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Why Am I Having Mood Swings?

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Mood swings occur when you switch from one mood to another, such as going from being happy to sad. The degree of extremity can vary from person to person. They are generally considered a healthy response to external and internal stimuli; however, frequent, serious mood swings can be a symptom of an underlying physical or psychological medical condition. Let's take a look at why you might be having mood swings and what you can do about them.

Mental health conditions


There are several mental health conditions that can cause you to experience mood swings. These conditions are often caused by mood disorders, and include:

• ADHD – Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder can cause mood swings, especially in children. These mood swings often manifest as outbursts of rage.

• Bipolar disorders – Bipolar disorders can cause your mood and emotions to swing from one end of the mood spectrum to another quickly. 

• Cyclothymic disorders – Cyclothymic disorders are mild mood disorders similar to bipolar disorders; however, the mood swings are less severe when compared to bipolar disorders.

• Disruptive mood dysregulation disorders – This mood disorder typically occurs in children and causes outburst where the child's emotions and moods revert to an earlier age.

• Major depressive disorder – Major depressive disorders cause long periods of extreme sadness. This disorder is sometimes referred to as clinical depression.

• Persistent depressive disorder – Persistent depressive disorders are chronic forms of depression that can cause mood swings.

• Personality disorders – Personality disorders can cause rapid mood swings. These mood swings can change quickly. 

Hormones and mood swings

Hormones dysregulation can cause mood swings. This is because hormones can impact the chemistry in your brains. Hormonal changes, caused by menstruation, menopause, pregnancy in women and low testosterone levels in men can cause mood swings, depression, fatigue and increased stress levels. If you think you have a hormone imbalance, a complete hormone test kit can help you determine if your hormones are imbalanced and causing mood swings. Once you have identified a hormone imbalance, you can work with your doctor to correct it through the use of healthy lifestyle changes such as  healthy diet, exercise, stress relief techniques, getting enough sleep and bioidentical hormones. 

Sleep difficulties and mood swings

Have you ever noticed that when you get a poor night's sleep, you are moody? Harvard Health reports that your mood and sleep are interconnected . When you do not get adequate sleep or sleep poorly, you will be irritable and vulnerable to stress. On the other hand, when you get enough sleep, your mood will be improved. Chronic insomnia has been shown to increase your risk of developing depression, anxiety and other mood disorders. You can improve your mood and reduce the risk of mood swings by getting at least seven hours of uninterrupted sleep each night. 

Drugs, alcohol and mood swings

Illicit drugs and alcohol can interfere with your sleep and can cause changes in your brain chemistry. Alcohol and illicit drugs can cause nervousness, depression, irritation, melancholy and insomnia. People who become addicted to drugs or alcohol are at an increased risk of developing a variety of mood disorders including:

• Personality disorders
• Depression
• Obsessive compulsive disorder
• Anxiety
• Co-occurring mood disorder, such as depression and anxiety, occurs when an individual tries to self-medicate using drugs or alcohol rather than seeking out medical attention. 

Caffeine, sugar and mood swings

Caffeine and sugar are both stimulants that cause heart palpitations, increased energy and mood swings. As the body burns up the excess sugar or caffeine, energy stores deplete, moods tip and the individual tends to crash. Cutting out excess caffeine and sugar consumption often regulates moods and prevents mood swings.

Medication side effects and mood swings

Certain prescription drugs can cause mood swings. Antidepressants are used to balance neurotransmitter in the brain and increase dopamine and serotonin. These medications often help improve moods swings; however, if the wrong medication is prescribed or the wrong dosage is given, mood swings can occur. Beta blockers that are used to relieve high blood pressure, chest pain, abnormal heart rhythms and heart failure also can lead to depression and mood swings. Another prescription medication that can cause mood swings is ADHD medications. These medications can cause insomnia which can further heighten mood swings and depression.

Mood swings can become severe and interfere with your relationships, work and day to day life. If you are experiencing mood swings regularly, along with fatigue, increased stress levels and insomnia, speak with your doctor. There are many different things that can increase your risk of experiencing moods swings, including hormone imbalances, medication side effects and mental health conditions. Ensure you are getting enough sleep, practicing stress relief techniques, eating a healthy diet and getting enough exercise to help improve your mood.

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