What are Mood Swings, and How to Manage Them?

 phenomenon of rapidly and powerfully fluctuating emotional responses. (Photo by Joshua Rawson-Harris on Unsplash)
The phenomenon of rapidly and powerfully fluctuating emotional responses (Photo via Unsplash/Joshua Rawson-Harris)

The term 'mood swing' refers to the phenomenon of rapidly and powerfully fluctuating emotional responses. Mood swings are frequently described as a 'roller coaster' of emotions ranging from contentment and happiness to rage, irritability, and even depression.

An individual may acknowledge a situation that has caused a mood change, such as a traumatic period at work. However, mood swings are not uncommon when there's no obvious cause. People may even encounter mood changes if they have an underlying mental health problem.


Mood swings explained

Minor daily mood changes or significant mood changes with mood disorders such as major depression or bipolar depression are both covered by the term.

Women suffering from premenstrual syndrome or premenstrual dysphoric disorder may also experience mood swings. Some women experience mood changes during the menopausal transition, especially when approaching menopause or perimenopause.

Other conditions that can cause mood changes include schizophrenia, attention deficit disorder, dementia, and thyroid disease.


Mood swings and their common causes

Everyone's mood changes from time to time.(Photo via Unsplash/Benjamín Castillo)
Everyone's mood changes from time to time.(Photo via Unsplash/Benjamín Castillo)

Everyone's mood changes from time to time, but if they occur frequently or are so intense that they interfere with life, such as work and interpersonal relationships, it may be an indication of a deeper condition that necessitates treatment.

Internal changes that occur throughout life influence mood, but it's not only what happens inside that helps determine how we feel; we also respond to what's going on around us. Changes in our life and environment, such as excessive stress at home, in the classroom, or at work, can also have an impact on our emotions.

Injury and Illness

Although the term 'mood swings', implies an emotional cause, shifts can also be caused by chronic diseases or acute injuries to the nervous system, such as dementia, head trauma, or stroke.

Stages of development

As they gain knowledge to regulate their emotions, toddlers and young children become 'moody' and may throw tantrums. Mood changes in children can be an indication of a deeper mental disorder, learning disorder, or a physiological ailment.

Other causes:

  • medications
  • hormonal changes

How to manage mood swings

You may want to try different strategies. (Photo via Unsplash/Priscilla Du Preez)
You may want to try different strategies. (Photo via Unsplash/Priscilla Du Preez)

Mood changes can be difficult to manage, particularly if they start interfering with your daily life, work, school, and relationships. Frequent and severe mood changes should be mentioned to your doctor, as you will need to determine the underlying medical and/or psychological causes before you can help cure them.

You might be able to handle less common, mild, or infrequent mood changes on your own, especially if you understand what causes them. The first step is to identify factors in your life and environment that precede or cause your mood to swing, such as stress, lack of sleep, or ditching your morning coffee.

To effectively manage and cope with such mood changes, you may want to try different strategies, such as:

  • Regular physical activity
  • Making dietary changes
  • Learning stress-reduction techniques
  • Changing the nightly routine to improve sleep
  • Taking care of any substance abuse issues

To summarise

While some variability in mood is a normal aspect of life, it should not interfere with your daily life. If your mood changes do not improve or if they worsen, consult your doctor. You can figure out what's causing your mood changes by working together.

Edited by Bhargav