Considered whimsical or milk soup, some pass laughter to tears, sweetness to anger, without warning. But why do they change mood all the time?Amelie Shoemaker
"It must be confessed, such is human life. Each one has his goblin who always walks him, from sorrows to amusements, "wrote Voltaire in 1772 in his poem John who weeps and laughs . Nothing is more natural than to feel joy at the announcement of good news and pain after failure, death or any other painful event.
"The mood itself is an emotional state that varies from euphoria to sadness and fluctuates according to our environment," says psychiatrist Christian Gay (co-author, with Jean-Alain Génermont, of Vivre with ups and downs , I read, 2004). Some people change their mood more often than others, sometimes even several times a day. Like 34-year-old Isabelle, production assistant: "Sometimes I get off to a good start, with a light heart, then darken or get angry at the slightest uncomfortable remark of a client. , and to smile again a few minutes later. "
When the mood is subject to repeated, but light and brief fluctuations, it is called cyclothymia." This instability is generally characterized by changes in mood. irritability, the acceleration of verbal flow, agitation and excessive pessimism give way to their opposite during the day or week, "says Christian Gay. Cyclothymics have a hard time controlling themselves and often tend to explode at the slightest annoyance. A traffic jam, a delay, a breakdown of the subway or washing machine are enough to provoke their anger.
This skin-deep susceptibility actually reveals an inability to handle events and endure frustration. "Changing adults are children who have only followed the principle of pleasure, to whom we do not has not learned to desire things and to confront the principle of reality ", analyzes the clinical psychologist GillEric Leininger-Molinier.
A Buried Injury
Unpleasant for the entourage, who never knows what to expect, these mood swings are especially disabling for the cyclothymic itself. "As I do not always understand what causes at home, euphoria or depression, I feel a little lost, when my son disobeys me or when my husband upsets me, I blame myself for not being able to control my emotions, "says Brigitte, 48, laboratory assistant. Feeling guilty is of no use, because the source of the change in mood is sometimes the tree that hides the forest.For GillEric Leininger-Molinier, this behavior can hide an injury due to trauma, a suffering that the individual has deeply buried, and which reflects without his knowledge, at the turn of the day.