Mood swing

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Bipolar disorder is characterized by extreme mood swings, usually between mania and depression

A mood swing is an extreme or rapid change in mood. Such mood swings can play a positive part in promoting problem solving and in producing flexible forward planning.[1] However, when mood swings are so strong that they are disruptive, they may be the main part of a bipolar disorder.[2]

Overview[edit]

Speed and extent[edit]

Mood swings are universal, varying from the microscopic to the wild oscillations of manic depression,[3] so that a continuum can be traced from normal struggles around self-esteem, through cyclothymia, up to a depressive disease.[4] However most people's mood swings remain in the mild to moderate range of emotional ups and downs.[5]

The duration of mood swings also varies. They may last a few hours - ultradian - or extend over days - ultrarapid: clinicians maintain that only when four continuous days of hypomania, or seven days of mania, occur, is a diagnosis of bipolar disorder justified.[6]

In such cases, mood swings can extend over several days, even weeks: these episodes may consist of rapid alternation between feelings of depression and euphoria.[7]

Causes[edit]

Changes in a person's energy level, sleep patterns, self-esteem, concentration, drug or alcohol use can be signs of an oncoming mood disorder.[8]

Many different things might trigger mood swings, from unhealthy diet or life style to drug abuse or hormonal imbalance.

A major cause of mood swings is hyperactivity sometimes accompanied by inattentiveness, symptoms associated with Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder. If the mood swing is not associated with a mood disorder, treatments are harder to assign. Most commonly, however, mood swings are the result of dealing with stressful and/or unexpected situations in daily life.

Brain chemistry[edit]

If a person has an abnormal level of certain neurotransmitters (NTs) in their brain, it may result in having mood swings or a mood disorder.[9] Serotonin is a neurotransmitter in the brain that is involved with sleep, moods, and emotional states. A slight imbalance of this NT could result in depression. Norepinephrine is a neurotransmitter that is involved with learning, memory, and physical arousal. Like serotonin, an imbalance of norepinephrine may also result in depression.[10]

Conditions[edit]

Treatment[edit]

Cognitive behavioral therapy recommends using emotional dampeners to break the self-reinforcing tendencies of either manic or depressive mood swings.[11]

Exercise, treats, seeking out small (and easily attainable) triumphs, and using vicarious distractions like reading or TV, are among the techniques found to be regularly used by people in breaking depressive swings.[12]

Learning to bring oneself down from grandiose states of mind, or up from exaggerated shame states, is part of taking a proactive approach to managing one's own moods and varying sense of self-esteem.[13]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Peter Salovey et al, Emotional Intelligence (2004) p. 1974
  2. ^ http://www.bbc.co.uk/health/emotional_health/mental_health/disorders_bipolar.shtml
  3. ^ Sigmund Freud, Civilization, Society and Religion (PFL 12) p. 164
  4. ^ Otto Fenichel, The Psychoanalytic Theory of Neurosis (1946) p. 406
  5. ^ Daniel Goleman, Emotional Intelligence (1995) p. 57
  6. ^ S, Nassir Ghaemi, Mood Disorder (2007) p. 243-4
  7. ^ Hockenbury, Don and Sandra (2011). Discovering Psychology Fifth Edition. New York, NY: Worth Publishers. p. 549. ISBN 978-1-4292-1650-0. 
  8. ^ "Bipolar Mood Swings, Stabilizers, Triggers, and Mania." WebMD. WebMD, 3 May 0000. Web. 29 Feb. 2012.
  9. ^ Neurobiology of Mood Disorders.
  10. ^ The Four Major Neurotransmitters.
  11. ^ Gilbert, Paul (1999). Overcoming Depression. p. 63. ISBN 978-0-465-01508-5.  edit
  12. ^ Goleman, p. 73-4
  13. ^ Terence Real, I Don't Want to Talk About It (1997) p. 279

Further reading[edit]

  • Ronald R. Fieve, Moodswing (1989)
  • Susanne P. Schad-Somers, On mood swings (1990)

External links[edit]