7 Signs Your Mood Changes Might Mean Something More Serious

Ad failed to load

Are you feeling whiplash from shifting moods, swinging from happy to sad, from angry to relaxed? Everyone goes through upswings and downswings sometimes, but you should be on the lookout for signs that your mood changes are signs of something more serious. Mood changes can be signs of mental and physical health problems, hormonal fluctuations, or adverse reactions to medication.

It’s completely expected that your moods will change over time. After all, if you were totally “even” at every moment, you’d more resemble a creepy robot than a human being. Often, shifts in mood logically occur with changes in circumstances. Different situations and interactions naturally affect how you feel in any given moment; positive events make you feel good, and bad things make you feel bad.

Other changes in mood are less logical, and their triggers may be harder to pin down. You may find yourself feeling unaccountably “low” or getting angrier than a given situation warrants. To a certain degree, these kinds of mood swings are also common — they can be triggered by routine fluctuations in your hormone levels (during your menstrual cycle, for example) or by major hormonal shifts like pregnancy.

Ad failed to load

But some changes in mood — especially extreme changes — could be a sign there is something else going on. They can be signs of mental health conditions like bipolar disorder and cyclothymic disorder; hormonal disorders; or issues with your thyroid, lungs, central nervous system, and cardiovascular system. Some medications can also cause mood swings.

If you have concerns about your mood changes — if they are affecting your relationships, your ability to work, your ability to live how you want to live — don’t hesitate to consult a doctor. He or she may be able to reassure you that your moods are nothing to worry about, or, if they do indicate an underlying issue, offer treatment options that could help you feel more able to regulate your emotions.

Read on for signs that your changing moods are more than the standard fare:

Ad failed to load

1. Your moods change drastically, for no apparent reason.

Again, it’s common for moods to change — sometimes something as simple as being hungry can make a person feel suddenly irritable. But it could mean something else if your moods change wildly, launching you from one extreme of emotion to the next, without any discernible reason. If you’re feeling fine — even happy— only to find yourself descending inescapably into sadness, with no apparent trigger, you should pay attention to that and seek help. Inexplicable shifts in mood can be symptoms of conditions like depression and bipolar disorder.

Ad failed to load

2. Your “up” or “down” moods last for a long time.

According to Dr. Russ Federman, an expert in bipolar disorder and Director of Counseling and Psychological Services at the University of Virginia, intense moods that last for an extended period could be a key sign of bipolar disorder. Bouts of debilitating depression will last for as long as two weeks or more, while periods of mania or hypomania (a milder form of mania, characterized by feelings of euphoria) last four days or longer.

3. Your moods are extreme.

Ad failed to load

It’s not reasonable to expect to be happy all the time — everyone goes through ups and downs. But if being “down” frequently means more than normal sadness — if you’re sobbing uncontrollably for minor reasons (or no reason at all) — that may mean that there’s something more significant going on. Ditto for good moods that fly past “happy” and hit “inexplicable euphoria” instead.

4. Your moods lead to uncontrollable, self-destructive behavior.

If you think your moods might mean something else, take a look at the actions they lead you to take. Do “good” moods lead you into uncontrollable behavior, like over-the-top spending? When you’re irritated, do you find yourself screaming with people or getting into physical fights? Are you experiencing suicidal thoughts or the urge to hurt yourself? If so, seek help.

Ad failed to load

5. Your mood changes are hurting your relationships.

Again, it can be helpful to look, not only at your moods themselves, but the affect they have on your life. If your loved ones say that your mood changes are hurting them, or making it difficult for them to spend time with you, listen to what they have to say.

Ad failed to load

6. You’re having trouble sleeping.

A lack of sleep can trigger mood swings, so if you’re mood is changing frequently, try to institute good sleep habits. However, an inability to sleep, in conjunction with mood swings, can also be a sign of other health issues, including depression.

7. Your moods are making it impossible to work, get out of bed, or live your life.

Ad failed to load

Mood changes are inevitable, but not to the extent that they interfere with your ability to live your life the way you want to. It’s one thing to feel happy or sad, but it’s another to feel like you can’t go to work, see your friends, have relationships, or get out of bed — all because of emotional swings that you can’t control.

If you’re experiencing frequent or intense mood changes that you feel could be signs of larger problems, don’t hesitate to seek professional help. You can find some useful mental heath resources right here.

Ad failed to load
Must Reads

I Wore 'Dad Shoes' For A Week & They Were SO Much Cooler Than I Thought They’d Be

It’s no secret that fashion loves a good polarizing trend. Not too long ago, Birkenstocks made their high fashion runway appearance at Céline and Crocs followed suit on the runways of Christopher Kane and Balenciaga. Now, it’s time for the "ugly" sne…
By Dale Arden Chong

7 Surprising Things That Happened When I Went A Month Without Drinking

If someone asked you if you could take a break from drinking alcohol, would you be able to do it? You may think it’s no big deal to take a month off from drinking, or you may think it’s a *huge* deal, as alcohol seems to be the center of many social …
By Natalia Lusinski

5 Books Under 300 Pages That Are Perfect For St. Patrick's Day Weekend Reading

The grocery stores are stocked with corned beef and cabbage, the local pubs are starting to advertise a particular shade of beer, and in city streets all across America, signs about parade routes have been posted for everyone to see, so you know what…
By Sadie Trombetta

8 Ways Younger Millennials Communicate That Older Millennials Don’t Get

When comparing the ways our parents grew up communicating and the way we all grew up communicating, it seems like their generation and ours grew up in a different world. The technology our parents grew up with was so basic, it's ancient in comparison…
By Kaitlyn Wylde

This Is The ONE Sign That Won’t Be Affected By Mercury Retrograde This Month

It really doesn't seem fair that one astrological sign can ever enjoy the benefit of escaping the wrath of Mercury retrograde — that is, of course, unless that sign is your own — but it happens. Occasionally, the stars just align in the right way for…
By Kaitlyn Wylde

Why My Boyfriend & I Started Couples Counseling 6 Months Into Our Relationship

Right away, Kurt and I agreed on almost everything. We had met through a mutual friend in 2015, but we didn't start dating until we came across each other on Bumble a few years later. That's when we discovered that we were on the same page when it ca…
By Rachel Simon

This Lace-Front Wig Is Going Viral Because No One Believes It's Actually A Wig

To understand how Zendaya easily goes from a pixie cut to voluminous curls or how the Kardashian-Jenners switch hair colors as frequently as they change clothes is to know the power of a good wig. Now that there's a lace-front wig going viral, the Tw…
By Summer Arlexis

This Primer & Mascara Combo Literally Doubles The Length Of My Eyelashes

Even as someone who loves beauty, I was never been particularly passionate about finding the perfect mascara. And then I got lash extensions for the first time. While I enjoy the long, full lashes that lash extensions provide, I always found myself j…
By Olivia Muenter

I Accidentally Fell In Love With My Friend With Benefits & It's Painful

Against my better judgment, I have fallen in love with my friend with benefits. I think I may have fallen in love with him month ago, but being stubborn AF, I fought against those feelings, tooth and nail, and, when it was suggested by a couple close…
By Amanda Chatel

This Viral Post About A Woman Breastfeeding In Public Actually Has A Happy Ending For Once

And today in things that will warm even the coldest of hearts, we have this: A story recently posted to the r/TwoXChromosome subreddit about a dad’s response to his daughter shaming a breastfeeding parent is everything. Posted by Redditor u/starsonwi…
By Lucia Peters

These March Beauty Launches Require Your Immediate Attention

I write one of these beauty editorials every month (feel free to check out January and February 2018 if you're in need of even more products to shower yourself with). Sometimes, I get worried that there won't be enough newness to share — especially b…
By Amanda Richards

Here's How You’re Most Likely To Get Your Heart Broken, Based On Your Zodiac Sign

Getting your heart broken can be one of the most painful experiences you can have in your life. But if you're into astrology, being familiar with your zodiac sign can be pretty helpful. For instance, when you know the ways you're likely to get your h…
By Kristine Fellizar

Finger Piercings Are Trending & The Internet Is Very Divided About Them

A new "accessories" trend is asserting itself on Instagram and it's subversive, non-traditional, and so darn precious. It also looks a tad painful but the end result is worth it. Dermal diamond finger piercings are a thing and they may make actual ri…
By Amy Sciarretto

How I Learned Losing Your Job Isn't The End Of The World

Two and a half years ago, I was taking a day off from my marketing job at a San Francisco tech startup to host a friend when I got a call from the CEO. Apparently, I'd missed a pretty big day: 80 percent of the company, including the whole sales and …
By Suzannah Weiss

Meghan Markle's First Appearance With The Queen Included An Homage To Princess Diana

Fashion pundits love keeping a close eye on what the women of the monarchy are wearing, especially when there's an overlap with Princess Diana's sense of style. We're nothing but nostalgic when it comes to Princess Di and her on-point aesthetic. Find…
By Marlen Komar

Why Arizona's Exit From 'Grey's Anatomy' Is A Huge Blow To The LGBTQ Community

Whenever I re-watch Grey's Anatomy, I don't start with Derek Shepherd waking up in Meredith's apartment after their first hookup. I start with Season 5, when Callie first meets Arizona in a bar. I start here, because I want to watch someone like me f…
By Martha Sorren

I Couldn't Find A Beauty Campaign With Plus Size Models, So I Made One Myself

In the fall of 2015, I visited relatives in my hometown, a small suburb of New Jersey. There isn't much to do there, apart from dining at Applebee's or hitting the mall. As a plus size woman, cruising through a shopping mall is a mixed bag. Certain d…
By Marie Southard Ospina

7 Signs You're The Emotionally Unavailable One In Your Relationship — And How To Work On It

It can be a weird feeling when you realize your relationship isn't working. But it happens — even in a long-term relationship — that, despite spending months or years together, you can realize that something is just missing. Sometimes that thing that…
By Lea Rose Emery

The 21 New Books That Goodreads Users Are Most Excited About This Spring

Despite the fact the Northeast is being pummeled by yet another storm that threatens to trap the region in snow and ice for eternity, winter is finally almost over, and you know what that means. No, I'm not talking about April showers or May flowers …
By Sadie Trombetta

Chelsea Clinton Gets Real About Twitter Trolls & What REALLY Infuriates Her About Trump

Before you read the first word on the first page of Chelsea Clinton's new book, you already know one thing: Strong women have always been a big part of her life. There's her mother, Hillary Rodham Clinton, who was the first woman to run for president…
By Erin Delmore

If You’re Addicted To Rewatching ‘The Office,' There’s An Actual Reason For That

A few weeks ago, I tweeted that I was looking for fans of The Office who can't stop, won't stop rewatching the series, and that they should email me if they'd like to contribute to an article about their obsession. By the next morning, I had 32 messa…
By Lia Beck

Pregnant Chinese Women Have Been Eating Pearl Powder For Generations To Give Their Kids Clear Skin

If I were to line up next to my sisters, the difference is immediately noticeable: where my skin is a bit patchy and unmemorable, their skin radiates. Both of their faces have a discrete, poreless glow, and I’m certain you could bounce a kernel of ri…
By Angela Chen

This Is The Most Common Myers-Briggs Type

If you've ever really wanted to get to know yourself, you'll probably want to try out the Myers-Briggs type indicator test. You've probably seen a lot of articles online, and wondered about what the most common Myers-Briggs type is, as there's a lot …
By Kaitlyn Wylde

Halo Brows Take The Unibrow To New Heights — Literally

If there's one thing you can count on Instagram to deliver, it's some of the wackiest makeup trends, especially when it comes to brows. Considering beauty enthusiasts are all too eager to get creative with their arches, it's no wonder halo brows are …
By Summer Arlexis