It can be difficult to define a bad mood swing, because sudden changes of mood manifest differently in every woman. They can vary in severity and frequency. To prevent bad mood swings from hindering your daily activities and quality of life, there are several steps you can take.
What are Bad Mood Swings and What Causes Them?
Mood swings are sudden and unexplained changes in emotions, attitude, and temper. Unfortunately, becoming frustrated with mood swings can exacerbate them.
While the exact cause of bad mood swings remains unknown, they are usually caused by one of two things. Psychological mood swings are typically caused by previous emotional trauma or chemical irregularities in the brain that affect one's mood. These are most often seen in psychological disorders such as bipolar disorder, borderline personality disorder, and sufferers of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).
The second type of mood swings are less severe. These temporary moods swings, like the those brought on by menopause, are caused by physical and hormonal changes in the body. During menopause, the body decreases its production of estrogen, which directly affects serotonin levels. Serotonin regulates mood, and an imbalance in it can cause mood swings. They can also be aggravated by stress, fatigue, and general irritability.
How Can I Avoid Bad Mood Swings?
The first step in treating bad mood swings is acknowledging them and their effect on your life. While some people may counsel you to stop feeling emotions you don't want to, this is impractical advice and should be disregarded. Instead it is better to embrace your feelings, acknowledge and respect them, and then move on with them and focus on not letting them interfere in your interpersonal relations.
If you feel like you're about to have an anxiety attack, or feel suddenly depressed, take a moment. Leave the room, or go to the washroom. Take long, deep breaths and try to give yourself a few moments of peace while you clam yourself and regain control.
If you have recurring problems with this, you may want to try some proactive tips, including:
- Talking to a friend.
- Exercising (heavy or light depending on how you feel).
- Reading a book
Mood swings during menopause are linked to hormonal changes, so techniques for regulating hormones can be helpful. These include maintaining a healthy lifestyle by exercising regularly and eating a well-balanced diet. Natural remedies can also stimulate healthy hormone production and help treat mood swings. Click the following link for more information on some of the treatments for bad mood swings.
If you feel like your mood swings are severe or interfering with daily life, see a doctor.
- "Adult Mood Swings". The Health Center. www.thehealthcenter.info.
- Dr. Love, Susan, and Karen Lindsey. Dr. Susan Love's Menopause and Hormone Book. New York: Three Rivers Press, 2003.
- Amin, Zenab, Turhan Canli, and C. Neill Epperson. "Effects of Estrogen-Serotonin Interactions on Mood and Cognition". Behav Cogn Neurosci Rev 2005; 4; 43.
- "Estrogen Promotes Gender Difference in Brain's Response to Stress". Molecular Psychiatry. www.psycheducation.org.