Withdraw Symptoms in Substance Abuse

Sudden Mood Changes in Chemical Dependency Related Problems and Withdrawal

By Jennifer McDougall

Those who struggle with constant mood swings often feel as though they cannot control what is happening to them. They may be happy one moment and in absolute despair the next. Extreme mood swings could be a sign of bipolar disorder in which they should seek professional medical attention. Moody people tend to have unresolved issues, stress, discomfort in some area of their life, or a dependency related problem that needs to be treated sooner than later. The absence of addictive substances often times leave a dependent person feeling moody and if this is the case, you’ve come to the right place.

mood swing

ˈmo͞od ˌswiNG/
plural noun: mood swings
  1. an abrupt and apparently unaccountable change of mood. (Defined in Google)

Photo by: Francisco Moreno

As you may already know, it’s often times unpleasant to be around someone who is constantly up and down; you never know what side of them you’re going to get.

For the one who is struggling with never-ending mood swings, it is usually difficult to explain what is going on with them inside their mind and body. You may notice extremes in attitude and behavior. You may also find that this person is down and out more than they are happy and optimistic. They may disengage in conversation or have low energy. When asked why they are unhappy or so moody, you may notice that it is difficult for them to even to open up and tell you what’s going on because they too have little to no idea why they are so sad.

Life is dull when you don’t feel motivated or engaged in work, social gatherings, or even your intimate relationships. Those who have on-going mood swings tend to feel restless yet tired. They want to be heard and understood, yet they have a hard time even telling you what’s the matter. They want to be held yet be left alone. They want to be happy, but they can’t stop crying.

There is one extreme to another. Those on the outside can’t even keep up.

One thing to look at when dealing with someone who has mood swings like this is to be open-minded and ask them questions. Listen to them as they need to feel like they are being heard. Don’t interrupt or go on and on about yourself and how you do this or that; just listen to them. As they speak they will also hear their own words being said and may begin to put the pieces together as to why they feel the way they do and what is causing it.

If the reason is that a person is without an addictive substance and it’s causing them rational irritability, we recommend drug and alcohol addiction treatment as soon as possible before the problem gets worse.

Here are a few signs a person is dependent on addictive substances and it is the reason for these mood swings.

  1. Without the substance, they are rude, uninterested, irritable and fatigued
  2. When asked how often they use the addictive substance they downplay their use
  3. You notice is dramatic difference when the person is on and off of the substance
  4. Their overall behavior and mood is completely different
  5. They complain about not being able to get anything done or do much without the addictive substance
  6.  All they choose to do is use drugs and alcohol rather than going outside or doing something that involves movement and exploration
  7. Little to no enthusiasm without the addictive substances

We don’t want you or your loved one to continue feeling this way. To improve your mood there are several things you can do so you or your loved one can enjoy a more stable life and not let these moody moments steer you off to such extremes.

  1. Get on a regular workout regiment that will have you moving more frequently

  2. Practice deep breathing exercises that will settle your level of stress and refocus your mental energy so you can think clearly and be more present without anxiety

  3. Write down what is bothering you

  4. Avoid consuming drugs, alcohol, and caffeine

  5. Stop comparing your life or situation to anyone else’s. Self-awareness is your best friend and you have a lot going for you if you stop and look at the beauty that around you. No one is you and that my friend is your power!

  6. Make a serious effort to change whatever it is that has you feeling down

  7. Take natural supplements such as  5-HTP, L-Theanine, St. John’s Wort, or Passion Flower

  8. Begin doing Yoga– either take a class or practice it at home on your own time

  9. Rest between activities. Don’t be afraid to treat yourself to a nap here and there.

  10. Be sure you are eating the right nutrients and fueling your body with plenty of water every day. Take the right vitamins as well so you can perform your best during your day-to-day functions.

  11. Take time for yourself to recharge. Make a day or night of it where you just relax and unwind in the comfort of your own home, the gym, or a day spa.

  12. Let go of pain from the past and allow healing to begin in the broken parts of your soul where you have been left wounded. Close your eyes and envision all of those regrets or painful events of the past just drift off into the sky where they vanish right before your eyes. Then 5 seconds before opening your eyes and take 3 deep breaths. Yes, let go!

  13. Talk to a therapist or medical professional regarding your imbalance if none of the above suggestions help resolve your mood swings

Photo by: Eli DeFaria

How to Contact Passages Addiction Treatment Centers:

Call Passages Addiction Treatment Centers today if you or a loved one is battling an addiction to drugs and alcohol. Our admissions department is available 24/7 and can be reached directly by calling our toll-free number at (888) 397-0112. We look forward to speaking with you soon.

Passages, Where Addiction Ends and Life Begins™

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