However, according to research conducted by the Oxford Health NHS Foundation Trust, roughly 1 in 5 people are affected by mood swings in their lifetime – with many affecting women specifically.
There are almost 70 million people living in the UK meaning around 14 million people are affected by this phenomenon – these numbers are staggering, leaving medical professionals no option but to tackle this problem head-on and find a solution.
This health condition can be addressed with professional help through the means of a treatment plan and here at PROMIS Clinic, we can assist you with any issues you currently face and help you manage mood swings you may experience.
The first step is to ask for help – experiencing these issues on your own can only make things worse. PROMIS are here every step of the way.
What are Mood Swings?
The term mood swings can refer to the broad spectrum of mood disorders which cover a variety of different mental health conditions that can influence a mood shift in individuals – although they are extremely common in diagnosis occurrence, the commonalities fizzle out with the root causes of how they are developed and what symptoms may appear.
Even though this may sound daunting, there are abundant ways of helping and treating these disorders through a variety of treatment options and lifestyle changes.
This condition has often been described as a “rollercoaster of emotions”, one minute you could have feelings of happiness or contentment – the next minute, with a rapid mood change, you could find yourself with feelings of extreme anger, sadness or just a particularly low mood.
This fluctuation of high and low emotions can be concerning and interfere with general life; affecting work, school and relationships – sometimes people experiencing these symptoms of mood changes may not even be aware that they may have an underlying mental health condition.
It’s important to recognise when these alterations in mood are taking place, however, the most important thing to do is ask for help – everyone is entitled to that. But who is predominantly affected by mood swings?
Who is Affected?
While mood swings can affect just about anyone at any stage of their lives, even without a diagnosis of other mental health conditions, they generally tend to start throughout late adolescence or early adulthood however, this is not a golden rule and it’s important to note that symptoms of mood swings can arise at any point.
With that said, there are some categories of people who may be the most susceptible or prone to developing such a condition:
- Adolescents and Teenagers: Typically, during the puberty stage it’s completely normal to experience hormonal changes that naturally shift emotions and psychological adjustments – we’ve all gone through it; and those with teenagers themselves, will have experienced a few mood swings in their time.
- Women: Women have to experience certain emotions that men do not – with factors such as the menstrual cycle and menopause mood swings can develop on a regular basis.
- Individuals With Mental Health Conditions: Those that already have mental health issues are especially susceptible to experiencing mood fluctuations – bipolar disorder, borderline personality disorder and depression all have links with severe mood change behaviour.
- Individuals With Substance Addictions: Since drugs and alcohol can affect brain chemistry and how we think, act and behave – it can impact this group of people with fluctuations in mood and stability.
What Causes Mood Swings?
As we’ve seen that various groups of people can be affected by intense shifts in mood – how exactly are they caused? There are some factors to consider when determining the root cause of the change in an emotional state;
- External factors
- Internal Factors
We respond to both what’s going on in the physical world and our environments, as well as what’s happening on the inside with our thoughts and emotions – a person’s mood is determined by all aspects of life and is not limited to any one thing in particular.
With that said, however, let’s take a look at some of the common causes of how mood swings occur.
ILLNESS OR INJURY
When an illness or severe injury affects an individual, it can lead to a number of different consequences that may stop the individual from doing certain things or experience great pain if they attempt it.
These situations cause changes in the body and can therefore often lead to mood swings – change is difficult and adapting to them can put psychological pressure on the person.
As we’ve mentioned previously, going through the developmental stages of adolescence has an influx of changes that impact hormone levels however, children may experience symptoms of mood swings which can be the early signs of an underlying mental health issue such as; learning disabilities, bipolar or borderline personality disorder.
Mood shifts may arise from certain types or combinations of medication; although some are prescribed to treat intense mood swings and clinical depression like antidepressants or mood stabilisers, there are instances where other types of medication can affect the mood to change.
It’s not always prescription medication – sometimes people self-medicate or use other substances like anabolic steroids that can contribute to sudden mood swings.
Hormones play a huge role in the way we feel – regardless of whether it’s testosterone or estrogen. However, women are more susceptible to experiencing dramatic mood changes as hormones fluctuate around the menstrual cycle and other hormonal shifts like pregnancy and menopause.
Depression, anxiety, bipolar and borderline personality disorders are commonly recognised mental health problems that have tendencies to experience intense mood swings – even if the condition has not been professionally diagnosed.
It’s important to note that these are just a few potential causes associated with mood swings and there are infinitely more; a person’s diet, sleep pattern or substance addiction could all contribute to persistent mood swings- if you think you have a sign of a mental health problem that impacts your mood it’s imperative that you consult a medical professional for a diagnosis so the best treatment plan can be arranged at your convenience.
Signs and Symptoms of Mood Disorders
Signs and symptoms vary from person to person due to the diverse nature of this phenomenon and can depend ultimately on any underlying conditions or root causes – all conditions are different and people experience mood swings in multiple ways.
Here are some common symptoms that may be a sign of a potential mood condition:
- Emotional instability: These symptoms arise in situations that don’t often match the reaction – for example; an intense mood change over something with little significance.
- Rapid mood changes: This refers to abrupt changes from extreme highs to lows and often frequently – sometimes multiple times per day.
- Intense irritability: These symptoms include feelings that are easily triggered such as; becoming annoyed, angered or agitated.
- Elevated mood or euphoria: These are feelings accompanied by unusually high energy levels – they’re sometimes referred to as manic or hypomanic episodes and found commonly with those suffering bipolar conditions.
- Depressive symptoms: These symptoms include prolonged periods of feeling sad and hopeless – they often associate with a lack of interest or pleasure in activities that were once enjoyed.
- Changes in energy levels: This relates to excessive highs and lows in energy levels and can play a huge part in sleep patterns.
Occasional mood swings are part of everyday life and all of us experience them throughout our daily routines and activities however, sudden shifts in mood with symptoms that persist for prolonged periods can be a sign of something worse – often needing attention from professional healthcare practitioners.
Types of Mood Disorders
Causes of mood swings and their symptoms can be dependent on various factors as we’ve seen; and although mood swings themselves are not an illness as such, they are symptoms that are experienced through episodes of manic-depressive illnesses.
Here are some of the major diagnoses.
Major Depressive Disorder (MDD)
This type of condition is often referred to as clinical depression which is characterised by the symptoms of extreme sadness and a lack of motivation for life in general.
This condition can be extremely serious if left untreated and has a history of self-harm and suicide.
Bipolar has tendencies of extreme mood alterations where the mood swings may be highs and lows – these episodes are referred to as depression and hypomania. There are different types of bipolar disorder with varying degrees of severity.
Persistent Depressive Disorder (PDD)
Formerly known as dysthymia, PDD involves chronic depressive symptoms that persist for at least two years.
While the symptoms are less severe than those in major depressive disorder they are typically long-lasting and can significantly impact how a person functions from day to day.
Premenstrual Dysphoric Disorder (PMDD)
PMDD is a severe form of premenstrual syndrome (PMS) that occurs in some women during the menstrual cycle – these symptoms usually appear a week or two before menstruation and improve there on after.
Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD):
SAD is a type of depression that follows a seasonal pattern, with symptoms typically occurring during the fall and winter months when there is less sunlight.
Disruptive Mood Dysregulation Disorder (DMDD):
DMDD is primarily diagnosed in children and adolescents who have frequent and severe temper outbursts, along with a persistently irritable or angry mood between outbursts – these symptoms are present for at least 12 months in multiple settings.
Treatment and Management
A change in mood doesn’t always mean that something is wrong, they are a normal part of life and needed for a range of functions and situations – after all, that’s what makes us human.
However, when mood swings include recurring symptoms that arise from triggers of traumatic events and high-stress situations, it may signify that there is a problem that needs addressing.
As mental health can influence dramatically our ways of thinking and how we perceive life in general, it’s crucial that help is given to those that need it the most to help them manage their symptoms and live life to the fullest with the minimum of disruptions.
PROMIS Clinic has an array of treatment options that focus on mood swings and underlying mental health conditions that are associated with them. Our team of mental health professionals are here to guide you every step of the way – call PROMIS today and see how our treatment options best suit your needs.
You can fill out this form or call us directly