Mood Swings

Image by Shannon Wise

Mood swings are a common but quite disruptive problem for many patients and the people who love them. One person’s repeatedly over reacting to situations in day to day life keeps everyone around them on edge. Never knowing when the next emotional blow-up will occur or what will set it off casts an ominous storm cloud over your entire life.

Mood swings present themselves in many ways because they can be symptoms of many different problems. Some mood swings last for weeks and show themselves as an irritable mood along with less sleep, too many ideas, too much talking, too much energy and uncharacteristically bad decisions in important areas of life like jobs, relationships, money, drugs and alcohol. Those are the typical symptoms of the manic phase of bipolar disorder.

Some mood swings can occur as persistent unhappiness along with low motivation, low energy and very little or no enjoyment in usually pleasurable relationships and activities. These could be the symptoms of the depression phase of bipolar disorder or perhaps a severe depressive disorder which can last for weeks or months. Both bipolar disorder and depression can reoccur repeatedly throughout a person’s life. Other types of mood swings can happen almost instantly and then last from a few minutes to a few hours. These kinds of mood swings can be symptoms of relationship problems, personality disorders, self esteem problems or various other issues. Difficulties managing moods and feelings can even be a symptom of several medical problems to include thyroid or sleep problems.

There are many different treatments for mood swings depending on the cause. Lab tests to look for medical problems, prescription psychiatric medications to treat severe and unstable moods, psychotherapy to help understand the causes of moods and then develop and practice new responses to troubling moods are all possible strategies that can be considered. The process of diagnosing mood swings and selecting the right treatments requires a mental health expert. Without proper diagnosis and treatment mood swings can destroy a person or family’s joy.

Risks for alcohol and drug abuse, violence, divorce and even suicide can be increased when a person cannot manage and cope with their moods appropriately. If you or a loved one has mood swing problems you should seek the assistance of an expert such as Dr. Harden.  Asking for help could be the first step in finally finding a better life.


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