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What Are the Symptoms of Mood Swings?

A. Pasbjerg
A. Pasbjerg

Mood swings, which are characterized by swift and extreme shifts in emotional state, can cause a variety of symptoms that can be emotional, physical, or behavioral in nature. The primary symptoms of mood swings are emotional; depending on whether the swing is depressive or manic in nature, sufferers may experience feelings ranging from sadness to anxiety to euphoria. Those who are having a depressive mood swing may be overly tired, lose their appetites, or have problems sleeping, while people having manic mood swings may get extremely energetic and restless. Behavioral symptoms of mood swings can include avoiding activities that one typically enjoys or engaging in unusually risky activity.

Typically, the most noticeable symptoms of mood swings are the changes in a person's feelings, often in response to something that would not normally trigger such an extreme response, or even for no reason at all. Some people can go from feeling fine to being sad and depressed very quickly. They may feel stressed, worried and anxious, or tend to be irritable and quick to anger, with little tolerance for frustration. In the case of someone having a manic type of mood swing, he may become extremely happy, elated, or euphoric, though he may also feel agitation and nervousness. In both cases, the feelings are often intense and may be overwhelming to the person.

People who experience mood swings can go from great sadness to euphoric very quickly.
People who experience mood swings can go from great sadness to euphoric very quickly.

The symptoms of mood swings can also be physical in nature. Some people, particularly those suffering from extreme sadness, may feel very tired and have little energy. They may cry easily, not feel like eating, and their sleep patterns may change. Those in a manic state may feel like they have large amounts of extra energy, which in turn can make them feel as if they need to be constantly moving or doing something. They may also have disturbances in their sleeping and eating habits.

Getting regular exercise can help lessen mood swings and irritability.
Getting regular exercise can help lessen mood swings and irritability.

For some people, the symptoms of mood swings manifest as behavioral changes. Those who become very sad may avoid people, places, or situations that they would normally enjoy, and they may just generally avoid activities due to feeling tired and unmotivated. People whose mood swings make them irritable or angry may be unusually aggressive and seek out conflicts they might normally avoid. For sufferers who tend to get manic, they may constantly need to be in motion and engaged in activities; they are also often prone to taking risks, as their feelings of euphoria can make them feel invincible.

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    • People who experience mood swings can go from great sadness to euphoric very quickly.
      By: JcJg Photography
      People who experience mood swings can go from great sadness to euphoric very quickly.
    • Getting regular exercise can help lessen mood swings and irritability.
      By: Minerva Studio
      Getting regular exercise can help lessen mood swings and irritability.