Explaining Mood Changes

By Kristina Randle, Ph.D., LCSW

so randomly my life has been falling to pieces. It all stared off when i fell down a hill and cut up both my knees. from there on i was having such bad luck, i got dropped on my head, my parents and i always are always fighting, my boyfriend dumped me and wouldnt talk to me for about a week, i caught my friends talking about me behind my back, and my two best friends gang up on me. ive been feeling even lower then ever like my self confidence was already low, its lower then ever now. ive been randomly being in good moods then going into bad moods just randomly. some days i wake up and just wanna cry for no reason. ive been having emotional breakdowns and have been cutting myself. i dont know what to do anymore. life was so perfect and now its all falling appart. whats wrong with me?

A. You’ve likely had a streak of bad luck. Just as you can have a bad streak you can have a streak of good luck. This is how life is. Sometimes things go well and sometimes they don’t. You need to be prepared for both. Cherish the times when things are going well and learn a new set of coping skills to handle life when they aren’t.

Turn this negative into something positive. Think of this as a personal discovery. We have identified that when life becomes challenging you resort to harming yourself. This is likely because you don’t currently possess effective coping skills. This is an important discovery because it highlights an aspect of your life that needs to be strengthened. Identifying this problem area allows you to focus on correcting it for the future.

You described your life as perfect and then completely falling apart when a few negative things happened. Chances are your life was not perfect before. Nor did it completely fall apart because of a few negative events. You might feel that way but it might not be what actually happened. You likely overreacted in this situation, but you can learn to change this. In addition, there are a number of other important coping skills that are important to learn including: managing your reaction to emotions, finding someone you can speak to when you’re feeling emotionally unstable, and finding alternative ways to deal with strong emotions that may include, exercise, breathing and relaxation techniques, and many more.

What’s next? First, have a healthy and positive state of mind. Don’t think of this as a weakness; think of it as an opportunity for self-improvement. Realize that like many people in your situation, you’ve probably never learned how to manage your emotions. Therefore you resorted to the only thing you knew, which was to harm yourself when you felt emotional pain. Second, create an actionable strategy about how to gain the necessary coping skills. This could include reading self-help books, speaking to your parents, joining a support group, finding a mentor, or meeting with a mental health professional. These are not mutually exclusive; you can and should do all of these.

I hope this helps you to understand what may have happened. Also, I hope you are able to utilize this information and begin the process of gaining new and positive coping skills to improve your life. If you need to search for a therapist please follow this link. Take care. Thank you for your question.

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Last reviewed: By John M. Grohol, Psy.D. on 6 Oct 2009

APA Reference
Randle, K. (2009). Explaining Mood Changes. Psych Central. Retrieved on December 22, 2014, from http://psychcentral.com/ask-the-therapist/2009/10/06/explaining-mood-changes/