We all have good moods and bad moods. After all, the circumstances of our lives are always in flux. Sometimes, though, the timing, intensity, or trigger of a mood swing can signal that something else is going on.
“More and more, we’re learning that people with significant mood problems also have significant health problems, and vice versa,” says Ken Robbins, a clinical professor of psychiatry at the University of Wisconsin, Madison.
Recent research shows that depression, for example, can cause physical changes to the immune system and inflammation, while other health problems can trigger mood states that complicate treatment and recovery.Mood is obviously just one of many clues to health. But when mood swings are puzzling and notable, it’s worth considering possible causes. Here are four:
Possible Mood Swing Cause: Dementia
A mild-mannered retiree flies off the handle at the slightest snag or perceived insult. A grandmother curses, quite out of character, then turns polite again. These surprising mood bumps may reflect fear and struggling in someone coping with the confusion, memory changes, and loss of sharpness that come with dementia.
Possible Mood Swing Cause: Bipolar Disorder
The mood is unusually high and hyperactive; you may feel outgoing, restless, impulsive, distractible.Scientists believe both genetics and environmental causes (such as life events) mix to cause the unstable moods of bipolar disorder.This can be life changing, because untreated bipolar disorder can wreck relationships, impact the ability to hold a job, and increases the risk of substance abuse.
Possible Mood Swing Cause: Borderline Personality Disorder
A perceived threat, or any ordinary life situation can elicit an extreme and intense reaction. Inappropriate anger is especially common among people with this condition.sufferers tend to see people as “good” or “bad,” or “for them” or “against them.” Not surprisingly, they’re often disappointed by others or are in conflict with them.
Possible Mood Swing Cause: Perimenopause
One day you wake up inexplicably bad-tempered. The next, you’re sunny and bright. For a woman of a certain age — typically the late 30s through the early 50s.Women with a history of severe Premenstrual syndrome (PMS) or clinical depression tend to experience the mood swings of perimenopause most.