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Not just women, men too get moody

health-and-fitness Updated: Aug 11, 2009 11:30 IST

IANS
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For ages, women have always been accused of having mood swings, but with increasing stress levels, men too are displaying erratic behaviour and admit as much.

"I am very moody. I have been like this always. There are days when I feel low and I don't talk to any of my friends, but there are days when you will see me chatting and gossiping with my friends," admits 21-year-old Ajitesh Raina, who is doing his masters in advertising.

"With so much competition around, sometimes I feel it takes a toll on my personal life. There are days when I am unable to deal with never-ending presentations and deadlines. I feel stressed out and that's when I get these mood pangs," Raina added.

Leading psychiatrist Sanjay Chugh said: "Yes, it is true that men have mood swings. It may not be as predictable as the Premenstrual Syndrome (PMS)- related mood swings in women. But men too have their share of mood changes."

According to Samir Parikh, consultant psychiatrist at Max Healthcare in New Delhi, everyone experiences mood swings regardless of the gender. "All of us tend to have ups and downs during our lifetime and also during the course of any particular day. These ups and downs and individual perceptions of success or failure, satisfaction and dissatisfaction can cause us to experience frequent changes in our mood states regardless of the gender we belong to," Parikh said.

Feeling extremely low or having an unnaturally excessive sense of euphoria are symptoms which can be described as mood disorders or more specifically depression and bipolar disorder.

Mood swings happen due to chemical imbalances in the brain or changes in life circumstances and psychological factors. Also, some personality types are more prone to having mood swings than others.

Friends of 29-year-old Abhinav Sharma, a business executive here, often wonder why he is so difficult to understand. "I know him for more than a decade now. But he is still a puzzle for me. There are days when he will talk a lot but then suddenly he will start avoiding us (friends) for no reason. Though we have accepted him the way he is, it does get difficult sometimes," explains Aamit, Sharma's friend.

"It's not just us but his mother too faces similar problems while dealing with him," he added.

Explaining this, Parikh says an individual can respond to a stressful situation in a variety of ways and this could be his way of dealing with stress.

While it is often said that women indulge in shopping, bingeing or sleeping when they experience mood swings, the same doesn't hold true for men. "Men may get into things like drinking (alcohol), increased smoking, increased irritability, display of aggression (verbal/physical), rash driving or withdrawing from everyone, becoming quiet, keeping to themselves and reduced libido," maintained Chugh.

To overcome these mood swings, Parikh advises that people maintain a balance in life. "It is essential to try and maintain a balance in one's life. Situations happen that one may not be too happy about, but it becomes absolutely essential in such situations to be able to detach oneself and take an objective view of the situation," explains Parikh.

"At the same time, sometimes it is a good idea to discuss the situation and get someone else's opinion or to simply vent what one is experiencing," he added.

Adding to this, Chugh said, if the condition becomes worse then one should consult a psychiatrist. "The mood swings need to be dealt with depending upon the reasons that have caused them. If there is a lot of distress due to them, it's a good idea to consult a psychiatrist about it," Chugh said.

"If there is a chemical imbalance, one might need to take medicines. Psychotherapy or counselling is also of great help," he added.