While it is normal for emotions to occasionally get out of hand, if it happens too often or you find yourself losing control of your emotions in extreme ways, then your mood swing might be due to an underlying issue.
This guide will look at some common causes of mood swings and the various treatment options available for them.
We’ll also discuss when to seek medical attention for mood swings and how K Health can help you navigate them.
Common Causes of Mood Swings
Many factors come into play to cause mood swings.
While mood changes are a natural part of life, it can get tiring and bothersome to handle extreme moods and emotions at certain points.
Extreme mood swings can also affect those around you and those you interact with on a daily basis.
Physical illness and injury
Being sick or in pain can be quite stressful.
Certain ailments have side effects that cause a shift in the person’s mood.
In a similar vein, getting injured or getting into an accident can also impact a person’s emotions.
Mood swings and emotional turmoil are common in those suffering from chronic, long-term, or terminal illnesses such as:
- Parkinson’s disease
- Thyroid disorders
- Heart and lung disease
- Multiple sclerosis
As children grow, the body and mind go through many changes and emotions through the crucial developmental years of childhood and teenage.
Puberty is an emotional time with physical and psychological changes that can affect a child’s mood.
They may react to situations through unexplained emotional bursts and may not be able to fully control their moods during this developmental phase of life.
It is common and natural for young people to use emotion to express rebellion and to assert their opinion in unconventional ways.
If you cannot distinguish between healthy teenage emotions and a severe underlying issue, consult a medical professional for help and guidance.
Studies show that there is a significant correlation between seasonal and other forms of allergies in adults and their psychological state and mood. In many cases, this starts in early childhood itself.
Many people get happy and look forward to springtime and summer. But, because many allergies result in flu-like symptoms, including a runny nose and watery eyes, during these seasons, it can cause confusion of emotions. People with allergies are left feeling overwhelmed and tired despite their chirpy surroundings.
Medication side effects
Certain medications can have an effect on your mood.
You might be prescribed mood-stabilizing medication to treat specific mental health conditions; however, the side effects of other drugs can also impact your emotional and mental health.
Avoid changing your prescribed medication dosage and brand without consulting your healthcare provider.
Hormonal fluctuations can cause mood changes and turbulent emotions.
While this is common in changing and growing bodies, like during adolescence and teenage years, many adults can suffer from hormonal mood swings as well.
Adults who menstruate, get pregnant, and experience menopause are more likely to get mood swings as their hormone levels change throughout their menstrual cycles.
Estrogen and progesterone levels fluctuate through these cycles, interfering with the production of serotonin in the body. This can lead to mood swings and other conditions, including sleep disturbances, hot and chill flashes, erectile dysfunction, and changes in energy levels.
Several mental illnesses can alter the mood of someone.
Some mental ailments are more severe than others; however, with the right guidance and help, most are treatable and quite manageable today.
People with depression will experience extreme sadness as well as anger, loneliness, and worthlessness. Other symptoms include lack of energy, trouble sleeping, difficulty concentrating, and suicidal thoughts.
If you or someone you know is experiencing suicidal ideation, call 988 immediately, go to your local ER, call 911, or reach out to the healthcare providers at K Health, available 24/7 from wherever you are.
Characterized by dramatic and extreme shifts in mood, bipolar disorder affects more than 4% of the adult population in the United States.
These fluctuations are a lot more severe and last much longer than usual mood swings. Fortunately, bipolar disorder is treatable using medication.
People with schizophrenia experience an altered state of reality, and hallucinations and delusions can accompany their mood swings.
Other symptoms include the inability to process emotions, loss of appetite and personal hygiene habits, and changes in sleeping patterns.
Other mental illnesses and health conditions that could lead to mood swings include Attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), Borderline personality disorder (BPD), cyclothymic disorder, and Disruptive mood dysregulation disorder (DMDD).
Your daily routine, diet, exercise regimen, and sleep habits all work together to determine your mood and any changes to it.
Some people find that their mood is troubled if they do not get a good night’s rest or when they skip a cup of coffee in the morning.
Others need to exercise daily to keep their anxiety levels and mood under control. Certain substances such as tobacco, drugs, and alcohol can directly affect your mood as well.
Treatment for Mood Swings
A certified psychiatrist, psychologist, or another mental health provider or healthcare professional will be able to use appropriate psychological methods of treatment to help with mood swings.
Talking therapy or cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) can help people vocalize their stresses and triggers and help manage their moods and emotions.
Prescription medications can be used to treat certain mental health conditions and their symptoms, like mood swings.
These include anticonvulsant drugs, antidepressants, antianxiety medications, antipsychotics, sleeping pills, and other mood stabilizers.
Medication to treat mood swings and mental illnesses should only be taken under the guidance of a healthcare professional.
Take only the prescribed dosage, and do not stop or change the brand of medication without consulting a medical provider.
Alongside medical treatment, there are plenty of lifestyle changes that you can undertake to manage your stress levels and mood swings.
Many people find it effective to:
- Get the right amount of sleep and rest: Sleep deprivation can change your mood, so it is important to get enough sleep and stick to a routine. Eliminate the use of screens just before bedtime and invest in comfortable pillows, essential oils, and relaxation techniques to help you wind down at night.
- Keep the body active during the day: Regular physical activity releases the right hormones in your body and helps regulate your moods. You will also find that regular exercise will help you sleep better at night and keep your mind occupied during times of stress. A short walk, breathing, stretching exercises, and team sports can help elevate your mood.
- Eat a healthy diet: Consuming a balanced and nutritious diet not only keeps your body healthy but aids in keeping your mind and mood in good health. Keep processed foods and junk food to a minimum and drink plenty of water throughout the day.
- Maintain a social life: It is important to keep yourself active and motivated in any way that keeps your mood happy and stable. Some people prefer to spend their time reading, traveling, or journaling by themselves to process their emotions. Others find it more helpful to socialize with others and spend time with family and friends. A creative outlet that allows you to express your emotions and moods healthily usually helps keep mood swings at bay.
When To Seek Medical Attention
If mood swings are causing a hindrance to your daily professional and personal life, then seek help from a medical practitioner. Surround yourself with loved ones and try not to nurse thoughts of suicide or self harm.
If such thoughts come up, call 988, go to your nearest ER, or visit a healthcare professional immediately.
How K Health Can Help
Did you know you can get affordable primary care with the K Health app? If you are struggling with your mental health or you’re experiencing mood swings that you cannot control, reach out to our team of clinicians at any time.
Download K Health to check your symptoms, explore conditions and treatments, and, if needed, text with a clinician in minutes. K Health’s AI-powered app is based on 20 years of clinical data.
Frequently Asked Questions
K Health has strict sourcing guidelines and relies on peer-reviewed studies, academic research institutions, and medical associations. We avoid using tertiary references.
Allergic Diseases and Internalizing Behaviors in Early Childhood. (2016).
Blood pressure medications may affect your mood. (2020).
Does Glycemic Variability Impact Mood and Quality of Life? (2012).
Sad in the spring? Allergy-mood link is real. (2018).
The Link between Thyroid Function and Depression. (2012).