Our moods are prone to fluctuate from feeling quite depressed to particularly elated, what some refer to as ‘lows and highs’. For some, these fluctuations can feel more marked and that the extremes in their mood can sometimes feel out of control.
Our mood can profoundly affect how we feel about ourselves and has consequences for how we act. At one extreme, for example, feeling low can trigger feelings of worthlessness and isolation and that as such it can be a battle to simply get out of bed or leave the house. At the other extreme, sometimes when we feel euphoric we can act compulsively and make decisions and commitments – spending, for example – that we later regret. We can also overestimate our abilities beyond what we that we would normally consider to be within our capacities.
Many people struggling to manage these marked fluctuations in mood seek help from mental health services. Fluctuations in mood of this nature are often grouped together under the term ‘bipolar disorder’, or ‘bipolar’. ‘Bipolar’ was formerly known as ‘manic depression’ and many people regard it to be a mental illness, however there is some contention over this understanding. For example, there is increasingly evidence to suggest that it may be more helpful to understand these experiences as being on a continuum. In other words, we are all subject to variations in our mood some more so than others.
Sometimes the peaks of these moods can be beneficial. When elated, individuals often report being more creative and productive. However, sometimes these peaks – both highs and lows – can feel out of control and may cause a significant degree of distress. If these kinds of experiences are of concern to you or someone you may know then the input of a professional may be of benefit.
At Psychology Sussex we can work collaboratively with you to manage fluctuation or extremes in mood that may be causing you distress or impacting on your ability to engage in everyday activities and foster relationships with others.
If these kinds of experiences sound familiar to you and you are looking for help then do not hesitate to contact now to speak to one of our team about how it is Psychology Sussex may be able to help you.