Mood Swings – Causes, Treatment

Mood swings

Mood swings are states of mind or mood and can have many causes. Mood swings should not be confused with depression . Simple mood swings happen every day and are normal signs of our highs and lows in everyday life.

What are mood swings?

Mood swings are primarily a psychological symptom. They can occur either as the sole condition or as an accompanying symptom that may indicate another underlying condition. Mood swings are a condition that can make a person extremely happy at first and then become extremely depressed or even aggressive a little later. The patient’s mood changes from one extreme to another in a matter of seconds or minutes. This not only harms his own performance, but also ensures that he puts himself in unfavorable situations with his fellow human beings.

Mood swings are particularly common when we are stressed or overwhelmed. In most cases, they make themselves felt through other accompanying symptoms, both physically and psychologically. These include sleep disorders , headaches , back pain , tiredness , weight fluctuations and potency problems . Likewise, listlessness , lack of concentration and sadness can be typical signs of mood swings.


As a rule, the everyday mood swings are harmless and are experienced by almost everyone at some point. As they came, so they go, and usually, a few days later, you don’t remember them at all.

However, the causes of mood swings are mostly to be found on the psychological side. Together with other accompanying symptoms, they can indicate various mental illnesses. Mood swings, for example, are common among depressed personalities . They are recognizable above all by the sudden change from joy to deep sadness.

However, they can also indicate psychological deficits. A patient who does not see all levels of Maslow’s hierarchy of needs fulfilled, for example, also suffers from mood swings – in this case, the life situation and interpersonal relationships would have to be analyzed, since this is where the deficits must lie.Mood swings can also indicate a physical cause. Most often it is a disorder that affects the brain or the pituitary gland, which sits there and can affect the mood of the patient through disorders. Tumors can increase the pressure inside the skull and cause severe mood swings. Hormonal treatments such as taking the pill can also cause patients to develop mood swings – in women, menstrual periods are sufficient for short-term changes.

However, if mood swings occur more frequently and at rhythmic intervals, there may be psychological or emotional causes (e.g. stress , interpersonal problems, seasons). Various hormonal diseases such as hyperthyroidism can also be a cause.

Excessive consumption of stimulants, such as alcohol and cigarettes , are often possible causes of severe mood swings.

diseases with this symptom


Mood swings usually occur as part of a mental illness, but organic diseases can also be the cause. These have corresponding complications. A borderline disorder is usually accompanied by other illnesses. This can primarily be depression. Depression can be related to alcohol and drug abuse.

Frequent alcohol consumption can lead to fatty liver in those affected , which can then lead to cirrhosis of the liver. Drugs can lead to psychosis and anxiety disorders. An associated social withdrawal only intensifies the symptoms. Frequent nicotine use increases the likelihood of developing chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) and also increases the risk of lung cancer.

In addition, depressed people usually suffer from sleeping and eating disorders . A lack of sleep or obesity increase the risk of suffering from cardiovascular diseases. Often the personality of those affected is also changed. In the worst case, thoughts of suicide arise. In addition, there are usually social problems, especially in the partnership or at work.

Dementia that also causes mood swings can also cause personality disorders. Everyday things can no longer be done properly. The affected person usually also has difficulties with reading, writing and speaking. Social withdrawal is also not uncommon. The disease can also lead to incontinence and the need for care.

When should you go to the doctor?

In the case of mood swings, it is not necessary to see a doctor in the first place. These can occur in many people over time and then go away on their own. Women in particular are affected by mood swings during pregnancy or during their periods. Treatment by a doctor is not absolutely necessary.

A doctor can be consulted if the mood swings are persistent over a long period of time and do not go away on their own. The person affected may then suffer from an imbalanced hormone balance or some other medical condition that needs to be examined and treated.

In most cases, however, the mood swings can be treated and limited relatively well. A visit to the doctor is also necessary if the mood swings make everyday life difficult for the patient and for other people. This can lead to problems with friends or with your own partner. If the mood swings have developed so severely, a doctor can be asked for advice. As a rule, the family doctor can be consulted first . However, women can also contact the gynecologist directly .

Treatment & Therapy

Medical treatment is only advisable if the patient himself does not know how to get out of his mood swings. A doctor should also be consulted in the event of recurring mood changes.

Psychologically caused mood swings are then usually treated with medication. It can be assumed that they are caused by a psychologically induced hormonal imbalance, which is why talk therapy or other forms of verbal therapy would not bring the desired success. Antidepressants, for example, help patients with depressive moods to get their mood swings under control. Subsequently, however, further forms of therapy should be followed in order to determine the reason for the illness and to enable the patient to better reduce psychological stress in the future.

If there are strong mood swings that endanger the patient himself or contain suicidal, self-injurious moods, admission to therapy in a clinic is often ordered. If a physical cause is suspected, it must be treated first and foremost. For example, if it is a tumor, it must be removed – the mood swings will then disappear on their own. Hormonal treatments, on the other hand, have to be changed and readjusted if they are the trigger.

In principle, however, you should also look for the causes yourself and thus also for possible changes. Excessive stress, problems with fellow human beings, stimulants (alcohol, nicotine ) and any problems should be considered realistically and optimistically.

In most cases a solution can be found, especially in discussions with family and friends. Increased physical activity (e.g. hiking, gardening), sports (jogging, swimming, cycling), culture (theatre, festivals), wellness ( sauna , swimming pool) and a healthy diet (fruit, vegetables, whole grains) are also supportive.

Outlook & Forecast

Mood swings can affect many people, but in most cases it is a temporary symptom. Mood swings often arise due to a certain situation and disappear after a short time. In this case, the mood swings do not need to be treated and do not lead to further problems.

Mood swings can also occur in women before or during their period and are also a common symptom there due to hormones. In this case, too, treatment is not necessary and the symptom disappears on its own.

However, if the mood swings occur frequently and are not associated with specific events, a doctor should be consulted. It can be treated by a psychologist or with the help of medication. It usually leads to quick success and does not entail any further complications.

The mood swings can go away on their own without treatment, for example in adolescents and teenagers who are going through hormonal changes. However, if the mood swings make everyday life difficult, they must be treated by a doctor.


The development of mood swings can hardly be effectively prevented. However, mentally ill people can ensure that existing mood swings do not affect their lives. Prescribed medication should always be taken correctly and care should be taken to balance stressful situations.

A generally healthy lifestyle ensures a healthy body, improved well-being and can help prevent physical or mental illnesses. Mood swings are impeded in their development when you make an effort to live a healthy life and also take time out from time to time.

↳ More information: Home remedies for mood swings

You can do that yourself

A number of measures and home remedies help with mood swings . Essential oils , which have a mood-enhancing and anti-depressive effect, bring quick help . Oils made from tangerines, limes, oranges and grapefruit have proven their worth, as have scents such as bergamot , jasmine, rose and sandalwood . But normal foods and spices such as ginger , nutmeg , chili peppers and chocolate can also improve your mood. Bach flowers and Schuessler salts , which can be used as a tea, ointment or bath additive, are recommended as alternative healing methods .

That being said, the cause of the mood swings should also be determined. There is often a harmless lack of light, for example, which can be remedied by exercising in the fresh air. In general, exercise and laughter lead to the release of endorphins . Heat or artificial light in the form of an infrared lamp or a visit to the solarium are also effective . Pleasant candlelight and conversations with friends and family members also naturally regulate mood.

If the mood swings persist for a longer period of time, there may be a serious illness. Anyone who keeps finding themselves in depressive moods should therefore speak to a doctor or therapist .

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Hello! I am Lisa Newlon, and I am a medical writer and researcher with over 10 years of experience in the healthcare industry. I have a Master’s degree in Medicine, and my deep understanding of medical terminology, practices, and procedures has made me a trusted source of information in the medical world.