Mood Swing is a common term used to describe rapid intensely fluctuating emotions. In today’s article we will discuss about Stress and Mood Swing and how to cop up with it.
People often describe mood swing as “roller coaster” of feeling from happiness and contentment to anger, irritability and even depression.
It’s normal to have days where you feel sad or day’s when you’re overjoyed.
As long as your mood changes don’t interfere with your life to an extreme degree, they are generally considered to be healthy.
On the other hand, you may have medical condition if you switch from extremely happy to extremely depressed on a regular basis.
Serious mood shifts that threaten your well being can be treated by medical professionals.
BUT, first of all you will need to figure out what could be causing your bumpy ride.
Stress and Mood Swing
Everyone experiences mood swing from time to time, but if you seem to get them frequently or they are so intense that they can disrupt your daily life, it may be a sign of under lying condition that needs treatment.
1. The Biology of Mental Health and Stress
Chronic stress increases the risk of developing depression and anxiety.
Scientists found that the earliest response to stress happens in the brain within few seconds of perceiving a “stressor”.
Chemicals which signal between nerve cells are released. These include serotonin and adrenaline.
Following this, stress hormones are released, which particularly affects the area of brain key for memory and regulating emotions.
Repeated stress changes how well these systems are able to control the stress response.
Researchers are also investigating how these system are involved in anxiety and depression, suggesting a biochemical link between stress and mood swing.
2. The Immune System
Another link between stress and mood swing is the immune system.
During the stress response, the immune system is activated, in order to keep us safe.
BUT, chronic stress and prolonged activation of the immune system could negatively affect how the brain functions.
Not only this, but a prolonged active immune system is also linked to depression.
About 30% of people with depression have increased immune activity in the body.
3. Illness & Injury
Even though the term “mood swing” implies an emotional root, the shifts can also be associated with chronic disease or acute injuries.
Other medical conditions can also cause mood swing, including :-
- Sleep disorder
- Multiple sclerosis
- Thyroid disorder
- Parkinson’s disease
Toddlers and young children often appear “moody” and may throw tantrums as they learn to regulate their emotions.
As kids get older, mood swings continue to be a part of their developmental.
By the time they enter preteen years, fluctuations in mood are primarily driven by hormonal changes.
These shifts in mood tend to peak during adolescence and gradually stabilize by young adulthood.
Internal changes that takes place through out our lives influence our mood.
But it’s just not what’s happening inside that determines how we feel, we also respond to what’s happening around us.
External changes to our lives and in our environment, such as increased stress at home, school, or work can also influence our emotions.
A person who is eating diet that’s nutritionally inadequate or not getting enough to eat may experiences mood change in response to fluctuating blood sugar level and mal-nourishment.
Digestive disorders that affect the body’s ability to absorb nutrients, have been associated with mood swing.
If you have seasonal allergies, you may find that your mood is influenced by the time of year you tend to have symptoms.
Constant sneezing, watery eyes, itchiness can also lead to fatigue, difficult to fall asleep.
A person’s mood can also be heavily influenced by the quality and amount of sleep they get.
A person who is sleep deprived, may experience intense mood fluctuations as well as other associated symptoms.
Other possible cause of mood swings may stem from an imbalance of the brain chemicals, which are associated with mood regulation, as in the case of bipolar disorder.
Fluctuation in the hormones can also be a normal function, such as in menstrual cycle etc.
For the same reason, mood swings are also common in response to other causes of shifting levels of hormones, such as pregnancy or menopause.
However, a person’s risk of depression is increased during these times as well, so mood swing can also be a sign of mental health condition.
Mood swings are also common with depression. A persons mood may fluctuate from irritability to extreme sadness to an angry outburst.
People who are depressed may also have other symptoms, such as :
- Feeling sad, hopeless and worthless
- Disturbed sleep
- Eating more than usual or eating less
- Feeling of exhausted or tired
- No longer enjoying favorite activities
- Having thoughts of death or suicide
10. Bipolar Disorder
Mood swings are a hallmark symptoms of bipolar disorder.
There are two main types of bipolar disorders : Bipolar D I & Bipolar D II
In our next article we will discuss in brief about Bipolar Disorder & How to cop with Bipolar Disorder, so don’t forget to subscribe to our newsletter.
11. Borderline Personality Disorder
It’s a another mental health disorder that can cause persistent mood swing.
These mood shifts are typically intense and variable and can last from a few hours to a few days.
Symptoms are :
- Impulsive and risky behavior
- Extreme reaction to abandonment
- Feeling empty or restless
- Self-harming, threatening or attempting suicide
- Anger issues
Mood swings can be challenging to deal with, especially if they interfere with your day to day life.
Changes in mood that are frequent and intense, should be discussed with your doctor .
The Bottom Line :
Keep in mind that shifts in mood can vary in severity. Because experiencing a range of emotions is a part of life.
All you need to do is to adjust your life style to get back to feeling normal if you experience mood shifts.
Contact your doctor, if you feel that severe shifts in mood have taken over your daily life or if you’ve been feeling out of sorts for an extended period of time.
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