While most symptoms of menopause are a personal affair, mood swings can affect everyone around you. You may think you're hiding your sudden shifts in mood well, but those closest to you notice even subtle changes to your personality. That's why it is so important to speak with your family about mood swings as you transition through menopause.
However, it's not always easy to talk freely about what is often a touchy and even embarrassing topic for many women. Keep reading to learn more about ways to speak to your loved ones about your menopausal mood swings.
What Are Mood Swings?
Before talking to your family about mood swings, familiarize yourself with the signs and symptoms and how to manage them. Although nearly half of all menopausal women experience mood swings, few understand this condition and its root causes. Mood swings can feel like an emotional roller coaster. One minute you're up, the next, you're down. Many women report a sense of losing control over their emotions and becoming angry, depressed, excited, and irritated for no apparent reason.
One of the primary causes of mood swings is changing hormone levels. As a woman transitions through menopause, important mood-regulating hormones like estrogen and progesterone fluctuate wildly and lead to extremes in emotions. Mood swings may be exacerbated if a woman experiences high levels of stress and anxiety.
How to Talk to Your Family about Your Mood Swings
If you've been experiencing mood swings, chances are you have said and done things your friends and family have considered out of character. It's understandable, then, that they would be confused and concerned about why you are behaving differently. Take some time to explain to your loved ones the changes that are taking place within your body and the effect it has on your mood and behavior. Most importantly, don't be afraid to apologize. If you've said or done hurtful things, let your loved ones know that you truly regret your actions. Having open communication and much-needed support from your friends and family will make your transition through menopause easier.
When to Seek Treatment
Of course, if mood swings are especially severe and hinder your ability to participate in daily activities, it is best to consult a medical professional to explore treatment options. There are many prescribed and alternative medications on market that aim to correct the hormonal imbalances that trigger your menopausal mood swings.
Click on the following link to learn more about bipolar disorder and mood swings.
- Amin, Zenab, Turhan Cnali, 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.