Introduction to Mood Swings: What are Mood Swings?
A mood swing can be defined as an intense and/or sudden change in mood (emotional state). In a typical scenario, a person will shift quickly from being happy to being irritable, angry, or sad.
Mood changes affect everyone (male and female). While having a change in mood is normal, rapid and extreme moods are usually disruptive. What’s more, mood swings can be symptoms of underlying mental health issues.
Normal vs Bad Mood Swings
Since moods are a normal part of life, when should you start getting concerned?
If your mood swing is intense, frequent, or persistent (lasting for days), you should be concerned. You should also worry about mood swings that affect your work, relationships, and other important aspects of your life. Moods that make you participate in risky behavior or bring thoughts of suicide or self-harm are also a cause for concern.
What Causes Mood Swings?
Extreme or erratic and frequent moods can be linked to six major factors namely;
I. Lifestyle Factors
Mood swings have been linked to significant life changes (like getting a new job, moving to a new home/town, becoming a parent, etc.). Stress from your job, lack of enough sleep, and unhealthy diets are other lifestyle factors that directly and indirectly impact your mood.
II. Hormonal Changes
The link between sex hormones and mood is also clear. Changes in sex hormone levels result in mood changes in both men and women. This is precisely why teenagers are described as moody. Hormonal changes that take place during pregnancy, PMS, and menopause in women also come with unpredictable moods. Hormonal changes in men are common after age 30, when testosterone levels start declining.
III. Brain Chemistry Changes
Abnormal levels of neurotransmitters like serotonin are also linked to mood swings or mood disorders. Neurotransmitters like serotonin regulate moods, emotions, and sleep. It’s therefore easy to see how a slight imbalance can cause mood problems.
IV. Some Physical Health Problems
Chronic ailments have also been linked to mood changes. Examples of chronic illnesses that cause mood swings include; diabetes, HIV, coronary heart disease, thyroid disorders, stroke, cancer, hyperthyroidism, and multiple sclerosis.
V. Degenerative Diseases
Degenerative diseases are diseases that worsen with time and known to affect body tissues and organs. There is a relationship between such diseases and behavioral changes. Examples of degenerative diseases that cause mood swings include; autism, epilepsy, ADHD, bipolar, dementia, major depressive disorder, schizophrenia, and seasonal affective disorder.
VI. Substance Abuse
Excessive alcohol consumption and drug use affects mood. In fact, this is the main reason why people take drugs. However, while taking drugs uplifts moods, lack of consumption brings forth many negative feelings (mood).
Treatment: How Do You Treat Mood Swings?
Typical up and down (mild to moderate) moods are normal and don’t need treating if they don’t affect your life negatively. However, rapid and intense moods wings with significant effects like those discussed above must be treated. The importance of treatment can’t be overlooked since mood swings can be a sign of an underlying serious physical or mental health issue. Treatment is usually dictated by the underlying cause.
I. Lifestyle changes
For instance, if your moods can be traced to a stressful lifestyle or unhealthy diet, you can make lifestyle changes like sleeping more, eating better to get rid of the mood swings. Lifestyle changes can deal with less severe mood swings.
You can manage extreme moods by sleeping enough. The scientific-based recommendation is 7-9 hours per night. You should be guided by a nutritionist or your doctor on how to eat better. He/she can also guide you on the physical activities you can engage in.
Other lifestyle changes to make include meditating and enrolling in yoga sessions. Such changes can manage moods linked to stress. It also helps to have a balanced social life and track how you feel on a daily basis while making appropriate changes.
Mood swings related to underlying degenerative disease are treated using medication. If you have extreme moods and are diagnosed with a mental health issue like schizophrenia or depression, you are likely to get medication to treat the problem. The medication can include antidepressants, antipsychotic drugs, antianxiety medication, and sleeping aids.
Mood swings linked to underlying mental illness can also be controlled through therapy. Physiotherapy is particularly helpful in dealing with mood problems that affect relationship or everyday life. Therapy works on finding constructive ways of managing emotions, tackling the underlying problem, and improving communication skills.
Can You Prevent Bad Mood Swings?
Yes! Suppose you’ve witnessed the effects of bad mood swings on family, friends, co-workers and want to be proactive. In that case, you can focus on leading a healthy balanced life characterized by enough sleep and rest, eating healthy, socializing, exercising regularly, leading a balanced work-life, and engaging in other thing that contribute positively to your overall health and well-being. It also helps to educate yourself on moods and related mental health matters. Luckily, there are great mental health recourses online.
Online Mental Health Courses for Mood Swings and Other Mental Health Issues
For more on mood swings and other mental health-related information, consider visiting WMHI online. The WMHI (Workplace Mental Health Institute) is an institute that specializes in offering mental health training/consultancy to organizations globally.
Through online mental health courses and in-person sessions, WMHI helps staff and managers identify and deal with mental health problems and psychological risks at work. The institute also helps organizations optimize their staff’s well-being, performance, and coping mechanisms.
WMHI mental health courses are engaging and based on scientific evidence. The programs ensure organizations meet their legal obligations for ensuring a healthy psychological environment for their workers while also offering other benefits like lowering mental health issues that have a negative impact on an organization’s bottom line. The courses optimize the staff potential, engagement, and improve well-being.