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Mood Swings

Many people suffer mood swings – happy one moment, sad the next, detached another moment and so on. They never seem to be able to get a hold of their moods.

One minute you’re laughing! The next, you’re crying. Blame it on the changing hormones of pregnancy. Watch out for mood swings during your first and third trimesters — but be aware they can occur anytime. And, if you had premenstrual syndrome (PMS) before you got pregnant, be prepared. Your pregnancy may make your PMS-type mood swings more severe.

Many people suffer mood swings – happy one moment, sad the next, detached another moment and so on. They never seem to be able to get a hold of their moods. People who suffer mood swings form undesirable attachments, demonstrate a marked suicidal tendency and are generally not productive in their personal and professional lives. There are several causes for mood swings; we’ve discussed the most common causes for your study here.

Mood Swings: Psychiatric Causes

Several psychiatric conditions can cause mood swings. These conditions are known to disrupt a person’s life to the extent that the patient contemplates suicide or extreme violence. Friends and family of people who display extreme mood swings must get them evaluated for one of these psychiatric disorders.

The good news is that if diagnosed in time, most of these conditions can be treated and the person can resume a normal life. However, many people just suffer in silence, not realizing that they might have a problem. They are vastly misunderstood by family and friends and passed over at the work place.

The following is a partial list of the many psychiatric disorders that cause mood swings:

Attention-Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder

ADHD has no cure; suffering patients have to cope with their condition, feeling frustrated by the second. Many people go through life with ADHD without even being diagnosed. Feelings of inadequacy and inability to cope cause depression, resulting in erratic mood swings.

Bipolar Disorder

Patients with Bipolar Disorder suffer mood extremes. They react with sadness to a glad situation and gladness to a sad situation, as they are unable to adjust their mood to suit the occasion appropriately.

Borderline Personality Disorder (BPS)

Patients suffering from BPS are unable to maintain any stable relationships due to turbulent emotions about themselves and others.

Intermittent Explosive Disorder

People with IED can explode into extreme, uncontrollable anger and are capable of great violence without actually meaning harm.


Depression causes extreme mood swings, happy one moment, hysterical the other and immeasurably sad again.

Substance Abuse

People who are addicted to drugs, smoke or alcohol find that they experience weird and unexpected mood swings. Their addiction makes them crave release often, which takes them away from life’s priorities. Being forced to be a part of the real world causes them to feel alternately depressed and angry.

Non-Psychiatric Causes Of Mood Swings

Several other conditions can cause mood swings including medical, neurological, hormonal,  and lifestyle related issues.

Chemical Imbalance

When the brain’s production of neurotransmitters such as serotonin, GABA, dopamine and norepenephrine is affected, mood swings result. People alternately experience feelings such as depression, anxiety, happiness, stress and fear.

All Forms of Dementia

Dementia is marked by rapid mood swings along with diminished thinking abilities along with reduced capacity for action.

Brain Tumors

Mild to severe mood swings can occur depending on the location of the brain tumor within the brain.

Side Effects of Medication

Certain medications can cause temporary mood swings, such as hormone replacement therapy.

Head Injury

Injuries to the head can cause personality problems, attention disorders, lowered concentration levels and intense mood swings.


Women experience extreme mood swings during menopause. These are caused by hormonal transitions. Estrogen influences the production of serotonin, the mood regulating neurotransmitter. Lowering levels of estrogen affects the production, causing sadness and depression. As such, a woman’s self-esteem goes down as her reproductive years end, adding to her erratic mood swings.


As kids enter their adolescence, they experience physical, emotional and psychological changes that cause disruption in their normal ways of life. Both boys and girls are prone to mood swings, feelings of inadequacy, of being misunderstood and so on.


Pregnancy causes hormonal swings in a woman’s body, with peaking and lowering estrogen levels. Added to this is a woman’s lowered physical self-esteem due to the changes in her body and her inability to perform her usual tasks. Some women become high strung, emotional alternating between weepy and happy states of mind.


People who suffer continuous stress can experience mood swings along with a feeling that no one understands how hard they’re trying. Sometimes stress can lead to psychological issues and extreme behavior.

Contact the West Clinic if:

  • You feel depressed or anxious
  • You have trouble sleeping
  • You have trouble eating
  • You have exaggerated mood swings for more than two weeks

Step-by-Step Care:

  • Do relaxation exercises or take prenatal yoga if you feel that stress is making your mood swings worse.
  • Pamper yourself. Take a nap, get a massage, go for a walk.
  • Do things that make you feel good.
  • Take care of yourself to help improve your mood. Eat well, exercise regularly, and get plenty of sleep.
  • Remind yourself — and your partner — that mood swings are a normal part of pregnancy. This will make it easier for both of you to weather them.
  • Ask for support from your partner, family, and friends.

The West Clinic

1188 Call Place
Pocatello, ID 83201
Business Hours
Monday - Thursday: 8:30am to 6:00pm
Friday: 8:30 am to 1:00 pm
Saturday and Sunday: Closed

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