When you feel intense emotions, they are usually in direct response to an event, or a happy or sad moment. Emotions shape our lives and give them meaning. But what if it seems like you can no longer control how you feel? As some women transition through menopause, they lose control of their emotions and experience inexplicable mood swings. This can be worrisome and frustrating; however, it is a common and natural symptom of menopause.
Since there are no physical signs of a mood swing, some people can be skeptical of them and believe several myths about them. Keep reading to learn three common myths about mood swings.
Mood Swings Do Not Exist
Some people seem to believe that mood swings don't exist, but they are wrong. Mood wings are most often associated with menopause, so not everyone experiences them. As a result, some people may not believe in mood swings. When you experience a mood swing, you often don't know why you're feeling such intense emotions so suddenly. When someone doesn't believe you are legitimately experiencing a mood swing, it can make the episode even more frustrating and make you question yourself. Mood swings are a symptom of several health conditions like bipolar disorder and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) as well.
You're Just Overly Sensitive
To some people, it might seem that since you started going through menopause, you've become aggravated over the smallest things. It may appear to others as if you have simply turned into a more irritable person, or that something else is going on. In reality, your mood swings are caused by hormonal imbalances in your body, which make your emotions rise and fall unexpectedly, and often severely. It's important to understand this, and it can helpful to explain it to others who may be affected by your mood swings.
You Can't Control Your Mood Swings
Although your emotions may be extremely unpredictable, there are some ways you can control them. During a mood swing, take slow, deep breaths to calm down and collect your thoughts. Maintaining a healthy lifestyle by eating nutritious food, exercising regularly, and sleeping for at least seven hours each night, can help you balance your hormone levels and regulate your mood swings. Feelings are internal, and it's up to you to control how they are expressed externally. Try practicing relaxation techniques such as yoga and meditation, and maybe developing a personal mantra to use in times of extreme emotional reaction.
Click on to learn more about mood swings and how to treat them.
- Amin, Zenab, Turhan Canli, and C. Neill Epperson. "Effects of Estrogen-Serotonin Interactions on Mood and Cognition". Behav Cogn Neurosci Rev 2005; 4; 43.
- Dr. Love, Susan, and Karen Lindsey. Dr. Susan Love's Menopause and Hormone Book. New York: Three Rivers Press, 2003.
- Molecular Psychiatry.(n.d)."Estrogen Promotes Gender Difference in Brain's Response to Stress". Retrieved from www.psycheducation.org.
- The Health Center.(n.d)."Adult Mood Swings". Retrieved from www.thehealthcenter.info.