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Mental Health
Anjali Singh October 26th, 2023 · 11min read

Master Your Mood Swings: Learn the Causes, Red Flags, and Ways to Tame Them

Do you often find yourself on an emotional roller coaster, where at one point you might find yourself being all happy go lucky at one moment and experiencing oh my life phase on the next! If yes, then you may be experiencing frequent mood swings.

The name itself explains what it might feel like- Swinging between your moods or rapidly fluctuating between different emotions! From being happy to angry or from being fearful to sad, it is all about experiencing the ups and downs of emotions.

Also Read: 45 Ways to Cheer Someone Up When Feeling Sad

Let us be honest we all experience these minor changes in our mood daily. In fact, it is a healthy sign that you allow yourself to experience different emotions.

However, mood swings can be a sign of an underlying problem if:

  • The mood swings are severe.
  • The mood swings have started interfering with your daily life functioning.
  • The mood swings are taking place quite frequently.

If any of these red flags is attached to your mood swings then there is a chance that you take it under consideration as mood swings can be both signs of a cause of underlying mental health conditions! So let us start by understanding what causes mood swings.

12+ Causes of Severe Bad Mood Swings For No Reason

If you are thinking why do I have bad mood swings without any reason let me tell you that there are certain causes of mood swings, which means that they are stemming from your lifestyle. Interestingly, certain causes of mood swings in males and different causes for females.

Let us see what can be the underlying cause of mood swings.

1. Low Blood Sugar Level:

Have you ever felt HANGRY? That is feeling angry when you are hungry? It happens to me quite often. The underlying reason behind the same is the fact that your body runs low on blood sugar levels creating havoc in your mood!

That is why it is advised to keep having mini-meals or nibbles in between your meals. It keeps you energized on one end and keeps the rapid mood shifts at bay on the other.

2. Sleep Deprivation:

Sleep is your body’s system to rejuvenate and restart your day after all the things that you go through. It is only when you get to a proper sleep that your body recovers from all the wear and tear of the day. Your thoughts, behavior, and emotions all get impacted by you not getting quality and quantity sleep. That is why mood swings are found to be linked with poor sleep.

3. Stress:

Stressful life situations can really make you go from all happy and sweet to sad and bitter real quick! Stress in itself is a cause behind severe mood swings at one point and a catalyst for other causes in this list on the other.

When one experience’s stress, the hormonal level, sleeping pattern, and eating habits all change, resulting in mood swings.

4. Certain Medications:

Several studies have found a link between severe mood swings and certain medications. Medication often alters the way we think and feel. A common drug that is found to cause severe mood swings is- steroids.

It is especially found to be a big cause of mood swings in males. They can end up making you feel more angry, disturbing your sleep pattern, and change the way you feel your emotions.

5. Hormones:

Your hormones play an important role in how you feel and act. Talking about the feelings aspect when your hormones level goes up and down your mood also goes up and down. You can take for example the time when you step into puberty and there is a surge in your hormonal level and in your mood swings as well.

Similarly, there will be different situations in life when your levels will vary, which ultimately impacts your mood.

6. Pregnancy:

If you have seen the classic sitcom FRIENDS and you remember Phoebe’s pregnancy time, it vividly showed the mood swings that accompany pregnancy. The hormone level is bound to increase to support the baby’s growth, which in turn reflects in the form of severe mood swings.

One can have episodes from being all happy to feeling empty, leaving them questioning, why do they have bad mood swings for no reason! While the reason is pregnancy and hormonal variations accompanying it.

7. Premenstrual Cycle:

One of the major causes of mood swings in females during the premenstrual cycle as it brings premenstrual syndrome to play in an individual’s life. PMSing starts a few days or weeks before the menstrual cycle. It tends to bring hormonal changes which can be evidently seen in the way an individual deal with emotions.

Thus, setting a female on rapid mood shifts.

8. Menopause:

Another cause of severe mood swings among females is menopause! Again this is a cause of mood swings in women which comes in as they age and the menstrual cycle approaches its pause.

Generally, instead of uneven hormones level, a woman’s body runs short on the hormones. This can show up in the form of sleep issues, hot flashes, mood swings, and more.

9. Dementia:

The frustration of not being able to remember things (especially the important ones) can cause frustration in people with dementia. This frustration furthers makes them angry that they can’t express themselves or be social again.

But with not being able to remember the cause of the frustration after a while, they can be all calm like nothing happened. With memory fading away the mood swings also swipe in!

10. Thyroid Issues:

Could I relate anymore to this cause of mood swings? I guess no! Too much or too little thyroid in the body is found to be linked with mood swings.

That is why it is recommended that you are regular with your medication and practice healthy lifestyle habits so that your thyroid levels remain in control, not making you swing between different moods rapidly.

11. Caffeine:

Time and again it has been found that caffeine can cause severe mood swings. Caffeine affects our mood in different ways which have both positive and negative sides attached to it. The reason why caffeine is identified as a cause of mood swings as it stimulates the nervous system, releasing the feel-good hormones making us feel happy and energetic from a sad, upset day. Apart from filling you up with energy it also prevents you from sleeping, adding one more cause to your mood swings.

12. Excessive Sugar:

Have you heard of the song “I am on a sugar rush?” Yes, the sugar rush is real! A high level of sugar intake can truly play with your brain functioning. Few studies also suggest that high fructose levels can also worsen up the symptoms of depression and other mood disorders. Next time, when you are on a sugar rush, do notice how your moods will change rapidly.

13. Dehydration:

Often people ask themselves “can dehydration cause mood swings?” Surprisingly, yes dehydration can cause mood swings. Water is like the fuel that moves your body and mood. When you run on this fuel you might experience different signs of discomfort like headaches, nausea, fatigue, and more.

This in turn disrupts the functioning of those parts of your brain that are responsible for mood regulation. If you look at the physiology behind you will find that water in your body helps maintain your body’s blood flow, which in turn impacts your blood. So keep sipping on the water for your mood in check!

Bonus Tip: Tracking Your Mood Swings

Before we go any further and discuss the ways to deal with severe mood swings here is a bonus tip, you can always track down your mood using mood trackers. This way it will be easy for you to figure out the causes and then work on them accordingly!

Special Section: Mental Health Conditions and Severe Mood Swings

When an individual experiences severe shifts in mood they might be experiencing different mental health conditions. This may include:

1. Bipolar Disorder:

This mental health condition is marked by changes in mood from being extremely happy to extremely sad. However, this change generally occurs a few times a year

2. Cyclothymic Disorder:

An individual will experience ups and downs in his mood here, which will be similar to bipolar-II but the severity of the same will be less.

3. Dysthymia:

The chronic form of depression called persistent depressive disorder can also be a consequence of rapid shifts in mood.

4. Major Depressive Disorder:

Long periods of sadness makes it likely for an individual to experience MDD, this mental health condition is also called clinical depression.

5. Disruptive Mood Dysregulation Disorder:

DMDD is a typical diagnosis in children that are marked with outbursts.

6. Personality Disorders:

Certain personality-related disorders are also linked with rapid mood swings that take place in a relatively short amount of time.


Apart from the mental health conditions discussed above there are few more such conditions that are linked with mood swings. Conditions such as attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) and

The mental health conditions we have just discussed are all manageable with the help of a mental health professional. So if your mood swings are recurrent and severe, connect with one either online or offline, whatever best suits you.

Tips to Tame Mood Swings:

    Experiencing frequent and rapid mood swings or having bad mood swings for no reason can be overwhelming for an individual. That is why we are here to help you find different ways to master your mood swings.

    1. Keep a schedule:

    Have a routine in your life so that you don’t end up surprising your body in a bad way. While creating a routine does focus on eating and sleeping at the right time, these two will fuel you and your emotions.

    2. Get enough sleep:

    Many studies have found that sleep deprivation can result in severe mood swings. Sleep is like the restart button in our lives, when the emotional roller coaster gets an issue, sleep will help you fix it.

    Also Read: Try These Simple Bedtimes Habit For Better Sleep and Mental Well-being

    3. Eat healthily:

    The food you eat has a big impact on how you feel throughout the day. That is why it is recommended that you have a balanced diet that is loaded with important nutrients that you need.

    4. Follow the 4A’s of stress management:

    We all experience stress in our lives which can trigger mood swings in an individual’s life. There are different stress management techniques that you can try. I am sharing my favorite one here with you. Next time when you experience a stressful situation, apply the 4 A’s of stress management.

    You can read more about it here.

    5. Move your body:

    Your body needs the emotional energy within you to flow out rather than being trapped. To make this work you have to exercise regularly and sweat it out.

    6. Talk and express:

    Don’t let your emotions keep rolling within you, find a way to roll them out. That is why it is suggested that you talk about your feelings to your friends, family members, or even a professional. Or you can express them by penning down your thoughts.

    7. Try relaxation techniques: Calm your mind and severe mood swings by trying different relaxation techniques which involve yoga, meditation, mindfulness, and more.

If these techniques of dealing with your causes of mood swings work for you make them a part of your life. However, if you don’t seem to get much relief here then we suggest you connect with a doctor and take professional therapy.

What do you do to deal with your severe mood swings? Share it with us in the comments section below. If you ask me I like to practice deep breathing. It does cool me down fixing my mood swing!

Thank you for reading!

We hope you feel better soon!

Next Read:

11 Breathing Exercises To Help With Better Sleep

Moving From Shallow to Deep Breathing With Pranayama

Benefits of Deep Breathing On Your Physical and Mental Health

Calming Hand Breathing Technique: Manage Your Anxiety and Breathlessness

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