Skip nav to main content.
Home Dr. Megan’s Blog Education 3+ Ways to Cope with Prednisone Mood Swings

3+ Ways to Cope with Prednisone Mood Swings

3+ Ways to Cope with Prednisone Mood Swings

I got an email today from somebody wondering, “Am I going crazy?” He asked, “Is it me? or what could this be?” Prednisone Mood Swings is one of the common side effects caused by prednisone. I want to read you this email he sent me because it could be you. You never know when you might feel this way. A lot of people are completely baffled, surprised, and blown away by how prednisone makes them feel.

Can prednisone affect your mood?

  • Yes! A lot of patients confirmed that taking prednisone changes their mood and makes them irritable. Prednisone can cause disabling mood swings and emotional changes. Read this email below to find out one Prednisone Warrior’s experience.

I want you to be prepared knowing whether or not it’s you or if it’s the drug. So, here’s the email I received.

Why does prednisone make me angry?

Dear Dr. Megan,

Just a note of thanks. When I was put on prednisone in February, my doctor only told me I would possibly experience weight gain and have to pee a lot. I was on it for severe colitis.

In the past month, I have become extremely anxious with paranoia and insomnia. I’ve gotten upset and angry and completely irrational with other people. Later when I talk to them and we talk it out, I realize how irrational I was and that I was making up backstories or other thoughts that simply were not true.

It has been so painful and frustrating. I can’t trust my feelings or my thoughts.

None of this was ever shared with me by my doctor. It was only talking to my mom who told me when she was on it she couldn’t sleep, felt restless and her anxiety went through the roof. Until she said that, I had no idea.

I’m working through it now. Stopped taking it at the end of April and hoping it will get better.

Thank you. I appreciate all that you shared and explained in your video on the side effects. Was reassuring for me because I could literally check boxes as you were explaining them.

I’m already off to a high anxiety Monday morning. Hoping my mood will swing before I breakdown and cry, get angry and irrational or start laughing. Joy. All emotions I’d rather not feel or share with others.

Appreciate it.

Regards,

[Anonymous Prednisone Warrior]

This shows how prednisone made him feel taking high doses. Then he found my article about prednisone causing mood changes, psychiatric side effects. A previously normal person who’s prescribed prednisone can suddenly feel like they need to be checked into the psych ward.

I know I personally had a lot of those same issues–like I had anxiety. And I never have anxiety! I got upset. I got angry; completely irrational. Prednisone changes moods and it makes us feel like we’re not ourselves. Prednisone is a miracle drug but miserable!

Prednisone Mood Swings

He referred to a helpful video and article for you to check out. It details every single prednisone mood swing side effect, and when each is most likely.

For example, certain side effects are worse at high doses. Anxiety is worse at higher doses and depression is worse at lower doses of prednisone.

Am I Crazy? The Psychiatric Side Effects of Prednisone

Gender Differences in Prednisone Side Effects

Some things are worse in men and some things are worse in women who take prednisone. You can check out these videos to find out more.

Can Prednisone Cause Memory Problems?

He replied to me asking permission to share his story and said, “As an aside, my friend watched the video this morning and said she saw it all too. Specifically, ‘have also seen the rapid speech, jumping from topic to topic and short term memory stuff… it’s all connected.'”

Prednisone can make you feel like you have to talk really, really, really fast to get it all out.

That’s what his friend said that she could see the side effects happening in him.

Prednisone Affects Relationships

That’s one of the hardest things to me: that prednisone just doesn’t just affect one person. It’s not just, “oh well, I’m taking prednisone. So I might suffer but no one else will notice or care.”

Instead, it’s affecting this Prednisone Warrior’s family, his co-workers, and all the important people in his life. That’s really rough!

When you have to take prednisone, this poisonous drug, is so toxic! It causes so many side effects–more than any other. You’re taking it because you absolutely need it.

Is Short-Term Prednisone That Bad?

I talked to someone today who says, “I feel like I have no other choice.” That’s how it was for me, too.

This person I talked to this morning said, “I have this terrible rash and bites and this infestation.” Her doctor said the only thing she can do is take prednisone. She’s wondering, “Is it gonna be that bad if I take prednisone for just three days?”

I said, “I don’t know.”

Prednisone Moodswings

I’ve heard from people who have said “I just wish I’d never taken a single dose of prednisone!” because of how terrible the anxiety made them feel.

Prednisone for Long-Haul COVID: Side Effects?

I’ve had people who took prednisone for COVID infections like post-COVID long-hauler syndrome and not being able to breathe. Then the prednisone is the only thing they could take.

But they said that the COVID infection and not being able to breathe–they would take that any day over the psychiatric side effects of prednisone.

Can you believe that? That’s how bad this anxiety, this pressured speech, this insomnia from Prednisone are! They’d rather have trouble breathing than all of that!

Being up all night all by yourself! No one else is awake in your family, on your side of the world and being all alone?

It’s so isolating being on prednisone and having these mood swings side effects because you’re the only one feeling it. It’s alienating you from family members who don’t understand and don’t know what’s going on.

I also have a video all about “What I Wish My Family Knew About Prednisone.” Check that video out because it helps you to say to your family members, “Okay. I know I’m not acting like me. I know this is hard for you to deal with. I’m sorry. But I want you to understand that I’m not the only one who’s felt this way.” Watch this video and see the actual words from other Prednisone warriors and what they said about what they wish their family members understood.

Some things they wished their family members understood about prednisone includes:

  • It causes prednisone mood swings.
  • It changes your appetite so you gain weight and you don’t look like yourself.
  • You don’t act like yourself.
  • You get this round face called moon face.

We just really need our family members to understand, our close friends, our co-workers, that this drug is so vital for our health to survive.

But Prednisone Helped Me…

Personally, I might not be here if it weren’t for prednisone. I might be dead because I was bleeding to death of a potential autoimmune condition that made me so my platelets were zero almost. I almost had no ability to clot and prednisone made it so I could live and I can clot.

Thankfully, I’m in remission now and so there’s no problems with that.

Prednisone and other steroids (not just prednisone, but also methylprednisolone, dexamethasone, and hydrocortisone) can all cause these terrible mood changes, these psychiatric side effects.

1. It’s Not YOU!

If that’s you, I want you to know like he did, the first thing that is: it’s not you, it’s the drug!

Prednisone Mood swings

It’s not you, it’s the drug! It’s that little pill and it’s a side effect. You are not going crazy! You are just taking a pill.

It’s that little pill and it’s a side effect. You are not going crazy! You are just taking a pill.

Most of the time these side effects (like anxiety and mood changes) go away if you stop taking the prednisone.

He’s still dealing with it. He stopped in April and today it’s May 10th. He’s still dealing with it. So usually the mood change side effects go away. But it can take some time.

How Long Will Prednisone Mood Change Side Effects Last?

Your next question is how long? I can’t tell you that. It’s individualized. Every person is different. But I can reassure you that it does go away 99% of the time. To summarize, the first thing I want you to understand is it’s not you, it’s the drug.

2. There IS Help for Prednisone Mood Side Effects

The second thing is there are ways to help. The first thing you need to do if you are suffering this, after talking to your family and saying “hey it’s not me it’s the drug…”

… is let your doctor know! Often they’re not necessarily looking for these side effects. This guy said he wished his doctor told him. His doctor said, “I’d possibly experience weight gain and pee a lot.” The doctor didn’t mention insomnia or prednisone mood swings.

So your doctor might not even be looking for this. But your doctor needs to know. Because the presence of these side effects changes the benefit to risk calculation.

Outweighing the Benefit and the Risk

If you’re taking prednisone for a condition that isn’t life-threatening but it’s kind of nice to have the prednisone, then maybe the benefits don’t necessarily outweigh the risks anymore.

For you, if you’re having severe mental illness caused by prednisone, you need to tell your doctor if you’re suffering like this. No matter what you need to tell your doctor whatever side effect it is. But if it’s a mental illness type of side effect, your doctor needs to know because some of them are life-threatening.

benefits vs risk while on prednisone

 

Some of the mental side effects from prednisone have prescription drug treatments. Some of them have other treatments that can help you. But if your doctor doesn’t know they can’t prescribe it for you.

There are ways to cope but you have to tell your doctor. You need to be in constant communication throughout your prednisone journey with your doctor.

Let your doctor know…

  • “Hey, I’m not sleeping tonight at all what can I do?” or
  • “I feel uncontrollable rage like I might get it in a car accident because I’m so furious when I’m on my commute!” or
  • “I might have some serious familial issues if I don’t get help.”

Tell your doctor what you’re going through. They can help you because there are some amazing medications out there that really can help.

3. Get the Ultimate Prednisone Checklist

The third thing is I have a checklist that people can download. It’s called the Prednisone Wellness Checklist or the Ultimate Prednisone Checklist of all the things you need to look out for.

Because often things like this (emotional changes from prednisone) people weren’t told about or weren’t told to look for. You don’t even know what else to look for while you’re on prednisone!

Then what you can do about what you’re looking for and so on my checklist. I have all the things to be looking for and then all the things you can do about what you’re looking for and so if you haven’t downloaded that yet.

As the Prednisone Pharmacist, I believe so strongly in it that I just know that that’s the best way I can help you to prevent other prednisone side effect problems. I don’t want you to suffer. I’m here so that you don’t just survive prednisone, but you thrive while on prednisone.

If you have any other recommendations, suggestions or questions about prednisone causing mental illness side effects, mood changes, psychiatric side effects, please comment on the YouTube video.

Coping with Prednisone Mood Swings Summary:

  • Understand that it’s not you, it’s the drug
  • Always seek help from your doctor
  • Get your own Prednisone Checklist

If you haven’t already, get the Prednisone Checklist for people on prednisone to feel better now, just sign up on the form below.

Free Prednisone Checklist

  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.

Related Posts

You are being taken to my store.

dr_Megan_prednisone_pharmacist_logo nutranize-logo

You are being redirected to our trusted and authorized Nutranize product website. The Nutranize website is designed, constructed and endorsed by Dr. Megan Milne, the Prednisone Pharmacist. Please grant us just a few seconds to get you there.

I’m ready, let’s go!