How depression and mood swings are related

Mood fluctuations are a natural part of everyone’s emotional tempo. Sometimes, there is a feeling on top of the world, and the very next day down in the dumps for no clear reason.

Mood swings refer to extreme or rapid fluctuations in your mood. A mood swing can occur at any time at any place. This term may also describe minor daily mood changes to significant mood changes as seen with mood disorders like major depression or bipolar depression. However, the mood swings of most people remain in the mild to moderate range of emotional ups and downs.

Mood swings can also happen in women suffering from premenstrual syndrome or premenstrual dysphoric disorder. The menopausal change, specifically the time about approaching menopause or perimenopause, is related to mood swings in some women. Mood swings can also be seen with other conditions, counting dementia, schizophrenia, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, and thyroid conditions.


Among the probable causes of mood swings is an inequity in the chemicals of the brain associated with mood regulation, like as in bipolar disorder, and the hormonal variations related to the menstrual cycle or menopause. Furthermore, mood swings may also occur in men who abuse steroids.

Mood swings are also more common with depression, particularly untreated depression. In this case, moods can swing from irritability to extreme grief to an annoyed outburst.

Mood swings occurring due to depression can cause extreme changes in one’s emotional state. It involves alternating between feelings of pleasure and well-being and feelings of fury, irritability, or depression.

Every person experiences mood swings once in a while. But when they become so often or so intense that they upset your everyday routine, your work, and even your affairs, it’s time to consult your doctor. Therefore, you may have a mood disorder like depression, bipolar disorder or borderline personality disorder (BPD).

Symptoms of depression

If you are having any distress with mood swings, you could be depressed or miserable. Other signs and symptoms of depression include;

  • Feeling depressed, desperate and useless
  • Having trouble sleeping
  • Eating too little or too much
  • Being weary and exhausted
  • Not finding any enjoyment in different activities which you normally enjoy
  • Having difficulty concentrating or making decisions
  • Having feelings or thoughts of death or suicide

Symptoms of Bipolar Disorder

Mood swings are one of the typical signs of bipolar disorder. This is characterized by episodes of mania or hypomania, occurrences of depression, and of both called mixed episodes. Majorly, there are two types of bipolar disorder: Bipolar I and Bipolar II.

An episode of mania can have signs such as feeling energetic, fast-talking, being extremely talkative, attractive in risky actions, being on edge or short-tempered, requiring less sleep than normal and being more active than you usually are.

A depressive episode involves feeling gloomy or useless, lacking energy, crying, feeling wiped out, having trouble concentrating, difficulty sleeping, eating either too much or not enough, thoughts of death or suicide and losing desire in activities you enjoyed once.

Bipolar I is identified when you have had as a minimum one manic episode. That person may also have had depressing or hypomanic episodes. On the other hand, bipolar II is diagnosed when you’ve had at least one depressive episode lasting 2 weeks or more and 1 hypomanic episode which lasted at least 4 days, but without a manic episode.

Symptoms of Borderline Personality Disorder

A borderline personality disorder is another psychological health ailment. It could be behind your insistent mood swings. Here are some other symptoms;

  • The mood swings are penetrating and flexible usually last from a few hours to a few days.
  • An individual may have thoughtless and risky behavior. For instance, the person may be attractive in unprotected sex or any drug abuse.
  • Extreme reactions to desertion, whether it is actual or you just think it’s real. These reactions may consist of depression, anger or fright.
  • Frequently feeling bare or restless.
  • Threatening suicide or engaging in different self-harming activities such as cutting.
  • Having sensitive, intense relations with others. That is characterized by extreme feelings about the person.
  • Rage issues, which can comprise outbursts, inapt anger and a failure to control your anger.
  • Having dissociative symptoms. For instance, feeling like you have lost time or are outside of your own body seeing the whole thing happen.

If mood swings come on abruptly, are extremely unreasonable or turn desperate, seek instant medical attention.

How are mood swings treated?

If you are experiencing severe kind of mood swings or mood swings which cause an extreme disturbance in normal behavior, you should consult your doctor. Only they can aid you to determine the causes of your mood swings and help you find proper treatment.

You may need proper professional treatment or medicines to release these life-altering mood swings. Moreover, simple lifestyle changes may benefit, too.

If ups and downs of your life aren’t affecting other aspects destructively, you may work through your mood swings without any medical care. You might be able to control your moods if you do the following;

  • Keep a schedule; create a routine for yourself, specifically when it comes to sleeping and eating.
  • Exercise regularly; regular work out or exercise has various benefits for almost all aspects of your health and well-being, counting mood.
  • Get sufficient sleep; sleep deprivation can largely affect your mood. Therefore, a good night’s sleep is very important.
  • Eat a healthy diet; a well balanced and healthy diet not only keep you healthy and fit but also improve your mood.
  • Practice relaxation; engage in any calming activities such as yoga or meditation.
  • Avoid stress; try to avoid stress and aim to manage and relieve stress as it comes.
  • Talk it out; find someone to talk to, like a friend, family member, or skilled counselor.

Moreover, you can also keep a journal to record your mood swings. It might also aid you to determine the reasons you experience them.

Look for outlines and try to avoid circumstances or activities which directly influence your mood. Sharing the journal with your doctor can also benefit you with your diagnosis.

The bottom line

Mood swings can differ in severity. Experiencing a variety of emotions is a part of life. There is a need to change your lifestyle to get back to feeling normal if you are suffering from occasional mood swings.

You should take mood swings serious. As, they change your performance and harmfully impact your life or those around you extremely. Immediately contact your doctor in case you feel that mood swings have taken over your daily routine or if you’ve been feeling out of sorts for a long period of time. These could be signs of a health disorder.

Areeba Hussain

Areeba is an independent medical and healthcare writer. For the last three years, she is writing for Tophealthjournal. Her prime areas of interest are diseases, medicine, treatments, and alternative therapies. Twitter @Areeba94789300

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