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Is it normal to have major swings in confidence throughout the day?

  1. May 8, 2013 #1
    I go through major swings of confidence throughout the day. If I get a compliment from someone or some other kind of validation, I'll feel on top of the world, and then some really small disappointment can sink that confidence into almost depression and a feeling of worthlessness.

    For example, today I submitted an application for a job that had an "optional challenge problem" I ended up solved this morning. I felt amazing and optimistic. Then, when I got out of the shower, looked in the mirror and was reminded about my receding and thinning hairline, I got into a depressive phase that I'm still in. I'm guessing that'll soon change in a split-second at some time later today.
  2. jcsd
  3. May 8, 2013 #2
    Does your question depend on what you mean by "normal"; and does it matter, really?
  4. May 9, 2013 #3


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    Of course it matters if it is causing you upset and interfering with your life. Jamin2112 it's not possible to tell with such little information (and obviously we can't diagnose) but if you have been suffering from radical mood swings for a long time it's something worth speaking to a doctor about. Particularly if the down moments are truly depressive (I.e. characterised by despair, no confidence, lack of energy etc) rather than simply unhappy.
  5. May 9, 2013 #4
    I would speak to a doctor if it's something that concerns you. I know I get wild swings by listening to different music. I can be a little down, but if I hop in my car and put on a hot dance track I start feeling good and mentally start "fist pumping".
  6. May 9, 2013 #5


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    I agree with Ryan and Greg, it's best to check with a medical professional.

    In my own experience: in the times in my life when I'm feeling 'fragile' due to stress, I will experience what you describe. But when I'm coping well with life, my confidence is more robust.

    So for me, the root issue is not the swings, it's how I'm coping with stress.
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