Mood or affective instability is relatively common and can be an indicator of an underlying problem.


Features of mood instability - all of the following:

(1) rapid oscillations

(2) intense affect

(3) difficult to control


Mood swings may occur in many situations, including:

(1) in young women, especially before or during menses

(2) as an adverse drug effect

(3) bipolar disorder

(4) depression

(5) anxiety

(6) post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)

(7) obsessive-complusive disorder

(8) attention deficit hyperactivity disorder

(9) borderline personality disorder


The appearance of or worsening of mood swings may help to identify a patient who may benefit from more aggressive management.


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