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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 anything 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 many 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.

Development Stages

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.


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. 

Mental Health

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 you must consult

a medical professional for a diagnosis so the best treatment plan can be arranged at your convenience.


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