Since ancient times, the moon has been closely intertwined with myth and lore passed down through generations. Many women notice mood swings or other temperament changes seemingly in line with certain lunar phases. Keep reading to learn more about mood swings and how they are and are not connected to the moon.
About Mood Swings
Mood swings are sudden and often intense changes in emotion. Someone experiencing mood swings may go from feeling content to shouting the next minute and then crying the next. This can be unsettling to experience, and it can negatively impact personal and professional relationships as well.
Many women have mood swings on a cyclical basis, and some notice an increase of episodes during perimenopause. This is because shifts in hormone levels in the body - such as a decrease in estrogen - also influence the brain. When hormone levels are in a state of flux, it affects mood-regulating neurotransmitters. The result is often changes in mood.
The Moon's Correlation to Mood Swings
For centuries, humans have observed correlations between certain events and the phase of the moon. Some women have noticed that they always feel a certain way or experience a sensation when the moon is at a certain point. For example, a women may always feel sad and downtrodden when the moon appears in the waxing crescent phase.
Through modern research, it is now known that the moon as it exists in space does not affect the female body in any physical way. Nonetheless, the moon and mood swings may have something in common. Many women experience mood swings at certain points in their menstrual cycle, especially as a part of premenstrual syndrome (PMS). The menstrual cycle typically lasts 28 days, though this number can vary by a few days from woman to woman. Similarly, the lunar cycle is 29.5 days on average, so a woman may notice that it coincides with her menstrual cycle.
Over time, other myths have persisted regarding the moon and the female body. Some have hypothesized that the lunar cycle is related to birth rate, but no connection has been documented. Likewise, it was once thought that the phases of the moon influence patterns of violent behavior - perhaps some cases stemming from severe mood swings - but this has been shown to be just a myth.
Even if the moon did affect mood, there would be little women could do about it. The good news is that mood swings are manageable through positive habits and lifestyle adjustments - factors that women do have complete control over. Click on the following link to learn more about treatments for mood swings.
- The Health Center.(n.d)."Adult Mood Swings". Retrieved from 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.
- Molecular Psychiatry.(n.d)."Estrogen Promotes Gender Difference in Brain's Response to Stress". Retrieved from www.psycheducation.org.