Mood swings refer to rapid changes in mood. The term may refer to minor daily mood changes or to significant mood changes as seen with mood disorders such as major depression or bipolar depression. Mood swings can also occur in women who suffer from premenstrual syndrome or premenstrual dysphoric disorder. The menopausal transition, specifically the time around approaching menopause or perimenopause, is associated with mood swings in some women. Mood swings can be seen with other conditions as well, including schizophrenia, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, dementia, and thyroid conditions.
Kasper, D.L., et al., eds. Harrison's Principles of Internal Medicine, 19th Ed. United States: McGraw-Hill Education, 2015.
Pictures, Images, Illustrations & Quizzes
ADHD in Children: Better Parenting
Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) is a common disorder seen in children. Parents can learn tips and techniques to...
ADHD Symptoms in Children
What is ADHD (Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder)? Learn to recognize ADHD symptoms in children....
ADHD/ADD in Adults: Symptoms & Treatments in Pictures
Most people don't associate adults with the term ADHD (attention deficit hyperactivity disorder) but it is a common disorder in...
Adult ADHD Quiz: Symptoms & Test
What are the symptoms of adult ADHD? Take this quiz to learn what it means for an adult to suffer from ADHD and what can be done...
Adult ADHD: Organization and Time-Management Tips in Pictures
Learn daily living tips for adult ADHD (Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder). If you have ADHD or you just need to get...
Childhood ADHD Quiz: Test, Symptoms & Medication
Find out causes, symptoms, and treatments for Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder, a widespread behavioral condition...
Depression Myths: Overwork, Recklessness and More in Pictures
Explore the myths and facts about depression. See how folk remedies and half-truths still prevent many from getting treatment for...
Depression Quiz: Signs & Symptoms
Many people do not recognize the symptoms and warning signs of depression and depressive disorders in children and adults. With...
Healthy Aging: Sneaky Depression Triggers in Pictures
There are many causes and triggers of depression. From too little vitamin B12 to too much time alone, look at these surprising...
Learn to Spot Depression: Symptoms, Warning Signs, Medication
What is depression? Get information on symptoms, signs, tests, and treatments for many types of depression including major...
Physical Symptoms of Depression in Pictures
Depression can cause physical problems such as insomnia, chest pain, fatigue, headaches, and more. Learn the signs of depression...
Postpartum Depression: Symptoms, Diagnosis and Treatment
Postpartum depression is a treatable medical illness which affects women after giving birth. Learn about the symptoms, diagnosis...
Causes of Mood Swings
Adult ADHD (Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder)
About 2%-6% of adults have ADHD, a common behavioral problem. Symptoms include impulsivity, hyperactivity, and inattention....
Alzheimer's disease is a common cause of dementia. Symptoms and warning signs of Alzheimer's disease include memory loss,...
Anxiety is a feeling of apprehension and fear characterized by symptoms such as trouble concentrating, headaches, sleep problems,...
Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) in Teens
Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) in teens is a disruption of neurocognitive functioning. Genetics contribute to...
Bereavement, Loss, and Grief
Second Source article from Government...
Bipolar disorder (or manic depression) is a mental illness characterized by depression, mania, and severe mood swings. Treatment...
Bipolar Disorder in Children and Teens
Bipolar disorder, or manic-depressive illness, is a disorder that causes unusual and extreme mood changes. Symptoms of bipolar...
Borderline Personality Disorder (BPD)
Borderline personality disorder is a serious mental illness characterized by pervasive instability in moods, interpersonal...
Brain and Spinal Cord Tumors in Adults (Symptoms, Signs, Causes, Treatment Options, Life Expectancy)
Brain and spinal tumor are diseases in which cancer (malignant) cells begin to grow in the tissues of the brain. Tumors that...
Brain Tumor (Symptoms, Signs, Types, Causes, Survival Rates)
A brain tumor can be either non-cancerous (benign) or cancerous (malignant), primary, or secondary. Common symptoms of a primary...
Childhood ADD or ADHD (Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder in Children)
Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) causes the following symptoms in children: excessive activity, problems...
Dementia is defined as a significant loss of intellectual abilities such as memory capacity, severe enough to interfere with...
Depression is an illness that involves the body, mood, and thoughts and affects the way a person eats and sleeps, the way one...
Drug addiction is a chronic disease that causes drug-seeking behavior and drug use despite negative consequences to the user and...
Dysthymia is a less severe form of chronic depression. Symptoms and signs include insomnia, suicidal thoughts, guilt, empty...
Compulsive gambling is a disorder that affects millions in the U.S. Symptoms and signs include a preoccupation with gambling,...
Head Injury (Brain Injury)
In the United States, head injuries are one of the most common causes of death and disability. Head injuries due to bleeding are...
Hereditary Angioedema (HAE)
Hereditary angioedema or HAE is a genetic disease that causes swelling of the skin and tissues beneath it. Symptoms of HAE...
Huntington's disease is the result of degeneration of neurons in areas of the brain. Huntington's disease is an inherited...
Hyperthyroidism is an excess of thyroid hormone resulting from an overactive thyroid gland. Symptoms can include increased...
Hypothyroidism is any state in which thyroid hormone production is below normal. Normally, the rate of thyroid hormone...
PANDAS (Pediatric Autoimmune Neuropsychiatric Disorders Associated With Streptococcal Infections)
PANDAS is in part caused by an autoimmune response to a strep infection. Symptoms mimic those of OCD, ADHD, and include motor and...
Parkinson's Disease (Symptoms, Signs, Causes, Stages, Treatment)
Parkinson's disease is a slowly progressive neurological disease characterized by a fixed inexpressive face, a tremor at rest,...
Perimenopause (Symptoms, Signs, Remedies, and Treatments)
Perimenopause is the time in a woman's life when she is approaching menopause. During this time a woman starts to develop...
Phobias are unrelenting fears of activities (social phobias), situations (agoraphobia), and specific items (arachnophobia). There...
PMS vs. Pregnancy (Differences and Similarities)
Many women have difficulty figuring out if they are pregnant, have PMS, or are about to start their period. The most common signs...
Posttraumatic Stress Disorder
Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), a psychiatric condition, can develop after any catastrophic life event. Symptoms include...
Pregnancy (Week By Week, Trimesters)
Signs and symptoms of pregnancy vary by stage (trimester). The earliest pregnancy symptom is typically a missed period, but...
Premenstrual Dysphoric Disorder (PMDD)
Premenstrual dysphoric disorder (PMDD) is considered a severe form of premenstrual syndrome (PMS). PMDD has also been referred to...
Premenstrual Syndrome (PMS)
Premenstrual syndrome (PMS) is a combination of physical and emotional disturbances that occur after a woman ovulates and ends...
The time when boys and girls begin the process of sexual maturation is called puberty. During this time, both sexes undergo a...
Schizophrenia is a disabling brain disorder that may cause hallucinations and delusions and affect a person's ability to...
Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD)
Seasonal affective disorder is a type of depression that tends to occur as the days grow shorter in the fall and winter. Symptoms...
Stress occurs when forces from the outside world impinge on the individual. Stress is a normal part of life. However,...
Suicide is the process of intentionally ending one's own life. Approximately 1 million people worldwide commit suicide each year,...
Other Causes of Mood Swings
- Cyclothymic Disorder
- Intermittent Explosive Disorder
Examples of Medications for Mood Swings
- bupropion (Wellbutrin, Wellbutrin SR, Wellbutrin XL, Zyban, Aplenzin, Fortivo XL, Zyban)
- citalopram, Celexa
- desvenlafaxine (Pristiq, Khedezla)
- duloxetine, Cymbalta
- flibanserin (Addyi)
- fluoxetine, Prozac, Sarafem, Prozac Weekly
- fluvoxamine (Luvox and Luvox CR have been discontinued)
- Lexapro (escitalopram)
- lithium, Lithobid
- mirtazapine, Remeron, Soltab
- nefazodone, Serzone
- paroxetine, Paxil, Paxil CR, Pexeva
- trazodone, Desyrel (discontinued brand)
- venlafaxine, Effexor XR (Effexor has been discontinued in the US)
- Zoloft (sertraline)
Subscribe to MedicineNet's Depression Newsletter