Mood swings don’t just happen to those who suffer from mental illness. Sometimes they come from something totally unexpected.

Yes, I did suffer from mood swings throughout my life, and yes, it did mostly come from my mental disorders. But, let’s not blame everything on the faulty wiring in our brains. Well, at least let’s not blame it all on bipolar disorder or schizophrenia, okay. Basically, sudden changes in your mood can come from many triggers and situations.

Non-obvious culprits

While mood swings are irritating and get in the way of our daily routine, they can also be good indicators of something deeper. Yes, a mood swing doesn’t mean you’re “crazy”. Sometimes it means you should be paying more attention to your body and mind. Let’s examine a few out-of-the-ordinary causes of mood swings.

1. Poor diet

Guess what! Eating too many unhealthy foods can cause your moods to swing back and forth faster than the swingset on the playground. I kid you not. If you’re not getting enough sugar in your body, you can certainly have mood swings, as with any foods that irritate your gut.

Here’s another unexpected fact: the lack of needed calories can trigger sudden changes in your mood as well, especially a lack of carbohydrates. Now, you can also halt them with certain food as well. The Omega fats in fish are known to decrease mood swings.

2. Sleep deprivation

Insomnia not only makes us feel bad and lack energy, but it can also make us feel like we are losing our minds. Since sleep is so important for healing and restoration, lack of sleep denies us both of these benefits. Our memory is also affected by the loss of sleep, and when we cannot remember something, it can make us extremely moody.

Just the simple fact that sleep deprivation causes fatigue is enough to help us understand the link between loss of sleep and mood swings, don’t you think?

3. Overactive thyroid

For many reasons, the glands T3 and T4, regulated by the thyroid gland can get out of control. These glands are responsible for contro metabolism.

When the T3 and T4 glands start to over-operate, the metabolism increases and disrupts other processes in the body. When this happens, weight loss can occur along with severe mood swings. Getting your thyroid under control will alleviate them.


Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder is another cause of mood swings. Children and adults with this disorder experience heightened moods and emotions, and this alone can cause moods to changes dramatically in a short period of time.

Small problems turn into huge catastrophes for the individual suffering from mood swings. No, it’s not just spilled milk, it’s a mess, a waste of money, and just an overall disaster. This is how the mood swing operates when emotions are raw and deep with those who have ADHD.

5. Substance abuse

There are many negative aspects of drug abuse, and one of them is mood swings. With substance abuse, moods can change at the drop of a hat. One moment, you can be euphoric and lost in the high, and the next moment, you can be furious…maybe you collapse into tears.

Either way, drugs, and alcohol have the ability to change the chemicals in the body so rapidly that you never see it coming until it’s done. This is one reason why substance abuse is so dangerous.

6. The curse of estrogen

Let’s face it, if you’re carrying around a whole other human being, you will act a little strange from time to time. Aside from postpartum depression, mood swings during pregnancy are mostly due to hormone changes.

Honestly, the prankster responsible for these changes in your mood is estrogen. It’s the same culprit to blame for premenstrual syndrome. Its absence is to blame for mood swings during menopause. It seems women are at the mercy of this powerful hormone.

Regulating mood swings

Oh, how we are often held captive by our moods and emotions. It seems almost impossible at times to keep a level head, doesn’t it? While mood swings happen to everyone at some time in their lives, it’s possible to reduce their occurrence and even treat them effectively.

Finding a place to be alone for a while is one way to take control during a mood swing. You can focus on breathing and letting your anger subside. Ask yourself if what you’re getting upset about is really that serious.

As for mental illness, taking care of your mental health, taking all prescribed medications, and keeping your routine visits to the therapist are all important for regulating mood. It’s not embarrassing to deal with a mental disorder, nor is it shameful to deal with any physical culprits either. We all have problems that we deal with on a daily basis. You’re not alone.

Please be aware of these non-obvious causes of mood swings, and alert your doctor at any sign of trouble. The sooner you discover the root cause of your mood changes, the quicker you can find a treatment that works for you. I hope this has helped you learn more about yourself and your health. I wish you well.



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