Mood swings is one of the most common menopause symptoms, and without doubt, is one of the most frustrating for women. Anywhere from half to three-quarters of all women between the ages of 45 to 55 admit to struggling to control their mood from time to time.
However, does menopause always trigger mood swings or can it be something else? The truth is that there are multiple conditions and factors that produce mood swings as a symptom. Although not all mood swings are related to menopause, this natural transition can cause and exacerbate them.
What You Need to Know
Any abrupt fluctuation in a person's mood is defined as a mood swing and, during this time, emotions will deviate from what is normal. At the beginning of menopause, much like pregnancy, mood swings are more prevalent because of the strong hormonal imbalance. Symptoms vary for every woman, but the most common include fluctuating emotions, sadness, lack of motivation, loss of patience, anxiety, stress, aggression, and irritability.
What Causes Mood Swings?
As with many symptoms, mood swings can be caused by a health condition or by environmental triggers, such as stress or medications. The most common causes are:
PMS and menopause are the most common reasons for mood swings. The hormonal change and decrease in estrogen affect women's emotional well-being.
People who are diagnosed with depression may constantly suffer from mood swings. Others may only feel depressed during certain moments or for a couple of days.
When your breathing is interrupted during sleep, you may feel fatigued and experience emotional distress.
Many pregnant women experience a change in hormone levels and as a result, develop mood swings.
Sometimes, mood swings can be an indicator of a more worrying condition. If you have been suffering from them for a long time it may be best to consult your doctor.
At the same time, mood swings can also just be another part of life. Professional demands or domestic responsibilities can run you down emotionally. Alongside this, you could place multiple others like: attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder and polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS). Ultimately, lifestyle habits and hormones will make all the difference.
How to Treat Your Mood Swings
The most likely scenario is that your mood swings are a result of menopause. It's the hormonal imbalance that knocks everything out of place and leads you to being more susceptible to things like hot flashes, irregular periods, and vaginal dryness.
- 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 Differences in Brain's Response to Stress." Retrieved from www.psycheducation.org.
- The Health Center.(n.d)."Adult Mood Swings." Retrieved from www.thehealthcenter.info.