you know someone who can be benefited from the blog, forward the page to bring awareness to them.
You can start your mental health journey with the small step of booking an appointment with BluetoYellow today.