It can be frustrating and embarrassing when you can’t control your emotions. It can make it hard to participate in social situations.
What you might see:
- Laughing one minute, and feeling sad or crying the next
- An emotional response that does not “fit” the situation (i.e., crying when others are laughing, laughing when receiving news about the death of a loved one)
- Frequent, unexpected shows of emotion
How you can help:
- Reassure your family member that you understand that his or her display of emotion may not match the situation. Be nonjudgmental.
- Help family and friends understand sudden shifts in your family member’s mood.
- Distract your family member. Use redirection (i.e., try to change the topic or focus of interest to something else).
- If the mood swings are interfering with your family member’s everyday life, ask him/her to talk with the doctor. Medications may be helpful in managing mood swings.