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Roller-coasters can be scary.
What? Scary? Roller-coasters can be fun. I know that to be absolutely true! When my wife and I were in our courtship years, we made several visits to a wonderful place called Crystal Beach, an amusement park in Ontario, Canada. It was a short drive from the area where we both lived near Buffalo, NY. My favorite ride was the Comet Coaster, which by today’s standards of roller-coasters was mild, yet a lot of fun. I chose to ride it again, but my wife decided to take a seat on a bench, recovering from what she considered to be a scary ride.
Now that I’ve got your attention, what kind of roller-coaster am I talking about? Well this particular coaster may, more than likely, cost more than a ride or two at an amusement park. In fact, it will probably not be amusing at all, especially if it keeps going up and down with often no let-up, unless it can be addressed and resolved.
It is called the roller-coaster of mood swings, and it has the potential of wreaking havoc if you do not find a safe way to get off the coaster. It has the potential to be what seems like a never-ending ride. This can be very frightening because of the effects it can have on your life.
Have you ever experienced the kind of mood swings that caused you to do things or say things that may have hurt those around you or did harm to your good reputation?
As a result, you may have asked yourself: “What can I do to work myself out of my depression or irritation?” But you came up with no real answer.
You may even have prayed and asked God to change you, and because it has not yet changed, you wonder where God is when you desperately need him. You ask, “why can’t I find fulfillment and real, longlasting peace and joy in my life?”
When this occurs, there is a likelihood that a measure of anxiety or fear may emerge to complicate what is already being experienced as disturbing enough.
These highs and lows can be disturbing to you, of course, but it can place an unusual strain on those close to you, as well. Those around you hear what you are saying, but the “body language,” including how you are speaking, can cause communication to be less than is intended, so conversation, per se, may come to a halt.
You may have even felt that God seems distant, maybe even disinterested, especially if the present mood is depression. It may or may not help to let you know that reportedly, those who experience some type of mood disorder number in the millions.
After listening to some nay-sayers try to convince me that Premenstrual Syndrome (PMS) is more emotional than physical, I was privileged to make friends with a medical doctor specializing in gynecology who gave me very beneficial information that there is a very high number of females who experience mood swings which are, in fact, physically induced because of the often severe hormone changes taking place in the body.
Well-meaning, but ill-informed people try to help by offering sage advice, similar to “just snap out of it.” Some even believe that the experienced mood suggests that you are in the midst of a time of sinfulness and need to get your heart right with God.
Because the impact of moods have the capacity to be destructive to self or others, it is important for you to always be on guard. Maybe it would be a good place to put this in: Will Rogers is attributed with saying, “Never miss a good opportunity to shut up.” While I didn’t write that, I have a quote in my office that says, “when you’re wrong admit it, when you’re right, shut up.”
It’s often hard to do, but worth the try.
Sufferers often begin to doubt their legitimate feelings by also suppressing them, so someone close to them also dismisses the sufferers legitimate feelings.
It also happens that the mood of depression leads to angry outbursts. It can also lead to not wanting to talk to anyone, even the spouse who wonders what he or she did to cause these actions. The answer: probably nothing.
Finally, one way that may help to curtail the mood swings you are presently experiencing, is to take time for fun.
I haven’t found fun listed in the “sin dictionary” as being unpardonable. Taking an enjoyable break from the usual, maybe even more mundane things of life, can be of great help.
Also, do not think that the use of prescriptive medications to help lift your mood is a sign of weakness. In fact, it may be more a sign of strength.
Because mood swings, for the most part, are very treatable, don’t wait until it disrupts your life or the life of any other person you care about. Get help before you lose out in meaningful relationships. May God bless you as you work toward keeping an adequate measure of mental health.