Mood swings can be sudden, unpredictable, and unpleasant for you and those around you. While they may seem isolating for that reason, mood swings are actually one of the most common symptoms of menopause, a natural transition period in every woman's life. Continue reading to learn more about mood swings and why no woman has to endure them alone.
What Are Mood Swings?
Mood swings are sudden changes in mood, ranging from joy to sadness to anger. They usually involve overreaction, meaning that the mood changes that occur are exaggerated compared to what triggered them, if anything. Episodes are hard to predict, but some environments can trigger them. Fortunately, they usually last for only a short time.
During menopause, the underlying cause of mood swings is often linked to hormonal fluctuations. Specifically, a decline in estrogen can have a negative effect on the production and function of serotonin, a neurotransmitter that regulates mood and emotion.
How to Manage Mood Swings
While many women experience mood swings, they do not have to be endured. There are many forms of treatment available to reduce mood changes and even treat the underlying hormonal imbalance. Doctors recommend lifestyle changes as the first step to easing mood swings. If episodes persist, herbal supplements can be taken to balance hormones, and in extreme cases, hormone replacement therapy (HRT) is an option.
You are not alone
As an important component of managing mood swings, a support network can provide emotional stability for women during menopause. Explaining to loved ones that mood swings are part of the menopausal transition and that they are largely out of your control will help them understand and support you. In addition, menopause support groups give women a safe space where they can relate, share stories, and laugh together.
Mood swing episodes may disrupt daily life and seem daunting, but no one has to go through them alone and without support. In fact, mood swings are one of the most common menopause symptoms. Click on the following link to find out more about mood swing treatments.
- 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.