If you or someone you care about seems sadder, more worried, or more easily agitated these days, it could be a sign of a more serious condition. Mood-related symptoms can come and go in response to everyday stresses. If they occur for long periods, cause significant distress, or interfere with your daily functioning, it is an indication to seek help. Everyone has a bad day now and then. But if you or someone you care about seems sadder, more worried, or more easily agitated these days, it could be a sign of a more serious condition. So, if you are experiencing clinically significant symptoms that make it difficult to function day-to-day, talk with your doctor. Just because you may feel better does not mean you do not have a problem.
What is going on in your head can affect how your mood feels. You are up. You are down. And you are soon up again. It seems like you spend your days riding an emotional roller coaster. Yikes. It feels like you are riding an emotional roller coaster. Are these changes normal? The answer is “maybe”, so long as they do not disrupt your life or the lives of people around you. Over time, healthy moods tend to shift and change. It is normal to have days when you feel sad or overjoyed. If your mood changes do not interfere with your life to an extreme degree, they are considered healthy. However, some quick mood changes might be related to substance use and mental health conditions. If your mood changes rapidly and suddenly several times a day or every few days, you may have a mood disorder. The most common are depression, bipolar disorder, and anxiety disorders.
There are several reasons why you may experience mood shifts. Some causes of rapid changes in behavior can be related to mental health, hormones, substance use, or other health conditions. If you have a medical condition that causes a physical change in your brain chemistry that affects your mood, we will do all we can to help you learn how to deal with it and make sure it does not interfere with your daily life.
Causes And Symptoms
The mood is a subjective and highly individual experience, so it is important to consider how each person responds to illness or treatment. Mood and stress are regulated by several brain structures, networks, and chemical neurotransmitter systems. For example, the disease of tiny blood vessels in the brain can alter brain white matter. This may disrupt brain connections that are important for normal mood and behavior. Mood disorders like anxiety and depression can often be improved by diet changes, exercise, medications, and counseling.
Mood changes may reflect a psychiatric disorder. For example, depression may cause sadness, irritability, anxiety, and a loss of interest and pleasure. . Depression may cause sadness, irritability, anxiety, and loss of interest and pleasure. Medications such as steroids or sleep medications can also cause these side effects. Mood changes may also stem from a medical condition, such as thyroid disease or a neurological condition. Sometimes mood can change because of a sleep disorder. Too little restful sleep can lead to irritability and anxiety.
What Can Be Done?
If you or a loved one is showing symptoms of a major mood change that lasts for more than a few weeks, it is time to see a mental health specialist. A medical evaluation may include a physical exam and sometimes tests to gather images of the brain. The doctor will also ask about your medical history and recent lifestyle behaviors. If dementia is suspected, your doctor may need to conduct additional tests to determine if there is a significant change in thinking or memory skills.
Mood symptoms are usually treated in one of two ways — the first is addressing what is causing the symptoms, and the second is treating the symptom itself. The good news is that you can recover from mood symptoms and their causes. Treating mood symptoms will usually address their root cause; however, it may take a while. Treatment for a depressive disorder, for example, may include psychotherapy or an antidepressant such as citalopram (Celexa). If insomnia is the culprit, your doctor may recommend a program for better sleep hygiene or refer you to a sleep evaluation. Additionally, Psychotherapy, antidepressants, sleep hygiene programs, and more are just a few of the effective treatments for you to choose from. Do not hesitate to talk to your doctor about medications being used to treat your symptoms, or what kinds of treatment options may work best for you.
Stress And Anxiety
When you are under stress, your brain may react more strongly or more often to situations than other people. Lack of sleep, a common complaint of people under stress, does not help. Our bodies can change when under stress, and our moods can change too. But this does not have to be a bad thing. Anyone can use positive thinking, or natural mood boosters like the right food or restful sleep to help keep things in perspective and find the energy you need to handle the day’s challenges. No matter how stressed you may be, loss of sleep will add more stress to your day. Too little sleep interferes with your ability to think clearly and focus on the issues at hand. And your body is not as strong when it does not get enough rest. When sleep is disrupted by work pressure or other issues, it is not surprising that people under stress feel especially tired, irritable, or overwhelmed.
Generalized anxiety disorder is a long-term condition that makes you feel anxious, fearful, and worried even when there is no good reason. You might have a generalized anxiety disorder if you have had trouble controlling your worries often for the past 6 months and you have additional symptoms such as trouble sleeping. When it is severe, it can be almost impossible to get through the day. Once you realize there is no good reason, you may still be afraid. But with treatment and some guidance, you can learn to manage your anxiety, so it is mild instead of overwhelming.
Bipolar disorder is a mental health condition that causes you to have highly inconsistent behaviors, from feeling great one day to sad, angry, or irritable the next. People with bipolar disorder have incredibly intense highs and lows in their moods. Some people with bipolar disorder also hallucinate and have intense mood swings called mania. They might seem happy for a day and call you multiple times to talk, but then feel depressed for weeks and do things like throw out their clothes, family photo albums, electronics, or even furniture. This is called a manic episode. The episodes can last months or years and they can be extremely harmful to anyone around the person with bipolar disorder.
Many adults escape their circumstances with the help of a strong support system in place. But people living with bipolar disorder cannot count on such a system, as they experience alternating periods of extreme energy and depression. You may experience a period of “the lows” when your mood is low, and you start to feel sad, or even suicidal. Or you may experience a phase where you feel unmotivated, or have trouble getting out of bed to go to work or school. This is common with bipolar disorder, but it is treatable with medication.
If you have been feeling depressed for more than 2 weeks, it is time to call your doctor. Someone who is depressed may have mood swings, too. They will have their lows, then feel OK, but they will not get the manic highs that someone with bipolar disorder would. Depressed people may feel worse in the morning and become more cheerful later in the day. If you have been feeling sad, drained, restless, or hopeless for more than 2 weeks, it is time to call your doctor.
Borderline Personality Disorder
In this disorder the main characteristic is sudden, intense shifts in the mood — such as anxious to angry, or depressed to anxious which is usually without the extreme highs seen in bipolar disorder. The mood is seen to be triggered by ordinary interactions with other people. Someone with a borderline personality disorder does not deal well with stress and may want to harm themselves.
Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder
Adults can be affected by ADHD (attention deficit hyperactivity disorder), especially if they were diagnosed when they were younger. Symptoms of mental or emotional problems or lack of focus or motivation can seem like something out of the ordinary for adults. You may find it hard to control your emotions, get frustrated easily, and be restless.
Teenagers and young adults sometimes suffer from mood swings, for reasons that are not always clear. Changes in hormone levels may have something to do with it. Here are some reasons your emotions could be going haywire: You’re pregnant, or menopause has you on edge. Your body is making less of a certain hormone and more of another one, which can lead to mood swings. Your hormones are diagnosed as being out of order because they are not working very well, leading to mood changes too.
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