Types of Mood Swings and How to Avoid them

Common Types of Mood Swings and how to avoid them



Everyone knows his share of mood swings. Who has not reacted – or reacted badly – to everyday stresses such as traffic, a demanding boss or an endless wait in his doctor’s office?

All of a sudden, our mood can turn from good to irritable, if not angry.

In a presentation given at Women’s Health Matters Forum & Expo 2008 in Toronto, Dr. Anthony Levitt, a psychiatrist at Women’s College Hospital, said that the term “mood swings” was so common that 90 percent of his listeners would probably say they had one in the last 24 hours.

Mood swings, however, are a different matter when they are associated with mental illness, and they should not be ignored.

Mental health and Mood swings

When associated with a psychiatric condition, mood swings can be overwhelming. The two most common types of mood swings are mood swings (such as irritability) and tantrums.

“These changes can be devastating for both the individual and those close to them,” said Dr. Levitt.

Mood swings can be triggered by a variety of situations, and they reflect real changes in the emotional state of the person. Angry outbursts are the sudden expression of negative emotions and typically occur in response to a trigger.

In the context of mental illness, the three most common types of mood swings are:

  • the Depression
  • bipolar disorder
  • Premenstrual syndrome (PMS) or premenstrual dysphoric disorder (PMDD)


Mood Swings are More than the “blues”

When a person suffers from depression, irritability is often the only mood change that occurs, but its impact can be terrible, said Dr. Levitt.

Very often, the irritability of the depressed person is directed against his relatives. The problem is that we are all irritable sometimes, so it is difficult for the object of the bad behavior to step back and be objective. We want to say, “Stop chipping. We are all irritable sometimes and we live with it. ”

However, for the depressed person, irritability is like an engine running at full speed and difficult to stop, insisted Dr. Levitt.

” It is sad. Irritability is terribly neglected as a symptom of depression. ”


Two-thirds of people with depression experience tantrums, but it’s only been around for 10 years that this phenomenon has been explored in the scientific literature. Still, anger typically occurs in people with the worst form of depression, Dr. Levitt said.

It is a symptom that can exacerbate depression by causing the alienation of loved ones and family conflict, as well as a potentially increased risk of suicidal thoughts, partly due to alienation.

The treatment is based on cognitive-behavioral therapy (we make the connection between thoughts and feelings) and interpersonal psychotherapy (we learn to manage relationships).

Medications are effective in treating depression and its symptoms, but they can also be a source of irritability. These effects need to be closely monitored by a doctor, and it is important for the patient to be aware of his mood changes, said Dr. Levitt.


Bipolar disorder

Bipolar disorder is characterized by intense mood swings between mania and depression. Unlike the portrait presented in the popular press and in the movies – where mania is depicted as a state of enhanced happiness – this is not the case. She is often very difficult to bear and is accompanied by intense irritability, said Dr. Levitt.

The treatment of bipolar disorder can be very complex because the symptoms resemble those of other physical illnesses. It is therefore important to rule out all possible causes before making a diagnosis of bipolar disorder.

The treatment is most often based on drugs, including psycho-regulators, and/or psychotherapy.




Angry outbursts are the mood changes most frequently associated with PMS and TDPM and are associated with a feeling of loss of control. The SPM would affect about 40 percent of women of childbearing age, while the TDPM would be present in 3 to 5 percent of women who still have menses. Unlike PMS, the symptoms of PDDT are very severe and may completely disrupt the lives of affected women.

To treat PDT, one can use psychological and nutritional therapies, as well as lifestyle changes and medications.



To get out of Mood Swings

It is important to determine the pattern of mood swings by identifying their frequency, duration, and severity of episodes.

According to Dr. Levitt, it is also important to determine the fragility and variability of mood swings and then talk about it with his family doctor or psychiatrist. Irritability and tantrums are serious symptoms of a mood disorder that often go unnoticed, but it is possible to treat them.


Leave a comment
Stay up to date
Register now to get updates on promotions and coupons.

Shopping cart