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What Are The Signs of a Mentally Unstable Person?
If your moods are all over the place, you may be asking yourself, “Why am I so emotionally unstable?” Learn what factors may be causing mood swings.
Emotional instability can impact every single aspect of a person’s life. It features abrupt or extreme mood swings—almost like being on a never-ending roller coaster ride. Strong emotions might include heightened states of anger, sadness, joy, or irritability that are out of proportion to a situation.
If you or someone you care about is struggling with unstable moods, it could be due to a mental health disorder. These include borderline personality disorder, bipolar disorder, anxiety, trauma, or depression. Read on to learn more about these extreme mood states.
8 Signs of Emotional Instability
When someone struggles with explosive emotions it can affect their career, relationships, and mental and physical health. It can make them feel out of control and even impact their self-esteem and impair daily functioning.
Here are 8 outcomes that are linked to having difficulty in controlling emotions:
- Trouble keeping a job. Being mentally unstable can wreak havoc at work. The person may have trouble getting along with coworkers. They may quit their job on an impulse, or lose their job due to causing excess drama at work.
- Impulsive behavior. Along with extreme emotions can cause extreme impulsivity. Someone who struggles with mood swings or intense emotions may engage in reckless behaviors. These might include substance abuse, gambling, spending sprees, or unsafe sex.
- Angry outbursts. One of the more troubling aspects of unstable mood states is the expression of anger. The person may fly off the handle over small issues. They may scream and yell, or even lash out for the smallest things.
- Not able to cope with stress. When someone who suffers from mood disorders is stressed the symptoms tend to worsen. This is due to not having adequate coping skills to manage stressful events.
- Sensitive to criticism. A person who is emotionally unstable will be highly sensitive to being judged or criticized. When someone does criticize them they may burst into tears or lash out in anger.
- Extreme reactions. One of the hallmark features of a mood disorder are extreme reactions to situations that are out of proportion. The person tends to overreact to things, shouting and casting blame.
- Trouble maintaining relationships. A classic sign of mental instability is being unable to form or maintain solid connections with people. They often stir up drama within relationships, causing people to flee from them.
- Avoids obligations. When someone is emotionally unstable they may avoid responsibilities. They may find excuses to not pay their bills on time, not show up to work, or miss appointments.
What Causes Someone to Be Emotionally Unstable?
When asking yourself, “Why am I so emotionally unstable,” it is important not to rule out a mental health disorder. Some of the mental health conditions that can result in extreme emotions include:
Borderline Personality Disorder
At the center of BPD is an inability to regulate emotions. This means their moods can shift from one extreme to the other in an instant. An event might trigger impulsive behaviors that are harmful, such as self-harming or substance abuse.
A common feature of BPD is a low self-image along with an intense fear of being abandoned by loved ones. They feel that they are unworthy of love and will therefore be abandoned. This can then drive extreme attempts to avoid the imagined abandonment. This results in the other person wanting to put distance between them, so abandonment becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy.
Bipolar disorder is a complex mental illness. There are four different types of bipolar disorder, each having unique features. The prevailing feature involves intense mood swings. This means the person will shift from a manic mood state to a depressive mood state, often without warning. Also, changes in sleep patterns, eating habits, and behaviors go along with mood swings.
The intense mood swings between mania and depression can be very disruptive in daily life. Sometimes, though, there may be long periods of calm between the mood shifts. People with bipolar often self-medicate the symptoms with alcohol or drugs.
When someone suffers from any form of anxiety they live in a heightened state of fear. This sense of fear over their safety can result in extreme mood states. It can cause irritability, so anger erupts when the person feels anxious. There are 6 types of anxiety disorders, and each has its own unique features.
If someone has been through a traumatic event they can be left in a state of hyper-arousal. This means that they are on pins and needles and tend to overreact to things that trigger thoughts of the trauma.
Someone who has depression may be in a state of deep sadness for an extended time period. Depression can also cause sleep problems, and that can lead to irritability and even angry outbursts.
Keep in mind that extreme feelings or moods may also be a symptom of a health issue. These might include a hormone imbalance, or even be a side effect from a drug being taken to treat something. For instance, steroids can cause mood swings like mania and depression.
If you seem to be asking yourself “Why am I so emotionally unstable” way too often, it might be time to see a doctor. If there is no medical reason for the mood swings, a mental health expert may provide answers. Reach out for help today and begin the journey back to mental wellness.
The Treatment Specialist Online Resource for Mental Health Conditions
The Treatment Specialist is an online resource for informative articles on mental health conditions and treatment options for adults, teens, and families. If you or a loved one is struggling with extreme mood states or overly intense feelings, reach out to us. Call the Treatment Specialist today at (866) 644-7911.