Mood Swings: A Bad Day or Something More?
We all have them.
One day you’re on top of the world, and the next, you can’t get out of bed. It seems like your mood is constantly changing for no reason at all. It’s perfectly normal to have days like that now and then. What if they disrupt your life and prevent you from living the way you want?
Here’s a closer look at mood swings and how to tell if yours are a sign of something in need of attention.
What does a normal mood swing look like?
Many different things can cause mood swings that aren’t a cause for concern, such as day-to-day stress and anxiety—for example, working to meet a deadline or getting stuck in an unexpected traffic jam.
If you’re dealing with a lot of stress at work or home, it’s not surprising that you would have some days where you feel great and other days where you feel like you can’t handle anything. That said, it’s still important that you find ways to manage your stress if it’s affecting your daily life. High levels of stress can lead to burnout, which comes with its own unique set of emotional changes.
Hormones can also cause mood swings as they’re connected to your emotions. They’re the reason many teenagers go through phrases of “moodiness.” And if you’re a woman, you might experience them during your menstrual cycle. Unpredictable moods are also common alongside pregnancy, menopause, and perimenopause.
Changes in body rhythms are another trigger for mood swings. For example, if you’re a night owl but wake up early for work, you might find yourself feeling irritable and tired during the day. A change in sleep cycles or lack of sleep doesn’t help when negative feelings roll around either.
Normal mood swings are usually:
- not very intense
- triggered by a specific event or situation
- not disruptive to your life
- manageable without professional help
If you feel like you can chalk up your highs, lows, or both to a bad day – even if there are a few bad days here and there – it’s likely not a sign of anything more than that.
What does a mood swing caused by a mental illness look like?
Mood swings caused by a mental illness tend to be more intense and more frequent than normal mood swings, making it hard for you to function in your day-to-day life.
Here’s a closer look at what mood swings can look like when it comes to Bipolar Disorder and Depression:
Mood swings in those with bipolar disorder manifest through extreme highs and lows that last longer than a typical mood swing. Someone with bipolar disorder can feel really good and excited for a while. However, when they have so much energy that they race around, talk quickly, and avoid sleep, they could be experiencing symptoms of a manic episode.
On the other extreme, bipolar disorder comes with feeling down and hopeless periods. A person with bipolar disorder might not want to go out and see people or even get out of bed for work. A lack of motivation and, sometimes, suicidal thoughts are characteristic of a depressive episode. Manic and depressive periods can last for weeks or even months, and they are much more intense than the ones most people experience.
Mood swings are common with depression, where moods fluctuate from extreme sadness to anger. A person with depression might feel down for a few days or weeks, and then they might start to feel a little better. However, feelings of sadness, anger, exhaustion, and lack of motivation usually continue to linger and impact one’s quality of life.
Ketamine and Esketamine Treatment to Calm Bipolar Mood Swings without Weight Gain
Sometimes, mood swings are a normal part of life. Other times, they are a sign of a mental health disorder. It’s important that you don’t self-diagnose. Only a mental health professional can provide a diagnosis and help you find the right plan of care.
At our COPE supported centers, we use Ketamine and Esketamine can treat bipolar disorder without all of the side effects of traditional antidepressants. Patients can experience rapid relief from symptoms which leads to a healthy lifestyle and weight loss instead of weight gain. Most of the side effects of ketamine are transient. Intravenous ketamine is a safe and well-tolerated treatment for patients with bipolar depression. Depression scores and suicidal ideation are both reduced rapidly
after ketamine infusion.