mood swing symptoms

It is quite normal to have days when you feel sad or days when you are extremely happy. As long as your mood swings do not interfere with your life to an extreme level, it is generally considered to be healthy.

Mood swings refer to rapid changes in the mood of a person. The term may refer to minor daily mood changes or to significant mood changes as seen with mood disorders such as major depression or bipolar depression

Sex hormones are connected to your emotions, so for women, changes in their hormone levels can lead to mood swings, especially, in women who suffer from premenstrual syndrome or premenstrual dysphoric disorder.

The menopausal transition, specifically the time around approaching menopause or perimenopause, is associated with mood swings in some women. 

Mood swings can be seen with other conditions as well, including schizophrenia, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, dementia, and thyroid conditions.

In the U.S. about 20% of the population reports at least one symptom of depression in a given month, and 12% report two or more in a year.

In many cases, mood swings are a symptom of a more serious health issue. They can occur due to mental health conditions, changes in hormones, or substance use problems, among other things.

Mental Health Conditions

Many mental health conditions can cause severe mood swings. They are often referred to as ‘mood disorders’. They include the following:

  • Bipolar Disorder: If you have bipolar disorder, you tend to experience emotions ranging from extremely happy to extremely sad. But mood swings related to bipolar disorder generally only occur a few times a year, even in rapid-cycling bipolar disorder.
  • Major Depressive Disorder (MDD): In MDD, you feel extreme sadness for a long period of time. MDD is also called clinical depression.
  • Dysthymia: Dysthymia, now called persistent depressive disorder (PDD) is a chronic form of depression.
  • Borderline Personality Disorder: If you have a borderline personality, you experience rapid mood swings in a relatively short period of time.
  • Stress: Stress and worry impact your body and health in a number of unhealthy ways. One such area can be your mood. Frustrations, worry, and a constant state of stress can lead to severe mood swings, along with other psychological issues.

mood swing symptoms

Change In Hormones

Hormones can also cause mood swings. This has to do with hormones affecting the chemical in your brain. Teens and women who are pregnant or going through menopause may experience mood swings due to the change in hormones related to this phase of their body’s growth.

Change in hormones during pregnancy can lead to changes in emotions and mood swings. Also, pregnant women often experience physical changes and emotional stress that can make issues like mood swings and emotional outpourings more severe.

Another major transition in life, menopause, is related to a period of mood swings. As levels of estrogen decline, many women experience many symptoms, including mood swings, hot flashes, insomnia, and reduced sex drive. Some doctors may also provide perimenopausal women with hormone replacement drugs to help the ease into the low-estrogen phase of life.

The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists reports, "The constant change of hormone levels during this time can have a troubling effect on emotions ... leaving some women to feel irritable and even depressed." 

Men's hormones tend to stay quite stable until age 30 when testosterone begins to gradually decline. About a third of men aged 75 and older have low levels of testosterone. That can cause mood swings, along with erectile dysfunction, sleep problems, and, yes, hot flashes.

Substance Use

You may experience significant mood swings if you indulge in drugs or alcohol. Excessive drug or alcohol use can lead to addiction, which can seriously interfere with your life. 

Symptoms That Might Occur With Mood Swings

  • Anxiety or irritability
  • Boredom
  • Changes in mood, personality or behavior
  • Confusion or forgetfulness
  • Difficulty with concentration or attention
  • Difficulty with memory, thinking, talking, comprehension, writing or reading
  • Excess alcohol consumption
  • Changes in mood, personality or behavior
  • Confusion or forgetfulness
  • Difficulty with concentration or attention
  • Difficulty with memory, thinking, talking, comprehension, writing or reading
  • Hallucinations or delusions
  • Mood depression or elevation
  • Poor judgment
  • Racing thoughts and rapid speech
  • Reckless or inappropriate behaviors
  • Withdrawal or depression

Also Read: Bipolar Disorder And How It Affects Your Mood

Treatment For Mood Swings

  • Regular Excercise

Moving and exercising are great for your physical and mental health. They can also help you treat or avoid mood swings. 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, and Sugar

These stimulants and depressants can alter your natural state, making mood swings worse or causing them in the first place. Sure, caffeine can make you feel less fatigued, but it can also exacerbate anxiety and nervousness.

Alcohol is a depressant that can worsen mood swings or make you behave irrationally. Sugary foods, while delicious, can cause swings in your blood sugar level.

  • Manage Stress

Stress and anxiety can make symptoms of several conditions, including PMS, worse. If you are worried, taxed, or otherwise strained, learning to manage the stress can help you avoid complications, including mood swings. Meditation, deep breathing, and yoga are all proven to help manage stress. Massage therapy or talk therapy may also be highly beneficial.

  • Get Proper Sleep

A good night’s sleep can cure a lot of issues, including irritability and extreme mood swings. Aim to sleep for at least 7 to 8 hours per night. If that seems too difficult, try to add just 30 extra minutes by turning in half an hour earlier than you normally would. When you have managed that, try adding 30 minutes more. The additional shut-eye will add up in healthy, beneficial ways.


Tags: Causes of mood swings in females, Mood swings depression, Bipolar mood swings