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Mood Lability - A Definition of Mood Lability


Updated May 19, 2014

Written or reviewed by a board-certified physician. See About.com's Medical Review Board.


Mood lability refers to frequent or intense mood changes or shifts. Mood lability is more than the occasional emotional ups-and-down; it is characterized by very strong mood changes that are outside of normal experience (for example, going from feeling completely elated to very depressed).

Individuals with bipolar disorder and borderline personality disorder frequently report mood lability symptoms (although the quality of mood shifts tends to differ in these two disorders).

Also Known As: mood instability, mood swings, emotional lability, emotional instability
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