What Causes Mood Swings?

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We all get moody sometimes. However, frequent, extreme and abrupt changes in your emotional state may be a sign of an underlying health problem. Mood swings can have a profound effect on our mental health, relationships and quality of life. Identifying what causes mood swings allows us to understand our triggers and in turn, practice prevention so we can feel more balanced.

What Causes Mood Swings?

According to UCLA Health, there are various reasons we may experience occasional mood swings including “diet, sleep deprivation, and stress.” Our moods can be affected by hormonal changes, allergies, and medications. Children and teenagers can exhibit mood swings as a result of developmental and hormonal changes. To that end, a recent article from U.S. News & World Report called Mood Swings, Memory Troubles: Minding the Mental Toll of Menopause says that “changes in hormones are a big reason for the mood swings” of perimenopausal and menopausal women.

When to Seek Help

“‘You don’t need to have extreme emotions to have depression or another mood disorder,’ says Karen Swartz, M.D., with Johns Hopkins.” Mood disorders such as major depression, dysthymia and bipolar depression can look different depending on the patient. Talk to your primary doctor, if you “feel like your emotions are interfering with your work, relationships, and social life or are struggling with alcohol or drugs,” according to the Mayo Clinic. “Most importantly, if you are having suicidal thoughts or behaviors, seek emergency treatment immediately.”

Holistic Treatment for Mood Swings

In more than 200 studies of mindfulness among healthy people, researchers “found mindfulness-based therapy was especially effective for reducing stress, anxiety and depression.,” reports the American Psychological Association. Mood swings can stem from trauma and other emotions stored in the body. According to Harvard Health Publishing, holistic treatments like somatic processing “aim to drain those disturbing feelings of their power.” Embodied practices like qigong, bodywork, and meditation promise similar benefits to those of us looking to alleviate the effects of mood swings.

 

Healing for the Whole of You

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