Mood swings are rapid and often extreme fluctuations in one's emotions. It typically involves alternating between feeling happy in one moment and angry or sad the next.
One of the most common causes of regular mood swings is an imbalance in the brain chemicals responsible for mood regulation. This is the case for bipolar disorder. Another common cause for mood swings is related to the hormonal changes that occur with female menstrual cycles and menopause. With men, mood swings are common with those who abuse steroids (often referred to as 'roid rage).
People suffering from depression may also experience mood swings. Depression that is left untreated for an extended period of time may lead to feelings of irritability, sadness and even outright anger. The longer depression stays in one’s life, the more frequently these negative feelings will occur.
It’s normal to experience mood changes every now and then, as long as it doesn’t interfere with your life. However, if you have serious and frequent mood swings, you should consult with your doctor for possible causes and solutions. You may be suffering from depression, bipolar disorder or borderline personality disorder (BPD).
Depression is a mood disorder that causes a persistent feeling of sadness and loss of interest. For most people, it only occurs once in a lifetime. If you are currently struggling with depression, here are some symptoms to look out for:
Extreme mood swings are classic symptoms of bipolar disorder, characterized by episodes of hypomania (emotional highs), depression (emotional lows), or a mix of both. There are two main types of bipolar disorders: Bipolar I and Bipolar II.
Bipolar I is diagnosed when the patient has had at least one manic episode. A manic episode is a period of abnormally high energy or mood, accompanied by episodes of hypomania or depression. Patients diagnosed with bipolar I may also have had depressive or hypomanic episodes.
Bipolar II is diagnosed when the patient has had at least one depressive episode lasting 2 weeks or more and one hypomanic episode that lasted at least 4 days. However, patients with bipolar II has never experienced a manic episode.
Symptoms of a manic episode include:
A depressive episode includes symptoms such as:
A borderline personality disorder (BPD) can also be instigating your persistent mood swings. It is a mental disorder that usually begins in early adulthood, and may gradually improve with age. BPD includes self-image issues, difficulties managing emotions, and a pattern of unstable relationships. Other symptoms may include:
If you’re looking for natural supplements to enhance your mood, there are plenty of options. However, if you suffer from severe mood problems (like suicidal thoughts or self-harm) you should consider seeing a doctor first before reaching for mood enhancers or supplements.
St. John’s Wort is known as one of the most beneficial herbs for mood. The supplement is a yellow-flowered plant containing many chemical compounds that may have medicinal effects.
“Even though the evidence is mixed, it’s better for St. John’s wort than for other herbs,” says Adriane Fugh-Berman, MD and associate professor at Georgetown University School of Medicine.
Other potential mood enhancers include:
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