8 Causes and Treatments of Mood Swings

Get your mojo back!  Learn the 8 top causes of mood swings and 8 ways to treat them.

Sanaz Majd, MD
4-minute read
Episode #8

Nothing irks women more than when we hear someone say “Oh, it must be her time of the month!”  That really seems to diminish and patronize our views, and makes us feel like we are to blame for the debate or argument – right, girls?  As if the problem is really our female hormones, and not that our significant other just forgot to put the toilet seat down (again).  Ok, so maybe that’s not the best example, but you know what I mean.

There are times when we realize that if it wasn’t for our hormones acting up, we may not otherwise handle the situation in the same manner. And sometimes it has nothing to do with our “hormones” at all. So what causes mood swings anyway?

What Causes Mood Swings?

Mood swings can be quite distressing for many women, and some of us experience them more than others.  But our hormones aren’t always to blame.  There are many possible factors that can cause erratic moods. Here are the 8 most common causes of mood swings:

1. Stress and Anxiety
People deal with stress in various ways.  Some handle it better than others.  When we have a lot on our plate – conflict with our spouse, children acting out, financial struggles, difficult co-workers or family members, or whatever else, sometimes it gets to be too much and we can break down.

2. Depression
Not everyone with depression expresses sadness.  Some depressed people become angry or agitated instead.  You may not realize that your mood swings are actually a symptom of depression.

3. Bipolar Disorder
Bipolar disorder is thought to be underestimated in the U.S. because patients often seek help from a doctor when they are depressed, but not when their mood is on the opposite extreme – manic.  When in the manic phase, patients have so much energy that they often lack the need for sleep, overspend their finances, become promiscuous, or do overly ambitious things like paint the entire house in one day.  Some patients can flip flop between the two extremes.

4. Lack of Sleep
Sleep is super important. Those who don’t sleep well often become irritable and find it more difficult to deal with life stressors.

5. Drugs and Alcohol
Alcohol and illicit drugs, such as cocaine and methamphetamines, can bring on a high.  But what goes up must eventually come down.  Not only are drugs bad for our physical health, they do a number on our mental health as well.


Please note that all content here is strictly for informational purposes only. This content does not substitute any medical advice, and does not replace any medical judgment or reasoning by your own personal health provider. Please always seek a licensed physician in your area regarding all health related questions and issues.

About the Author

Sanaz Majd, MD

Dr. Sanaz Majd is a board-certified Family Medicine physician who graduated from Drexel University College of Medicine in Philadelphia. Her special interests are women's health and patient education.