Mood swings can occur on a monthly basis throughout the menstrual cycle, and are generally not a symptom to worry about. However, frequent mood swings could signify a more serious underlying condition that requires prompt attention.
Continue reading to learn more about constant mood swings and what is considered normal and out of the bounds of normality.
During a woman's reproductive life, it is normal for her to experience occasional mood swings.
Hormonal fluctuations can upset your moods by affecting the brain's neurotransmitters, thus causing periods of depression, anxiety, and mood swings. These mood swings are especially predominant in women suffering from premenstrual syndrome (PMS) or those going through perimenopause, which is nearing the end of reproductive years.
Also, these mood swings can be worsened or triggered by outside factors. In this instance, your mood will change rapidly, but the change of mood will not last for long. As soon a sufficient amount of time passes after the trigger, you should go back to feeling like yourself again.
What's Not Normal?
To begin with, any mood swing that is frequent or constant is already considered abnormal and could signify bipolar disorder or an unresolved medical condition, such as hyperthyroidism.
Frequent mood changes throughout the day that are accompanied by unusually intense emotions are often considered atypical. For example, you may feel extremely “high” and jumpy with incredible amounts of energy. Or, you may experience periods of “lows” - or depressive episodes - that involve little energy, feelings of emptiness, forgetfulness, lack of enjoyment, and more.
Also, constant mood swings that affect sleep and activity patterns are also considered outside the realm of normality. Women suffering from bipolar disorder sometimes think they can do all things at once and become more active than usual. Or, on the opposite end of the spectrum, they can have trouble falling and staying asleep.
Bipolar disorder is also characterized by unusual behaviors, including spending a lot of money or being so irritable as to yell at someone for no inherent reason. You may also find yourself thinking about death or suicide more often during depressive episodes.
What's My Next Step?
Women who are suffering from normal mood changes can seek treatment for mood swings, which involves a comprehensive plan consisting of lifestyle changes, alternative medicine, and possible medications. On the other hand, if you are suffering from constant mood changes, this is considered outside the realm of normal mood swings and should be brought to the attention of a doctor or psychiatrist.