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What Causes Depression and Mood Swings?

Meshell Powell
Meshell Powell

Depression and mood swings are common symptoms that can affect every aspect of a person's life. While these symptoms may occur in anyone, regardless of age or gender, they are more common among women. Hormone fluctuations are a common cause of depression and mood swings. Some psychological disorders, such as bipolar disorder or borderline personality disorder, are also known to cause these symptoms. Treatment varies from patient to patient and is based on any underlying medical conditions as well as the overall health of the patient, although typical treatment methods include the use of prescription medications or psychological therapy.

Hormone fluctuations are a common cause of depression and mood swings. These symptoms are particularly common during menopause, the time in a woman's life when the menstrual cycle stops as a woman reaches the end of her reproductive years. During menopause, the natural female hormone known as estrogen is reduced, often leading to several uncomfortable symptoms, including depression and mood swings. Hormone therapy can often help to reduce these symptoms and improve both physical and emotional health concerns.

An individual suffering from bipolar disorder may experience extreme highs and extreme lows in moods.
An individual suffering from bipolar disorder may experience extreme highs and extreme lows in moods.

Postpartum depression may lead to depression and mood swings. This is a medical condition that sometimes develops after a woman gives birth. The reasons are unclear as to why some women develop these symptoms after having a baby and others do not. Natural hormone fluctuations are thought to contribute to postpartum depression. Prescription antidepressant medications are often used to treat this condition.

Intense mood swings and emotional instability are common symptoms of bipolar disorder.
Intense mood swings and emotional instability are common symptoms of bipolar disorder.

Bipolar disorder is chiefly characterized by the presence of depression and mood swings. In those who suffer from bipolar disorder, moods often fluctuate from extreme highs and extreme lows. During the highs, known as a manic state, the patient may be extremely happy or engage in irresponsible behavior such as uncontrollable shopping or unsafe sex practices. During the depressive states, the bipolar patient may develop suicidal thoughts. A combination of prescription medications and psychological counseling are often needed to bring this condition under control.

Hormone fluctuations are a common cause of depression and mood swings.
Hormone fluctuations are a common cause of depression and mood swings.

Borderline personality disorder is another condition that may involve symptoms such as depression and mood swings. This disorder is similar in many ways to bipolar disorder, and it often takes a trained psychiatrist to be able to tell the difference. Treatment options for this condition are very similar to those used to treat bipolar disorder, and medications are typically prescribed along with therapy. Depression and mood swings should always be treated by a doctor so the patient does not become a danger to herself or to others.

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    • An individual suffering from bipolar disorder may experience extreme highs and extreme lows in moods.
      By: nebari
      An individual suffering from bipolar disorder may experience extreme highs and extreme lows in moods.
    • Intense mood swings and emotional instability are common symptoms of bipolar disorder.
      By: Phase4Photography
      Intense mood swings and emotional instability are common symptoms of bipolar disorder.
    • Hormone fluctuations are a common cause of depression and mood swings.
      By: ivolodina
      Hormone fluctuations are a common cause of depression and mood swings.
    • Postpartum depression sometimes develops after a woman gives birth.
      By: Monkey Business
      Postpartum depression sometimes develops after a woman gives birth.
    • Getting regular exercise can help lessen mood swings and depression.
      By: Minerva Studio
      Getting regular exercise can help lessen mood swings and depression.