Are rapid mood changes normal?

Patient

Q: Hi. I am just wondering if you could maybe give me a slight diagnosis on my major mood swings. I usually have them about every other day or so. I can go from being super happy, to being extremely mad, to being upset and crying. These episodes can range in time from being on ten mintues long or being an hour long. I am just wondering if this is just normal mood swings or if there is something to be concerned about? Thanks

Doctor

A:   There are many reasons and causes of mood swings. For example
1) Depression and Mania
2) Hormonal imbalance  leading to PMS ie just before menstruation typically in young females
3) Thyroid disorders
4) Substance abuse/ dependance
While sometimes mood swings may be normal depending on the temperament of the individual, if they have been going on for a long time in the absence of a stressor either at home or school or withing peers, this may be due to an organic cause like thyroid dysfunction. Also mania and depression together ie Bipolar disorder can lead to similar symptoms. It is difficult to give a precise diagnosis with the information that you have given me , but I advice you to see your Family physician for a more indepth history and physical examination and further testing if needed.

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